What not to do in branding
“Branding is so much more than what people see. It’s about how you make them feel.” — Kimberly Haydn
Did you know that there are 30.2M small businesses in the US? This represents close to 99.9% of all businesses in our country. If you have been listening or reading the news, well over 200k businesses have closed in the last year — over 60% permanently. If you are an entrepreneur — you need to understand what consumer needs are today and where they will be tomorrow…and this is exactly where you and your company’s brand comes in.
A brand is not just a logo, package design, name, or images. It is a story, and it is something we all do — in our business and in our personal lives. It is a mix between logic and emotion… It is the story we tell people when we meet them.
“Hi, my name is Debbie and I’m a Marketing and Branding Consultant with Biz Made EZ.”
Brand identity is who you are, what you can do for someone and their perception that you can deliver as promised. You know you have found your brand — when you can clearly articulate in 35 seconds — you and your company’s name, clear explanation of what you do and what you can do for them.
It sets the stage and interest in working with you and your company — and it’s one of the hardest challenges you will ever face in business…As such, I wanted to point out some of the most common mistakes I see on a daily basis.
So, here’s a list of what not-to-do in branding:
Not having an elevator speech nailed down — how many times have you gone to a networking event or attended a Zoom call, and someone drones on…they are either immediately ignored or DOA.
Selling lies and selling what you hope you can be when you grow up. It may work for a little while, but, if Billy McFarland — Fyre Festival and Elizabeth Holmes — Theranos has taught us anything, it’s that building a brand on overpromising and under delivering, at best, makes for a terrible customer experience and, in extreme cases, leads to fraud investigations.
Focusing too much on yourself. Just because it’s your business, it doesn’t mean it’s showtime. It’s about creating a personal connection and showing you care and listen… about asking questions and learning… about transparency. It’s about them and, definitely not about getting likes and followers on social media.
Over-selling yourself. When was the last time you came across a brand using superlatives such as “best”, “most” or “greatest” to describe themselves? Avoid superlatives — let your content and brand speak for itself. Pay attention to the quality of your content and establish your expertise…Let other’s highlight you.
Using Shady Social Practices. When we see a brand has more likes and followers, we tend to think they are more credible. Unfortunately, this has tempted some people to get involved in shady practices, such as buying followers or entering agreements that guarantee inflated numbers. Find your online target audience and create an online presence through — posting meaningful content, commenting on posts & joining groups.
Underestimating the time commitment. Creating a brand does not happen overnight. It will take time and effort through a combination of networking, writing articles, collaborating with others, and engaging on social media. It takes time to establish yourself and distinguish your brand from competitors.
Not creating content. If you limit yourself to sharing other people’s content, you’re telling your audience to check out these thought leaders. Your audience won’t see the need to follow you when they can follow others and get their content directly. Make the effort to put your own voice into the mix. Share your knowledge and expertise with your audience in a format that you enjoy.
Going at it alone. If you build a brand based solely on your interests and preferences, at the end of the day you risk being the only one who is impressed. Get feedback and insight from other people you trust. This could be your friends, family, colleagues, or a coach that specializes in branding.
As part of reinventing and repositioning your business in today’s world — branding is a critical component and must be handled with care. For TLC & expertise in branding and marketing, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.