5 Branding Mistakes to Avoid

I. All Done: Our Brand is Established
Memories are short, thus the saying, “Here today, gone tomorrow,” bears some semblance of truth. Brands that have staying power work to maintain their brand at the forefront of our memories. The thing that everyone loves about sports, and brands that seem to stay on top, is their hustle and apparent team spirit. The expertise and precision performance that shines through is evidence of the hard work, care, and concern. Correction: the on-going hard work, care, and concern.

No one likes a slacker, except for another slacker. Somehow I doubt that this is you or your target market. I imagine that you are trying to reach those who are likely to have the buying power to sustain the demand for your product/service. Hard work pays off. Your fans will stick around if you continue, (yes, continue), to work hard for them even after the initial introduction, sale, etc. is complete.

SEE: The Right Metrics

II. Their Wiring is Faulty
If feedback indicates that there is a perception that is contradictory to your intent and you value the opinion of the source then simply accept, apologize, and correct. There is no sense in arguing with a perception or moving to place blame. Yes, the message should be clear, but who’s responsibility is it to make it clear? Your brand’s perception, communications, and the buzz that surrounds your company is your responsibility. This is reason we implement proactive measures such as press releases, advertisements, and involvement in social networks. It is also the reason we implement reactive damage control measures, such as issue statements, and direct engagement on social media.

All egos aside: accept responsibility and listen to consumers, apologize for the discrepancy, and correct your position by re-tooling the intended message.

SEE: A Quick Guide to Making Your Brand's Story More Compelling

III. The Truth is All That Matters
Yes, but the truth according to who? Does your audience care? Do they seem to gravitate toward your message or reject it on the spot? If marketing efforts are focused in the wrong target market your truth may lose credibility. Although what you state about your product/service may ring true to someone, it is most beneficial to ensure that your audience is targeted so that your message rings true more often than not. Otherwise, you risk the market re-defining your product: “Well it’s not true to me.” Ultimately, if it’s not true to the majority then who’s listening?

IV. No Way, Not My Brand
Many times people are too afraid to color outside of the lines for fear of reprisal. Sometimes a neat pre-made script is nice to have; however, in real life nothing goes as planned. Companies that survive economic and business cycles are far from rigid. These organizations have enough flexibility in their vision and mission to enable them to readily adapt to changing information. I say all of this to say what may initially feel like a “fail” could indeed be the beginning of the next big win.

SEE: Social Media: Aiming to Create an Experience

People’s taste, desires, and behaviors change. If you leave enough room for adoption of your brand through someone else’s creative synergies it may actually help your organization to grow.

V. It Cannot Be Quantified
No, numbers are not everything. However, monitoring, analyzing, and synthesizing the data generated concerning your brand can help you to identify the most value added activities of your organization. It’s not rocket science and more tools are being developed all the time to help organizations assess the value of their branding efforts.

Using quantitative and qualitative data, the value of your brand and branding efforts can indeed be quantified. Of course you must track the right data for your organization. Otherwise the conclusions that you draw will be incorrect. However, tools such as GoogleAnalytics and Buddy Media help to identify your consumer’s like and dislikes. They also help you to set alerts and to monitor trends so that you can know when a methodology/strategic tactic is no longer effective.

"Most branding mistakes can be avoided by minimizing your ego and maximizing the customer." Click-to-Tweet

About the Author

Maisha Smart, MBA founded Finance and Marketing to help small businesses excel, by bridging the gap between finance and marketing processes. Some of her favorite activities include fine arts, a good debate, and social engagement.

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