Most Common Branding Mistakes Small Businesses Make

One of the most important things small businesses need to do right is branding. In most cases, branding will determine whether a small business will succeed or fail within the first year. Therefore, we are often surprised to see the common branding mistakes small businesses make. To combat this, let’s cover these mistakes and see what you can do to avoid them.

Common branding mistakes small businesses make

Most of the mistakes we will outline boil down to two issues. The business owners either didn’t research branding enough to tackle it properly. Or they fail to appreciate how important it is. If you make sure to cover these two, you can rest easy that you avoid a vast majority of branding mistakes.

Failing to understand what branding is

Branding is not marketing. Yes, the two are closely connected. But there is an important distinction. Marketing is pushing different content in order to draw in people and hopefully turn them into customers. Branding is establishing your company as a distinct entity and building your online reputation. One of the most common branding mistakes small businesses make is to think that their marketing will cover branding. Or vice versa. It will not. In fact, it is best that you tackle marketing only after you’ve covered branding. This means outlining your logo, your core idea, and the tone you will use in your content. Ideally, your branding will be woven into every aspect of marketing that you put out.

Trying too hard to stand out

Once you start running a small business, you might feel tremendous pressure to stand out. After all, with all the competing companies in your relative vicinity, you might feel that yours won’t get any attention. While you must find ways to stand out, it is essential to understand that you can go too far. The easiest way to see this is when businesses opt for overly creative or unclear logos. Understand that there are tried and true rules to branding. And if you try to be creative and forgo them, you put yourself at significant risk. While you can always rebrand, it is essential to note that branding requires resources. And, as a small business, you need to avoid wasting them as much as possible.

Playing it too safe

Conversely, we have businesses trying to play it too safe. They stick with the basic premise and don’t try to do anything novel or exciting with their brand. Unfortunately, in the modern day and age, this is hardly enough to lift your business off the ground. While you shouldn’t go crazy with your branding, putting some thought and heart into it is essential. Even if you offer a top-notch product or provide an excellent service, it is vital to have a good brand behind it. Doing so is the only way to make your company memorable and have people recommend it and return to it.

Not doing enough research

One of the main reasons why people fail at branding is that they don’t do enough research. Not understanding branding, they approach it with a false sense of confidence, thinking they will be done with it in a day or two. To avoid this, you must first take a more in-depth look into branding. Only once you understand what branding entails will you know how to set it up and tackle it on an ongoing basis.

Lacking consistently

The last thing we mentioned is another one of the common branding mistakes small businesses make. Namely, to succeed with your branding, you need to keep at it for as long as your business is open. And during that time, you must stay consistent. Know that branding isn’t simply about where you will put your logo or whether you will mention your company’s catchphrase. The tone of your content, how you address people, and how you deal with product placement are all aspects where your branding will show. Therefore, only once you focus on your content for marketing and brand growth will you succeed in properly building your brand and establishing it as an industry staple.

Neglecting ongoing trends

How you will tackle branding is not something that is set in stone. Different technologies arise, and different content marketing trends push others aside. And if you don’t follow these trends, you will have a hard time tackling branding. As a small business, it is vital that you stay ahead of the curve and that you adapt to ongoing trends. Since you don’t have a significant brand presence, you do not have room to stall. Instead, try to understand what the branding trends in your industry are like, and don’t shy away from consulting with a branding expert about what they are likely to be.

Not setting up KPIs for analytics

Determining whether or not your branding is successful is not something you can do on the fly. Yes, if people know what your company is about, it is likely that you did something right with your branding. But, you will have a hard time improving it if you cannot outline, track and modify different aspects of it. To make this possible, it is important that you set up the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and get the proper software to track them. Through these KPIs, you will get an objective overview of what your branding is like and what areas of it you can improve upon.

Not having a target audience

The last of the common branding mistakes small businesses make is one that often flies under the radar of overly ambitious business owners. Namely, while you might want that everyone hears about your brand, know that this is usually not the right goal to have. As a small business, it is vital that you outline your target audience and orient your branding to them. Trying to reach everyone will simply make your branding generic. And if there is one way to fall into obscurity, it is to be generic. So, make sure that you understand whom you are trying to reach with your branding before you put any serious effort into it.