In our ongoing series on branding, the marketing and label experts at United Label in New Jersey want to cover all aspects of the process, because we know developing your brand can be an exciting journey. However, like any adventure, this one can have pitfalls. Here are five of the most common beginner’s branding mistakes.
- Lack of clarity about branding – Some beginners fail to recognize the distinction between marketing and advertising, while others may use“marketing,” and “branding” interchangeably. These are three distinct concepts, and understanding those differences is a necessary first step. Branding is the process of defining your brand – what your business is, what it values, and how it is perceived by the public- while marketing is the process of accurately communicating that brand to the public. Advertising is one way that your brand is marketed.
- Failure to research– By the time you design your logo and establish your brand guidelines, you should already have a good idea of the logos and branding strategies of your colleagues and competitors. A great logo loses much of its value if it can’t be clearly distinguished from other logos, and a brand strategy doesn’t operate in a vacuum; in order to articulate who you are and what you stand for, you need to have a clear idea of the other brands in your area. Feel free to read some of our other articles on developing logos here or here.
- Making sudden changes – Even if your brand is accurately marketed, not everyone will be interested. There is a temptation, especially right after creating or expanding your business, to attempt to broaden your appeal to everyone. This may involved hopping on recent trends, toning down central aspects of your brand, or radically shifting your tone. This is usually not a good thing, since the purpose of the brand is to define a unique space for yourself. Personality, clarity, and consistency will go further than attempts to chase fads.
- Underestimating your brand’s potential – Recognizing your potential isn’t just self-help talk! The right brand at the right moment can catch on and expand quickly, especially if your brand has an original and strong “personality” and a clear identity. In our increasingly online and interconnected world, it is easier than ever for small local brands to achieve national or global success. Even if you anticipate operating at a small scale, your website, logo, and overall presentation should be polished, professional, and prepared for growth.
- Underestimating your brand’s needs – Branding, marketing, advertising, and logo design are complicated areas of expertise. You may have a clear idea of your brand’s identity, but turning that idea into a reality will take some specialized knowledge, like logo design, packaging and labeling, branding development and guidelines, marketing strategy and planning, and much more. If these subjects are interesting to you, there’s a lot to learn and some introductory resources are available online. If you’re more interested in pursuing other aspects of your business, consider reaching out to professionals who can help to expand, promote, protect, and market your brand.
These are just a few of the branding mistakes beginners tend to make, but there will of course be others. And if it happens to you, or you’ve read something here and are nodding along, always remember that we can always learn from our mistakes! We hope this has been helpful, and when you’re ready to get going on printing labels for your products, contact United Label at 973.589.6500 or online here.