As a small business owner, you probably know that you don’t have the same type of funding to invest into branding compared to big companies like Coca-Cola, Apple and McDonald’s. However, the good news is that creating a strong and memorable brand that your target audience will resonate with and want to learn more about does not have to cost the earth. Coming up with a successful brand image for your small business can be easier – and cheaper – than you might have imagined. But to get there, it’s important to be aware of some of the most common branding mistakes that small business owners make, and how to avoid them.
Underestimating the Power of Branding
Most business owners will understand what a brand is and why it’s important for the business to have one, but fail to understand the importance and power of branding when it comes to raising awareness of products and services and building lasting relationships with loyal customers. Think of a brand that you immediately imagine when you think of a certain industry, such as Wal-Mart for supermarkets or Coca-Cola for soda. Clear, definitive and purposeful branding is key to creating a brand that builds this type of recognition.
Not Establishing Brand Guidelines
What exactly should developing a brand for your small business consist of? Perhaps you have a logo and brand colors in mind, and even the fonts that you are going to use, but without brand guidelines that are clearly established, keeping things consistent is going to be difficult. Throughout the process of creating your brand identity, it’s important to draw up clear, defined brand guidelines that cover how your brand appears to others, including the logo or logos that you use, which colors and used and where certain colors are used, the fonts and typography that you use, imagery and photos, brand mascots, brand voice and more.
‘Less is more’ is often very true when it comes to branding. In fact, think of some of the most popular and recognizable brands that you know – they tend to be very simple in the way that their visual brand is created. Everybody recognizes the golden arches of McDonald’s, and that logo is perhaps one of the simplest – yet the easiest to recognize – in the world. Sometimes, the simplest of branding ideas can be the most effective, so don’t overthink and overcomplicate things. Sites like main-rose.com can help you come up with an effective visual brand.
Finally, with or without defined brand guidelines, inconsistency is one of the biggest mistakes that business owners can make when it comes to their branding. If your brand is appearing differently online to how it appears offline, or you’re using different colors in print media compared to online ads, this can quickly lead to confusion and weaken your brand image. Make sure that your brand is consistent across all channels and platforms.
No matter what kind of brand you’re building, avoiding these mistakes is key to achieving success.