Branding can feel overwhelming.
You started your business because you were passionate, and now someone is telling you that in order to grow you should know all this stuff about positioning strategy, brand personas and god knows what else. Let’s be honest, you’re a business owner – you don’t have time for that!
So instead of telling you what to do, I’m going to (very lovingly) tell you what NOT to do, aka. don’t make these branding mistakes.
You might see your competitor killing it and think “They are doing so well! I need to do what they are doing, I need to follow their strategy.” BIG MISTAKE. The best way to build a sustainable and stand-out brand is to define YOUR strategy to appeal to YOUR dream clients and embody it.
You can’t stand out if you’re trying to blend in!
By now I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “if you’re talking to everyone you’re talking to no one”. And it’s completely true. In fact, it’s one of the most common branding mistakes made by new businesses. You want your dream clients to connect to how your brand looks, says, does and is. If not, they simply aren’t going to feel connected, seen or understood. And they will walk away. People aren’t looking for a reason to care about your brand, so you need to give YOUR people and reason to care.
Thumb-stopping brands connect with their audience. And it’s not because of their logo. It’s because of the colours, logos, marks, illustrations, photography, messaging, tone of voice, and how they all work together to make people FEEL something.
So, ready for a pinch of tough love, creating 1 version of your logo and calling it branding isn’t going to cut it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – everything is about your audience.
You want to get to know them, INTIMATELY. Know them like you know your best friend. And part of knowing them is about knowing how they found you, how many different places they interact with you, and the journey they take to go from stranger to customer to absolute raving fan.
Knowing this not only allows you to create better, more targeted messaging (aka. marketing that converts) but it will help you to streamline your business and create a truly outstanding brand experience.
If you’ve invested in branding then you will likely have been provided with brand guidelines that outline the fonts, colours, and uses for your branding. But also, and maybe most importantly, they outline what NOT to do. Use this as your bible. If you worked with a great brand designer then there is a strategic reason all of your branding elements were picked and to go against what has been suggested and created is going to be shooting your brand in the foot.
If you feel yourself wanting to stray away from your brand guidelines then ask yourself this: Why do I want to do this?
If it’s because you see a new font you like and want to use it in your brand, for no specific or strategic reason. Stop. That is not a good enough reason to stray.
If it’s because you fundamentally don’t like your branding and you want to implement something you actually like. . . You should invest in new branding. At the end of the day, this is YOUR brand, and you can do whatever you want. But if you invest in branding it should be a strategic mix of what your audience will like and be attracted to and what you like. So if you don’t like it, over time you will lose love for your brand – I don’t want that for you.
So change it up (strategically) and fall back in love with your brand. But once you’ve changed it – stick to it.
Ok, this isn’t entirely true. If you’ve just started your business then you go for it girl. You grow your business as much as you can in those beginning stages. See what works and what doesn’t and just push your growth.
BUT once you’ve been in business for a while and you have a clear understanding of what you are doing, and who you’re doing it for, then you should think about investing in strategy to fuel your further growth. Strategy can be the difference between hustling hard for growth and magnetising wild success.
And for you – I want the latter.
I hope you found these tips helpful and if you are making any of these branding mistakes – don’t sweat it! We all make mistakes, it’s how we learn from them that matters!
If this has put fuel on your fire and you’d like to invest in branding then head over to the enquiry form and we can start chatting about how to grow your brand.
Have a great day,
Founder, Cecile Creative Studio
Strategist, toddler mum, and founder of Cecile Creative, where we craft brands that captivate hearts and minds. So whether your starting your journey or levelling up to your dream brand we are here to help you expand whats possible.
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