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Top Ten Branding Mistakes to Avoid

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The staff at Opus Creative have been involved in creating successful brands for nearly a decade. In this article, Creative Director Ray Hurley lists the top ten branding mistakes to avoid.

10. Ignoring social media

Like it or not, social media plays a huge part in the success or failure of every brand. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are excellent conduits to sell your brand to the public. This form of advertising is relatively inexpensive and is instant. It allows you to speak directly to your audience, gauge reactions to brand strategies and get instant feedback on your brands services or products. Used correctly and as a part of an on-going strategy this tool is invaluable to every brand.

9. Refusing to adapt and change 

Refusing to change a failing brand or make informed improvements on it is sure fire way to remain stagnant as a business. Being precious towards a previously successful marketing strategy and not embracing contemporary methods is not wise. In order to remain relevant to your audience a certain measure of brand evolution is essential.

8. Not having a proper design brief 

Expecting a design agency to create a new brand or breath life into an existing brand based with little or no information is the equivalent asking a waiter for a non-specific plate of food and then not liking what’s served to you. Every agency needs to be informed of what a client requires and expects. A good designer will be able to tease this information out of a client, but the client has to be receptive. Statements like, “I’ll know when I see it” are not going to get you the results you expect. An idea of what is required for the brand is essential to creating a brief, that a designer can help build on through specific advice and creative feedback.

7. Absence of brand consistency 

This is one of the most committed cardinal sins that most companies commit. Every brand should adhere to the brand guidelines provided by the design agency. These guidelines should be policed to ensure they are carefully adhered to, making sure your brand remains consistent. Lack of consistency in a brand create confusion with an audience. Messages through content and imagery need to be streamlined in order for a brand to maintain brand clarity.

6. Not learning from your competitors

 When creating a new brand or refreshing an existing one, all your brands competitors need to be carefully studied. Learning what works for them and most importantly doesn’t work gives you a distinct advantage over your competitors. It gives you a base of what is expected of your brand through communication channels, language used in copy and how they market themselves. This data allows your brand to capitalise on weaknesses in your competitors strategy.

5. Not knowing your strengths

Most businesses try to appeal to everyone and unfortunately this isn’t always possible due to budget constraints or audience relevancy. In order to create a successful brand, a company must recognise their strengths and play on them.

4. Not listening to your audience

Your audience is a wealth of information regarding how your brand is seen. Don’t be afraid to compile this data and use it to portray your brand to the public, from the perspective you want them to view it.

3. Not listening to input within your organisation

Your staff are your brand ambassadors. It is always wise to involve the people who know your brand best. Brand workshops are ideal for compiling valuable information regarding your brands perception. This is also an inclusive process and helps cement your staffs vested interest in the brand.

2. Thinking a brand is just a logo

Your brand is essentially your audience’s perception of your company. Your logo is a huge part of this perception, but your brand includes all visible materials that associate your company with an intended perception. Your branding in print, online and in other mediums inform the public of who you are and what values you project. The company logo sets the tone for your brand, but by no means is a brand just a logo.

1. Again – not listening to your audience

Without an audience you are business without clients. Their input is invaluable in terms of portraying the right public perception. Studying what works well with your audience and implanting a data based branding strategy is an excellent platform for successful campaigns.

For any more information on the top ten branding mistakes to avoid or any other information on our services feel free to call Opus Creative on +353 (21) 242 8689 or email us on hello@opuscreative.ie

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