Five Branding Errors Small Businesses Should Avoid
When it comes to brand identity it’s surprising how many small businesses that we meet have made a start on their branding only to run into problems later on.
The intention may be well meaning—to help budgets go that bit further or to get things started—but there are drawbacks. The weaknesses we come across are quite often connected to a poor branding decision, and these are the five most common errors:
1 · Novelty
Humour is a great asset. Campaigns with humour tell customers that they’ll have a fun experience with your brand. However, the brand delivering it needs to remain professional at all times. Get the balance between the humour of the marketing campaign and professionalism wrong and your brand can quickly become a novelty. Instead of standing out from the competition, you stick out like a sore thumb.
2 · DIY
Creating the brand identity for your business all by yourself may seem like a good idea, and it can certainly be an enjoyable and creative experience. Some of the best ideas for brand identities come from our clients, but they are stronger when realised and expressed by designers. When customers compare brands head-to-head, the attention to detail of a professionally designed identity will show. If your DIY identity displays a lack of attention to detail, what will customers assume your professional service is going to be like…?
3 · Budget Production
Saving pennies on the production can cost pounds in the presentation. Try to maximise budgets by aiming for the best-quality production you can source. If you have a small budget for business cards, look for ways to make them stand out such as using a striking coloured paper stock or a special finish. If you need a sign to identify your business or promote your service, get one made that represents your business properly (not an A4 print-out stuck in the window).
4 · Cliched Stock Images
Off-the-shelf photography and graphics from stock libraries offer basic and cheap images that can be downloaded quickly. But, because they are available to anyone, the designs are usually pretty generic to maintain a broad appeal. They will also be available to anyone else who wishes to use them so don’t be surprised if you come across the same logo or photo being used by another competitor or business in your area.
5 · Dull Typography
High-street brands use typography to give them a strong brand identity, with marketing campaigns being as recognisable for their headline styles as they are for their logos. Typography is what gives these campaigns their consistency and makes them easily recognisable. The potential to express design concepts with type is enormous and with good designers a unique, original type style can make your identity stand out rather than blend in.
Step Back And Review
The key thing is to take a step back occasionally to look at your branding from your customer’s perspective.
From that point of view, the decisions that go into creating a logo, producing a sign, or choosing images for a website may not always work out as you planned. The problems with branding are often the result of taking shortcuts in the areas above, which is why introducing a new and professional point of view can be such a big help.
Want to make a change?
If you would like to know more, drop us a line or give us a call. We’re always happy to have a chat and listen to your ideas, give some feedback and suggest ways to start improving how your clients and customers view your business.