Top 4 Mistakes You Can Make When Building Your Brand

If you are a new business owner you may be excited to start building your brand and gaining awareness. The process can certainly be stimulating, but if you get caught up in the excitement you are bound to make mistakes that will cause your brand suffer. These are the top 5 most common mistakes I see with clients when starting a new brand identity.

1. Thinking Too Big

As I stated earlier, beginning your brand identity can be exciting and some owners may get carried away with what they want to do with their brand. You may think that every strategy you come up with is going to be beneficial to your brand awareness, but the truth is that is just not the case. Chances are, unless you have built a successful brand before, you have no clue if your strategy will work or if you are even implementing it effectively. Often enough I see owners have these wild, out-of-the-box ideas to gain some recognition, and one of the hardest things to do is tell them their ideas won’t work. I have a saying: “your brand is like a moving vehicle and you need to stay in your lane until you can clearly see an opening for advancement, otherwise you might crash and burn”. It is understandable, you want your brand to be successful and hearing that your ideas won’t work the way you anticipated can be a hard pill swallow. However, to run a successful business you need to be open to other views and criticism. Just because something sounded good to you in your head, does not mean it will benefit your brand in the ways you are expecting, if at all.

2. Thinking Too Small.

On the other hand, just as much as I see owners wanting to do too much with their, I also see some who do not want to do enough. You always want to be cost effective when running your business, but you do still have to invest in order to expand your reach. Whether it be time or money, something needs to be contibuted in order to see results. Your product can be absolutely amazing, but no product on Earth sells itself. Especially in the age of the internet where reviews can be posted all over the web. It is up to you to convince your audience that your brand is worth investing in. Too many times have I seen business owners that want to make their brand a hit, but then want to spend no time on social media, content creation or put any money into marketing or design. It’s ok to to be financially strategic, but being too frugal with your budget can wind up leaving your brand dead where it stands. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time, consideration and comfortable marketing budget and you will see just how much more potential your brand can have.

3. Being Unwilling To Compromise.

Ofcourse you might think you know what is best for your brand. After all, it was your idea to start it, right? So who else but you would know how to make it a success, since you’ve already made it as far as you have. Unfortunately, in most cases your ideas are likely not well planned out. If you have never managed a brand before, I can almost garuntee you are probably overlooking a lot of variables you probably have not even considered. For example, you might think your idea (whatever it may be) is going to look amazing and it will be everything you’ve ever dreamed of, but you have no idea how to make it a reality, if it’s even possible, or more importantly if it is worth investing time and money into. Something that worked 10 years ago when you first had your idea for your business might not necessarily work in today’s world. You have to be open to the fact that you have no experience with branding, and sometimes certain things just do not work. Everything grows and is destined to change. You don’t want to put all your efforts into one unplanned idea because your brand will suffer in the long run. The best thing you can do as a business owner is have an open mind and be accepting of change.

4. Not Knowing Your Market.

I understand that it can sometimes be hard to separate your personal taste from your professional taste. However, (depending on what your business is) you may need to consider the fact that it just won’t work with the space you are working in professionally. For example, if you are trying to open a flowershop, it is probably not a good idea to have a bulldog in your logo just because you love them, or flames in the background of your website because you think it looks “cool”. You have to know what is acceptable for your brand in the space you are in. Knowing who your audience is a huge benefit and if you can distinguish your own personal taste from what your customers want to see then managing your brand will be a lot less of a headache. Often enough I see business owners try to design their own logos and websites, which is great if you know what you are doing, but speaking honestly most of them don’t. Telling a client that their ideas won’t work for their brand can be difficult because they just don’t understand their market. “It looks good to me, so why won’t my customers like it?” well because to be blunt, you are not your customers.
Running a business will never be easy. If it was, we would see many more people doing it and doing it successfully. It is ok to get excited, but don’t get carried away or sell yourself short. Brands do not get built over night. They are like children take time, money and nurturing. If you give your brand what it needs, it will pay you back in success.

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