Avoid These Top 3 Branding Mistakes

The word branding may call to mind decades-old, even centuries-old brands such as Levi’s, Wells Fargo and Starbucks. A lot of thought and planning goes into developing a brand. Don’t let that discourage you from creating your brand. If your company can avoid making these top 3 branding mistakes, then you’ll be in business.

 

1) Not Understanding the Power of Branding

Sure you know that you need a logo and that logo needs to be on every website, social media account and piece of collateral associated with your business. But that’s not enough. Branding, at its core, is about a single message that is memorable and motivational to your target market. The result, coupled with marketing, is a brand that inspires credibility and encourages members of the target market to follow and invest in your offering.

Don’t let this concept intimidate you. Consider it a creative brainstorming process in which you develop your company’s core message that encapsulates your offering and why it is the g0-to product or service. This message will serve as the brand’s foundation. All branding and marketing content should emanate from that message. Start with that and move onto your slogan, elevator pitch, logo, collateral, etc.

2) Over-promising in Your Brand Promise

Good Branding - Don't make these top 3 branding mistakesWho hasn’t heard the age-old phrase of “under-promise and over-deliver”? The same applies to your branding. Try to focus on the one thing that your business does best and base your brand promise on delivering that “thing” but do it better than your customers expect. Promise what you can deliver, and only that, but then crank it up to the max in some way – make that deliverable top quality with something extra. If you can provide exceptional customer service on top of a good product/service, then make sure it’s done right with follow up calls or emails from a dedicated representative. If your company can produce the fastest then provide email updates with status to surprise your customers.

By over-delivering, you are providing unexpected value to your customers who in turn will spread their positive experience with others – the holy grail, word-of-mouth marketing! So be honest and specific about your brand promise then be ready to wow your customers.

3) Branding That is Too Scattered or Inconsistent

Your branding needs to be focused. If you’re trying to be all things to all people then you are just setting yourself, and your team, up for failure. Branding is all about focus. Determine the most compelling part of your offering and stick with that.

In addition, it can be difficult to ensure that the brand’s message comes across as intended in every circumstance when you have multiple employees involved in marketing or advertising. Consider creating a brand style guide for your team to refer to in order to keep branded messages, communications, materials, etc. consistent. The branding style guide should include a variety of instructions, such as the basics of how your logo should be used, brand colors, etc. You can also include copy-writing guidelines, which would outline the style of messaging in different circumstances. Include examples of proper use and misuse for each item in your style guide. To learn more about creating a brand style guide visit this helpful page at Web Designer Depot.

 

-Sarah Le
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

5 Misconceptions About Twitter

Twitter is considered to be at the top of the social media food chain. There are many misconceptions about the social media giant partly due to its prominence and also due to the obscurity underlying social’s efficacy. Below is a list of the top 5 misconceptions about Twitter.

1. Twitter is an inauthentic space for self-promoters

Users can build strong followings by connecting with their audience through legitimate, meaningful conversation around a particular topic. Despite the popularity of this strategy amongst social media influencers, much of the public views Twitter as a site rife with self-promotion. This conception has some validity as there are plenty of Twitter account holders who do post messages and content that only endorse themselves. However, there may be many more users who use the social network to post their mundane day-to-day experiences. Twitter should not be employed as a channel to vent your thoughts, either. There are many types of Twitter users out there. Sometimes different institutions try to to generalize the Twitter-verse into key types, like in this Forbes article, but you’ll find many variances amongst the concocted sets of personas.

2. My tweets should be saturated with hashtags

You know, hashtags, those hyperlink-connected words or phrases with a number sign in front of them found in many a tweet? They should not comprise every single word in a tweet. Tweets full of hashtags will annoy your audience and are likely to get disregarded. Hashtags should be used thoughtfully and minimally in tweets. A good rule of thumb is to include a maximum of 2 hashtags per tweet. It is also a good idea to research what hashtags are in use for your subject matter/industry.

3. I can reach celebrities and get responses

The perceived connectivity through Twitter and other social media is an illusion. Although everyone on twitter can reach out to others, including high profile users and celebrities, it doesn’t mean they will ever see your message or respond. Public figures and stars, even those famous for their social media usage, do not have time to reply to every mention and DM (Direct Message) sent their way. They may receive several hundred contact attempts daily. In many cases, particularly with celebrities, these famed individuals have PR agencies in charge of their social accounts. This isn’t to say that you can’t try to build a connection with high profile Twitter users, but much time, care, patience and a strong dose of sheer luck would be involved.

Twitter Logo - 5 Misconceptions About Twitter4. Everyone sees all my tweets and I see everyone else’s tweets

As of August 2014, Twitter reported 271 million monthly active users, with 500 million tweets sent per day. The average user’s tweets will likely get lost in all the noise. It’s good to have a realistic expectation for the response, or lack-there-of your tweets will receive. As a basic principle of marketing, increasing your brand’s visibility requires a strategy and time to implement it. With effort, persistence, authenticity and time you can get more eyeballs on your tweets.

5. It’s all the same

This is one of the most unfortunate misconceptions about Twitter and social media in general. Each social network is unique and requires its own strategy. Each social media platform provides different benefits depending on a brand’s industry. There are some similar functions to be found amongst the various social media sites, but the usage is distinct.

 

Twitter has grown to become one of the most prominent social media networking sites out there. The website’s growth in popularity has minimized the number of false impressions surrounding the social media giant, but still many misconceptions about Twitter persist.

One last tip: focus more on starting great conversations and tweeting quality content than just gaining followers. Your follower count will go up as a result, possibly more slowly at first, but the quality of your followers will be much higher than if you were to just connect with the #followback-ers… #JustSaying.

 

-Sarah Le
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn