Creative Director and agency owner with over 20 years experience in branding, digital design and marketing.
We promised advice in our new blog, and today we’re delivering! Obviously, our brand design is one of the main reasons clients seek out our services – we pride ourselves on creating complete branding that reflects their talent and their style.
Using “DIY” branding, or continuing to rely on a brand that was created years ago when you first launched your business, is problematic for a number of reasons. For one thing, it probably isn’t doing justice to all that you’ve accomplished! It’s also a safe bet that an outdated or self-made brand is going to look pretty stale, pretty quickly, in a marketplace full of stylish trendy businesses. Finally, it’s very likely that a DIY brand won’t be complete – it isn’t a complete brand identity, which goes miles beyond a logo and color scheme!
Here are five mistakes you’re probably making with your brand, and why they’re hurting your business.
Consistency is king when it comes to creating and maintaining a strong brand. Does your brand look consistent across all platforms: your website, social media, online and print advertisements, and marketing collaterals? Can clients and colleagues look at your imagery, your fonts, your colors and your overall message, and know immediately that they’re looking at you?
Every business has – or should have – a voice (after all, you as the business owner certainly have one!). A strong brand uses the same voice throughout every business communication. In a crowded market, people get confused easily. If your tone differs among your website, Facebook, Instagram, and phone conversations, prospective clients will be much less likely to trust your brand – and you, as the person behind it.
Consider this: are you giving your clients an outstanding experience? I’m not just talking about working with them day to day. I’m talking about what you do to really surprise your clients. What you do above and beyond what’s expected. Crafting a unique brand experience, from stationery, to surprise gifts, to unexpected emails. A good brand experience includes ways to create something special at every point a potential or new client “touches” your brand.
Have you established who your ideal client is? Not knowing who they are can be detrimental to any business. A great brand is created after a business owner takes the time to dig deep and figure out who their ideal clients are: where they work, what they do in their spare time, how they spend their money, where they shop, what they value in work and in life. Once you know who they are, only then can you do everything possible to attract them.
I love the quote, “Appealing to everyone means you’re appealing to no one” (I just wish I knew the originator!). This can’t be more true in the saturated online market. I guarantee there’s a particular kind of individual or business that’s your absolute favorite kind to serve. Figure out who you love to work with, and what services they need – that’s identifying your niche. Then, own that niche! Don’t be afraid to commit. Create a business that focuses on the specific clientele you want, and offer the specific services that clientele needs, and then craft your brand to appeal to that niche. That’s a recipe for branding success, not to mention more rewarding work for you.