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6 Branding Ideas You Should Avoid

Not all that glitters is gold, so the saying goes. Many companies feel this when they put time and money into rebranding, yet it’s still not connecting to customers. Then they are stuck trying to figure out what went wrong. Deciding to rebrand your company is an important step in growing your business and building trust with your audience. However, a few missteps in the process can have you throwing a lot of time and money at something that will not achieve your goals.

Going in without a plan, trying to copy other brands, or doing an incomplete job can bring even the most well-intentioned projects down. To help you steer clear of these missteps, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 ideas to avoid when it comes to rebranding your company.

Imitation is not flattery

When you are prepping for a rebrand, the easiest place most people go for ideas is their competition. If their branding is working for them, why not try something similar?

But there is a problem with that line of thinking. If both of you look the same – why would people buy from you over them? Especially if they have already built loyalty through their brand. An important part of rebranding is about setting yourself apart from your competition and letting potential customers know why you are unique.

It’s not just about you

You’ve put a lot of hard work into your business. Sometimes even your heart and soul. You may be the face of your organization, but one common mistake in rebranding is making it all about you.

Branding is all about how you appear to others and building loyalty. And while you may love your products, what you love about them might not be what someone else does. The reasons you need it might not be the same for everyone else. There are so many types of people in the world, and you could miss out on a lot of potential customers by basing your branding just on your preferences.

Sometimes, it can be tough to connect with a potential customer from a different demographic or lifestyle than yourself. Some of these areas include:

City vs. small town
Parent vs. non-parent
Single or married
Working, retired, stay-at-home
Type of career

Brand experts can help you do consumer research so you can build a brand that will appeal to a wider audience, especially ones that are not exactly like you.

Another thing to consider is the possibility that something else could attract potential customers beyond your profile. What brings someone into your business may not be the years of experience and talent you possess, but a unique product you offer that they can’t get anywhere else. Making it all about you narrows the number of people that you could potentially reach.

It’s not just about a logo

When some hear the word rebranding, they often think about just getting a new logo. However, the logo is only a small piece of the larger brand picture, which also includes every touchpoint with your audience, including your employees and the mission of your company.

Rebranding is not “just” anything, and part of the process is making sure every element that represents your business is of the highest professional quality to draw in new customers.

Sure, your niece’s boyfriend may be great at computers, but that doesn’t mean he should be in charge of designing your logo. There are so many things that can go wrong in this scenario. Here are a few examples:

They could produce something that you don’t care for, but you may be reluctant to express your opinion because of the personal connection, or because they are doing it as a favor or at a discount. No one wants to be using a terrible design on their marketing materials with a phony cringe-hiding smile on their face.
You could run into legal issues if they use artwork or even fonts without paying for them or making sure they are free to use.
You have limited possibilities based on their skill, rather than being able to find a designer that suits your vision.

It’s okay to ask for help

One big thing to avoid when rebranding is being closed off to outside opinions. You are an expert when it comes to knowing about your business. But what about how others perceive it?

While it’s hard to bring in an outsider, a brand expert can help you in ways you never knew you needed.

Here’s what a brand expert brings to the table:

Years of expertise on rebranding – what works and what doesn’t
Knows the right questions to ask to reveal the heart of your business
Can find the strengths of your business and identify your mission
Discovers weaknesses in your brand and has a game plan for improvement
Has tools for testing brand awareness
Brings knowledge of the latest tools and trends for creating and promoting your brand

Though it may be tough to hear, an outside expert is not emotionally attached to branding that was in place in the past and can provide an unbiased opinion on what can be kept to tweak or what needs to be let go.

Your website is too basic

One mistake that people make while building their business’s brand is thinking that their website just serves the purpose of people finding them online. They create something with just a plain landing page and basic information, not putting a lot of thought into it.

Keep in mind that your website is the first thing people often visit before setting foot in your business or reaching out to you for more information. Your website is a salesman for your services and products, and it’s important to think about what impression that salesperson is giving.

When you hire and train an employee to represent your business, you train them on the way they should treat customers and give them all the important information they need to know to make the sale, and your website should be the same way.

Some things to consider for your website:

Does it look professional and welcoming? Or is it poorly designed or plain? The look and feel of your website will impact a visitor’s impression of your business.
Does it have all the information your potential customer needs to make a decision? Look beyond just your contact information and hours. What can they expect when they come into your business?
Are your business’s unique qualities, products and mission accurately represented on the site?

A brand expert can help ensure your website is an accurate reflection of your business and attract customers.

Writing your own content

Creating content to promote your business is more than just listing your features and benefits. Sometimes people may not even know that they have a need for your product – how will you let them know?

Most people look for a brand, product, and service first. Then they will focus on what features and benefits set you apart from the competition. An important part of rebranding is being customer-focused in your messaging. A brand expert will help you get in the mind of your potential customers and help answer the question – what problem are they having that we will solve for them?

For example, a cell phone company may really focus their messaging on their family plans, knowing that many parents are faced with the problem of their bill going up once their teenagers are added to their plan.  This marketing message helps bring customers in, and then you can sell them on your benefits and features.

Brand experts bring experience in finding the right message for your business. They know to produce clear and concise content to promote your brand.

You’re the expert at what you do, why stretch yourself thin doing something that is not normally in your wheelhouse? Bringing in a branding expert helps to ensure your business makes the best impression it can, which provides a huge return on your investment.

If you are ready to discuss what rebranding could look like for your business, we would be happy to offer you a free consultation.  You can learn what the project could look like, how long it will take, and what research will be done.