Branding is one of the most important aspects of a business, but is oftentimes overlooked. A lot of entrepreneurs underestimate branding, not realizing that it is and should be the foundation of everything that they do.
Given my years of experience in the industry, I have compiled some branding pitfalls that entrepreneurs commonly commit, and some insights on how to avoid them.
Words by Lester Cruz
Graphics by Therese Luna
1. The logo as the brand
A lot of people think that branding stops at having a good logo, but a brand is so much more than that. While your logo conveys your image as a company, it is only a small piece of the puzzle. You also have to consider how your brand speaks, what your key message and your unique promise are to your audience. More importantly, branding is consistently communicating all those aforementioned in everything you do—from something as small as a business card to something as big as a marketing campaign.
2. Being ‘cheap’ as a competitive advantage
Everyone loves a good bargain, but being cheap is not good leverage for your brand. By letting the audience focus on your price, you are allowing yourself to be dictated and limited to this number alone. People buy certain things because of what the brand promises to achieve, and what the brand makes them feel. If their mere association with you is ‘cheap,’ then their loyalty lies in ‘cheap’ alone. A business that is bigger than yours can easily sweep in the picture, offering lower fees, and next thing you know, your business is theirs for the taking.
3. Neither understanding nor considering your audience
Think about who your customer is, and why your brand matters to them. Understand that you can’t please everyone. You have to target your efforts to a specific group of people because the more you define who they are, the more that your brand is able to reach them. Ask yourself questions like: Who are you talking to? What do they like? What makes them tick? What do they need? In a sea of options, your brand will stand out if your messaging is targeted to the right people. A brand becomes successful when it is able to completely empathize with their audience.
4. Relying solely on branding
Branding can only go so far. Your product and service must be good in order to achieve business success. Your identity can drive interest and get the sale, but if you don’t deliver on your promise, chances are the customer will not buy from you again. Don’t assure quality to your audience if your product breaks down easily. Don’t commit to the promise of ease if your product is hard to use and understand. At the end of the day, your product needs to be all standards of good in order for branding to take its course.