In today’s off the wall world of advertising, businesses must continuously change in order to stay on top of the game. With the constant stream of new advertising strategies ‘YouTube commercials, bus/taxi ads, popup on websites, etc.’attention spans gets shorter and shorter by the day. Sometimes, in the desire of business owners to stay ahead of the competition, they commit lethal mistakes, which if done continuously will affect their business big time. Most of these mistakes are often committed in branding.

Although there is no one sure-fire formula in establishing a strong brand, the one thing business owners can do is avoid the common mistakes committed in building a distinctive brand. Here are the common missteps in branding to watch out for:

1)   Being everything to everyone. In their desire to easily capture people’s attention, some businesses try to appeal to the general public. The result is a poorly targeted market. Instead of being everything to everyone, every business should target the influencers of their target audience. For instance, if the company’s target market is the teens, they should identify brand advocates early on who can influence their friends to be a part of the company’s market as well. Similarly, when creating marketing materials such as advertising posters, brochures, or catalogs, they should be designed to a specific audience.
2)   Having a narrow view of the brand. When companies define their brand narrowly, they fail to give their customers the genuine experience they desire. Understand that branding is more than the logo. The logo is just part of the entire brand. Defining your promise to your customers on what they can expect from the company is the much more important part of branding.
3)   Changing their vision. The brand of the company is something that shouldn’t change over time. It should continue to be part of the identity of the business and live forever. The mission of the company can change, but not the vision.
4)   Unclear vision. A company that doesn’t know where it wants to go and what it wants to achieve will never be able to make smart decisions. Visions help define the company’s brand structure so it’s important that there is a clear vision.
5)   Not fulfilling their brand promise. Nothing can discourage customers faster than an unfulfilled promise. If the company doesn’t want to lose customers, then they should focus on delivering on their promise every time.
6)   Neglecting the customers. Some companies forget to hear the ideas of their customers. Remember that it’s the customers that the lifeblood of the business. It’s important to hear their ideas to help the company do things that are interesting to them. When they see that their personal interests are not reflected on the brand, they will easily lose interest on the company.
7)   Failure to develop their brands. Not all companies have a lot of marketing budget, but they should still push to develop their brand story. It should be reflected on all marketing literatures and even in sales and decision making. Because it’s possible to get cheap posters, flyers, and website these days, it’ll be easier for businesses to develop their brand.

Branding is important for small and startup businesses. This can be a huge challenge for businesses on limited funds, but nevertheless, they should seek to establish their brand. In so doing, they will be able to differentiate their company and generate more attention in the market.



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