You’ve created the perfect brand, designed the most beautiful logo, thought of a clever name and now the world just needs to know about it. And once they do, everyone will love your brand the way you do, right? Unfortunately, it is rarely that simple and often brands end up with a, sometimes quite large, disconnect between who they see themselves to be and who their customer sees them to be. Why does this happen and how can we fix it? Keep reading as we cover three common brand mistakes, and how to correct them.
Lack of Consistency
At FIG we’ve beat the consistency horse before and we’ll continue to do it! Lack of consistency in branding is one of the most frequent and most damaging mistakes we see. What happens is companies create a logo, they create a website to match and then begins the dreaded one-offs. A one-off flyer, a one-off social media post snowballs into no consistency or clear strategy behind any marketing or branding. And before you know it the brand is all over the place. If you think of building your brand like building a house, you might think “well it doesn’t matter if I miss one screw here… Or one bolt there.” But if you have too many of those, in isolation insignificant bolts missing, eventually your house crumbles. Which is what ends up happening to your brand. A lack of consistency makes it incredibly difficult for your customer to understand who you are, sure it’s clear to you - but they don't know you like you know you, so you need to make sure that every piece you’re putting out is sending a cohesive and deliberate message.
Solution: Be consistent. With everything! Set up guidelines and rules. Decide on a tone of voice, a messaging strategy, visual guidelines, colors, hashtags, typography… Frame it, put it on your wall and stick to it! Whether it’s your website, a flyer or an email signature. It might seem like that one little details doesn’t make a difference, but believe us when we say that those small repeated seemingly insignificant details quickly turn into large dents that begin to crumble your brand.
Lack of Internal and External Alignment.
This is another common mistake we see. Brands that do not align the internal with the external. The external is what we tell our customers, the image we try to put out, the internal is, you guessed it, our internal operations. It’s how we operate our restaurant or online makeup brand, our customer service team behind our organic pet food and so forth. Your brand is so much bigger than your logo or your website, it is EVERY-THING about your business. For example, do you want your brand to be approachable, but your front-line employees seem agitated and disinterested. You can send out as many messages you like about how approachable you are, your customer’s experience of you will be completely different. Or do you want to be exclusive and customer-centric but your return policy is stingy? All of these aspects of your operations play a role in your brand perception, and what's worse than being seen as stingy or disinterested is to be seen as disingenuous or dishonest. Which is exactly what you will be seen as if you tell customers one thing but then operate completely differently.
Solution: Understand that your brand is multi-faceted. Understand that every little thing you do sends a message and you want to make sure that message is consistent by ensuring all areas of your operations are aligned. Again, set up guidelines, rules, codes for how you operate and stick to them. Be deliberate! Think about how your brand is communicated through your return policy, your automated thank you emails, your payment plans, your front desk staff and so forth.
Overvaluing Your Brand Equity
We know, we know. Your brand is your baby! And you have the most beautiful baby in the world, right? This one is often difficult for clients to wrap their minds around but the truth is, your customers just don’t care as much as you do. And companies often want to approach their customers as if they do. So the messaging is about what the company cares about, what they want to share, what they think is important… And not what the customers care about. Do NOT fall into this trap!
Solution: Become customer-centric. Be unbiased, examine your brand from an outsider’s perspective and receive constructive feedback well. Approach everything you do with the mindset that your customers do not care, so how do you get their attention? It’s really a win-win situation. If they already do care, great! You’ve got them. If they don’t, it helps you to think outside the box, be creative in how you approach them and it will constantly push you to improve your customer experience.
Need help figuring out what pitfall your falling victim to? Call us for a complimentary consultation!