Branding is essential to your company’s success. It conveys your identity, establishes your reputation, builds awareness, attracts customers, and entices potential employees. To improve your branding efforts, David Kauzlaric, cofounder of Agency Elevation, a premier provider for white label SEO, white label Google Ads and white label Facebook Ads, looks at five common branding mistakes and how to fix them.
1. A Forgettable Company Name
A strong brand is easily recognizable by its name. It will appear everywhere—in print and online—to identify you, your products, or your services. Naming can be challenging and time consuming. This is why it's common to either obsess to the point of indecision or give up and succumb to a mediocre choice.
However, putting in the productive effort to think about what you want the name to convey and brainstorming to identify superior possibilities are well worth it. “My litmus test for a good name is its stickiness factor,” explains David Kauzlaric. “If I can drop the name in a conversation over lunch, and you remember it an hour later by running a search on Google, then it's nice and sticky.”
2. Lacking Consistency
An inconsistent message is one of the most common pitfalls. A brand’s voice on its website, published materials, products, Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. should be consistent.
“A strong brand’s message across platforms is like really great music. There are minor variations, but the pieces all work together to form a cohesive whole that makes sense,” says David Kauzlaric. The root cause of an inconsistent voice is often the temptation to incorporate other people’s branding that appears attractive or successful into your own. A cohesive brand, however, isn’t a self-serve buffet. “Instead of mixing and matching bits and pieces that belong to someone else, be authentic by focusing on your own core purpose and values,” he suggests.
3. Going Small
Once you’ve put the dedication into developing a great brand, this is not the time to get cold feet. Choose a launch date and go big. You need attention-grabbing tactics, not hushed library whispers. “Go all-in on a publicity campaign, including press releases, digital publishing, public appearances, podcast tours, and even TV interviews,” suggests David Kauzlaric. “A big launch makes a new brand seem significant and exciting. People get the message, ‘Hey, this is a big deal!’” Don’t be afraid to be bold and make a splash.
4. Total Rebrand Syndrome
You’ve just attended a terrific conference on branding and are pumped full of exciting ideas and want to redo your brand. This is the point of maximum vulnerability to common mistake number four: Total Rebrand Syndrome. “It’s great to be motivated and inspired,” David Kauzlaric says, “but allow yourself some time to marinade. Hasty rebranding often results in throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” Instead, consider what’s working, what changes are actually necessary, and which ones, although they sounded great at the conference, might not be the best choices for your brand. A good rule for a refresh is not to change everything all at once. Kauzlaric recommends focusing on individual brand components and how the customer might be impacted by the changes.
5. Neglect to Deliver After the Hype
Have you ever been pumped to try a product or service, but it doesn’t live up to its hype? No brand wants to go through the embarrassment of disappointing its fan base and getting destroyed by the press. This can usually be avoided by following common sense: make realistic promises, test extensively and delay launch if you’re not ready. Above all other considerations, a brand has to follow through on its promises. Missing a target launch date is far better than the consequences of a tarnished reputation. Should the crisis be unavoidable, “mitigate the damage by addressing the problem head-on,” advises David Kauzlaric. A sincere apology and owning up to mistakes can go a long way to restoring a brand’s credibility.