Branding Dont’s Your Small Business Doesn’t Need — Ever (Part 2)

Remember that time when Colgate released a food line? Yes. Colgate. The world-renowned toothpaste brand.

If you don’t, then it’s either you weren’t old enough to remember it, or simply because it didn’t really catch on. The most probable reason why? People really didn’t think of them as along the lines of Oprah, Martha Stewart or Applebee’s.

Branding has a lot to do with how people see your company and your product or service.

We talked about how it can help establish your company in people’s minds and hearts, more particularly, the branding don’ts you must avoid in order to do so in our previous post.

In the same spirit, here are more branding no-nos that we hope you’ll never ever consider bringing to the table.

 

Inconsistency

 

What would you want people to think when they see or hear about your company?

Whatever the answer may be, it has got to be the same across all your marketing platforms. Because if different platforms show interpret your company differently, then you’re nowhere going to be near your goal of getting recognized as you are.

As discussed in the first part of this two-part post, you have to know your brand identity first. Then, make sure, by all means, that it is communicated carefully and truthfully from your website to your brochures.

You want to develop a sense of familiarity with customers. Inconsistency (especially with your products and services, more on this later) will bring your customers confusion and even distrust.

This is another reason why having apart from having a brand manifesto, a brand guidebook is crucial.

 

Unintended association

If ever you’re considering taking someone famous to promote your brand, consider these other things first:

 

  • Is there a sensible connection between that celebrity or influencer and your brand?
  • Will customers identify with your influencer as an endorser?
  • What if that influencer or celebrity gets involved in bad press?

 

If you don’t remember Hannah Montana’s face being on a pack of grapes, it’s because consumers really didn’t see any connection between the famous alter-ego of Miley Cyrus and the beloved fruit.

While celebrity or influencer endorsement is proven to be effective, (otherwise, there would be a lot less ads), recent studies have actually shown that testimonials or promotions from staff members and real customers have more sales power.

This proves useful, especially when you don’t have enough budget yet. Just be sure that if your staff will be promoting, they will get a percentage out of every sale that will come from their promo.

 

Not digging deep enough

 

As promised earlier, consistency mustn’t only be in your company’s marketing materials. It must be at the very core of your product and service.

Because there’s nothing like word-of-mouth and raving reviews online about real-life experiences with whatever it is that you offer.

In the end, branding is really not about the logo. But the emotion and perception attached to that logo, that font, that color whenever they see your company’s insignia or ad.

And that digs into a far deeper end on the customers’ psyche, which includes your:

  • Product or service’s quality
  • Customers’ store experience (whether online or not)
  • Customer service handling and response rate

 

In short, it boils down to the main reasons why they keep coming back, why they’re your customers. And on the flip side, why they’re not.

Mistakes along the way are lessons to learn from. But don’t try these branding blunders for your company’s sake. Because really, we’d hate to say we told you so.

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