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Branding Mistakes You Never Knew Your Business Was Making

How is it that a humble coffee shop in Seattle Washington became an international beverage making powerhouse? What enabled the image of a bitten fruit to be so ubiquitous one can rarely see an electronic device without it? Why is it that people keep coming back to the same businesses and outlets over and over again despite any fluctuations of quality of product or even pricing? How come a sugary brown liquid flavoured by the kola nut has a starring role in every refrigerator all over the world?

Yes, my friends, it’s all about branding!

If you own your own business you likely already have more than a passing familiarity with the concept of branding. You’ve likely hired a company like Yes Open Graphic Design to do your logo, you’ve market tested your business name and you agonised over the right combination of words to make your slogan clever without seeming smug.

The trouble is that branding is so much more than a part of establishing an identity for your business, it’s an ongoing process. Many unknowing businesses can do real damage to their businesses (and their bottom line) by making some rudimentary branding errors. Make sure that you’re not one of them!

Underestimating the importance of branding

How many times have you heard someone say they’re going out for a Starbucks instead of going out for a coffee? How many people do you know who buy their books from any online outlet but Amazon? That kind of immediacy of association with customers only comes from savvy branding. Yet, all too many small businesses fail to give the power of branding it’s due. Branding can also play a huge part in giving your Search Engine Optimization a much needed boost. Google especially likes to push branded search results to the fore in organic search results since they’re more likely to draw clicks from visitors.

Changing your branding

Many businesses start out very insistent that they want to develop a cool, young, trendy identity. Yet trends, tastes and customer loyalty are fickle. This can result in businesses completely overhauling their branding every few years desperately trying to chase their tail to keep up with trends. But this can be an infuriating, and costly, habit. Look at some of the best established brands from Coca Cola to Audi and despite their longevity the branding itself has changed very little whatever innovations may have been wrought in the products themselves.

Inconsistent branding

A big part of what makes a brand feel satisfyingly comprehensive is cohesion and consistently. If, for example, your logo is a simple affair that uses only green and white yet the interior or your premises is a lively mosaic of green, blue, brown and orange this inconsistency can lead to a cognitive dissonance that may compromise your branding’s effectiveness. It’s a small measure, but one that can add a lot of weight to your brand.

Lack of a focal point

A relatively simple, yet powerfully effective tool in any branding strategy is to built around a focal point. This can be as simple as a chosen colour or as creative as a cartoon mascot. A focal point goes a long way into personifying your brand and making it feel unique. From Ronald McDonald to the characteristic Nike ‘swoosh’, all of the big brands have one.