Coming up with a great branding strategy is not easy. Considering how many colossal brands exist out there, trying to be unique and creative becomes the biggest challenge in the world of business. Creating that iconic brand image that all people will remember is not impossible though. You just have to stay away from the most common mistakes that people make when dealing with business branding. This article gathered together these mistakes to help you start your journey with the right foot. Read about each of these mistakes and correct them in case you are familiar with the situation. Here’s what you need to know:
Underestimating how powerful branding is
Business branding is the process of creating a unitary image for a company. It is subordinated to marketing communication and it includes all the necessary steps to create and promote a company. The results of a branding strategy can be approximated in all of its stages. Many business men tend to underestimate the power of a good brand. Business branding is actually an omnipresent tool that holds a great importance in today’s society, not to mention how strongly influencing is and how resourceful it can get. It plays a paramount role in the process of convincing people that your brand is worthy of investment. Branding mostly focuses on emotional or symbolic values instead of functional ones.
Branding has two different roles: to persuade clients to buy products and services from a company and to influence the behavior of people towards these products and services. Contrary to the popular belief that quality products will be sold regardless of how many marketing efforts are involved, the truth is that branding is the element which transforms products in notorious ones. Branding efforts do influence how fast products are sold. Ultimately, branding is a multidisciplinary process that focuses on how people interact with a company’s products and services. Acknowledging its power is the first step in applying relevant business branding strategies.
Not knowing all the elements included in business branding
Branding has four different forms – product, environment, communication, and behavior. Each one deals with a certain part of the branding strategy. The brand image is materialized in the visual identity of the brand. This part contains:
- logo or symbol
- identity materials such as letterheads, business cards, envelopes
- leaflets, brochures, books
- website design
- products and packaging
- textile printing
- other forms of brand communication
The brand performance refers to the steps in the branding process that a company has to undertake in order to achieve the desired results: creating a distinct identity, an internal brand communication system, an external one and result evaluation. This part of the business branding strategy also includes:
- brand architecture: it refers to the visual idea that immediately makes a person think of a company; in order to be successful, the brand architecture has to be well-consolidated from the very beginning and compatible with the company’s mission and value systems
- brand equity: it refers to the value that is added to a company, based on reaching the purpose of the products and services that it offers to customers; to put it simply, brand equity deals with how satisfied customers are with the services of the company
- differentiators (competitive advantages): it refers to the central idea of a brand and the manner in which a product or service is delivered to customers; it is a creative, unique element that is easy to recognize and promoted on the competitive market
Any branding project involves a thorough initial research. The position of the brand should be clearly established on the market, to make sure that the strategy will prove to be a success in the end. Luckily, there are separate companies that can deal with this aspect for you. This is why business owners should never skip research. A small investment in business brand research can have a gigantic effect on the final outcome. Research gives business owners more details about:
- market trends that need to be respected
- the visual culture of the company’s target audience
- analyzing competitive brands and their visual communication strategies
- methods of communication
- the right attitude when dealing with the target audience
Of course, the keys to a successful business brand are numerous, brand research being just one step in the long journey of success. Brand research and analysis helps with determining as accurately as possible what the state of a company’s brand is at a certain time. Then, the company can make the necessary changes to improve this state, which will lead to better results. In other words, business brand research involves investigative efforts that will eventually answer the most important question that entrepreneurs ask themselves: what do customers want from a company like mine?
Avoid rebranding unless it is necessary
The rebranding process can be required in certain situations, but these are exceptions. Rebranding involves changing the image of a company almost entirely, which means that it can make customers confused. Of course, rebranding can help companies that are not being noticed by refreshing its image and adapting it to the needs of the target audience. It is recommended to stay away from big changes unless there is a problem that needs to be fixed.
Customers will need time to adjust to the changes that you make to the company’s brand, which can lead to profit loss for a limited period of time. Total rebranding is absolutely required when a company is purchased by a bigger one, and the two brands need to be merged. Partial rebranding can be required when an entire new category of products begins to be sold by a company, thus changing its specific. Other reasons that may lead to rebranding are: low customer loyalty or a diminished market share, an outdated image or an inconsistent image (to create a good impression among customers, brands must be maintained the same), changes in customer expectations, entering new markets (internal or external) and other.