There comes a time when a product or service requires an identity. In the world of marketing that means branding. We’re not talking about cattle here, either.
Although a well-designed and brilliant brand can easily burn itself into the consciousness of consumers everywhere, we’re going a slightly different direction with this. While we understand the mechanics behind strong brand identity, what about the other side of the coin? Let’s take a look at some top branding mistakes.
AVOID THIS MISTAKES INDEX:
We admit that sometimes it may seem like a good idea to have seven or eight different slogans, logos, color schemes and product names for the same item. However, in the world of marketing it does nothing more than confuse people. Now, if your end game is to create an air of confusion with your product, then you are on the right track. Good marketing is the very opposite of this. One clear message that is reflected in everything from logo to slogan to even how the outside of your storefront business looks. Everything has to tie together neatly. If your identity is about as messy as your sock drawer at home well, maybe you get the picture.
Yeah, nobody uses the internet to shop, so why would you bother having a website, right? Besides, a website just gets in the way of business with customers pestering you 24/7 and from all over the world. Who needs that kind of exposure? Well, as odd as it may sound to you, the inter-web is where most of us live now. That includes people who don’t know they need your products until the start finding them online. In fact, there’s a whole industry of online shopping known by the nifty name of eCommerce. There are people making a bundle without the added expense of storefront rent, insurance, utilities and inventory.
A website can be your biggest expansion plan and provide you with a new stream of income. You’ll increase your customer base, earn revenue through online payments and never meet these people face to face. It’s not a dream. It’s not a prank. It’s real and you can get in on the action because there’s still some space available on the internet for businesses like yours. If your fears revolve around the added expense of eCommerce and shipping and whatever else has you spooked about making more money, then maybe you should just get out of business altogether. The internet is for winners, not whiners.
Pop Quiz: Name the last product you purchased that did not have a logo on it. Take your time, we’re in no hurry here. So, while you’re thinking about that, let’s take a look at how a bad logo is about as useful as no logo at all. Graphic design has some rules attached to it. Making crappy logos that you can’t read, comprehend or understand are not generally in that guide. An effective logo, and we’re taking those that become iconic, are easy to identify in just a glance. They have colors that stand out and blend. They have a clear message and can be identified regardless of how much it gets shrunk to fit on a small item. Logos are like magnets.
But if you think a logo is going to be too costly for your branding efforts, we get that. We also understand that there’s a reason why the internet has free logo designing programs on it. Those are there for you to discover the difference between a crappy, useless logo and a professionally designed one. Sure, you can go ahead and make your own logo for free and you will certainly get your money’s worth with that plan. Or you could get a professional graphic designer to create something iconic for you. Of course, you can just dodge that bullet and have no logo at all which is a lot like your business having an unlisted phone number. Have we made our point?
Failure To Launch
Have you noticed that your brochures need a makeover? Sure, when they were first produced in 1976 the internet was not part of the marketing landscape. Brochures and any kind of printed material are good. However, just like milk and cheese, they have a shelf life. Your marketing materials should be updated on a regular basis. Here’s why: if you have the good fortune of having access to the internet with your business, you can use your website and e-mail as contact information in your printed material. Don’t know what e-mail is? Okay, on to another point. Because your product line hasn’t changed is not a good reason to avoid reprinting.
We say this because chances are that you are no longer charging the same rates as you did in 1976. Plus, the photos and names of employees on the back page has likely changed somewhat. We get that these things cost money but in order to stay competitive with your competition, you need to be on the top of your game. Graphic designers can produce some pretty slick looking marketing tools for your business at a good price that produces a respectable ROI. Oops, did we suddenly start talking your language? If you fail to keep up with your marketing efforts you may as well hold a closing out sale and try something different.
Do Not Make These Mistakes, Unless You Plan To Fail
Marketing and branding are not rocket science. However, they are pretty close because there are a lot of variables that can either win you the race or derail you before you get out on the course. The world continues to be a competitive place where the strong still survive. Consider avoiding the branding mistakes noted above if you really want to win a few rounds. Ignoring what works in today’s world of new technology is just going to delay the closure of your business a little longer. In order to stand a chance at being successful in business in the internet age, you really do need to catch up, get connected and be part of the changing landscape or you’ll just end up buried underneath it. Hopefully we’ve given you some reason to tweak your branding.