A brand can bring recognition and loyalty to a company if it is designed correctly
Branding is the process of creating a sustainable image of a company in the eyes of consumers. It includes building communication with the target audience, developing positioning and identity – the visual embodiment of the brand.
A recognizable company brand increases trust in the company, which subsequently has a positive effect on sales.
A brand that meets customer expectations can be represented as a pyramid. It is based on brand attributes: name, logo, slogan, colors and fonts.
The floor above is the rational and emotional benefits, values and brand positioning: here the emphasis is on differentiating the company from its competitors. And finally, the top of the pyramid is the essence of the brand, its main idea.
Branding is a difficult journey and it is possible to fail. To prevent this from happening, try to avoid the following mistakes.
Mistake 1: Not taking research seriously
Branding requires careful research: a brand built without it risks being indistinguishable from competitors and simply irrelevant.
Target audience research allows you to accurately identify your potential customers. By skipping this stage, you may not get into the right people and start selling umbrellas to the fish.
How to solve:
Invest resources in audience analysis: many entrepreneurs, especially new ones, are reluctant to do this. However, if you compare the cost of research and the risk of incurring losses from the fact that the product does not pay off, it becomes clear that the analysis would still be cheaper.
At the stage of analyzing the target audience, it is important to take into account not only standard parameters: gender, age, income of a person. You need to go deeper and study the lifestyle of potential clients, their area of employment, what social networks they use.
Based on these characteristics, an avatar, or portrait of the target audience, is created.
Mistake 2: Not taking cultural considerations into account
When a business enters the market of a new country, you need to consider how people of a different culture will perceive it.
Sometimes companies don’t do this and end up with a bad product name or design: a good-sounding brand name in one language can take on unwanted connotations in another.
For example, sales of the Mitsubishi Pajero failed in Spanish-speaking countries. Manufacturers hoped that consumers would associate the name of the car with the Argentine Pampas cat Leopardus Pajeros.
They didn’t take into account that in Spanish slang “pajero” is an obscene word. As a result, the manufacturers decided to rename the car Montero, and sales went up.
You also need to be careful with company colors, because in two different cultures the same color can mean the exact opposite. For example, in Japan, purple is a festive color, while in Latin American countries it is considered a mourning color.
How to solve:
Check how the brand name sounds in the language of the country where your business is entering the market, and what connotations it may acquire. Also pay attention to the colors – they should be relevant to your product in the specific foreign market.
Mistake 3. Constantly changing your corporate identity
Design trends often change, and some companies want to comply with them so much that they change colors, logos, or fonts every year.
This does not bring any benefit, because at least several years must pass for the buyer to form an image of the company and begin to differentiate it in the market from its competitors.
How to solve:
Change the design or rebrand when there is a strong motivation to do so: if you have adjusted the global brand strategy, refocused on a new consumer, or want to demonstrate a shift in emphasis in the company’s values.
Also, changes in design may be necessary when entering a new price segment. For example, the Finnish cosmetics company Lumene changed the color of its packaging when it was decided to bring it into a more expensive price segment.
Mistake 4. Focus on your taste
When receiving a design option for a company in the studio, entrepreneurs often operate in terms of “like/dislike.” However, it would be safer to rely on the designer in this matter, since he builds the visual based on carefully conducted research.
How to solve:
Trust the professional opinion of the designer: he specializes in the visual design of the brand and, based on his experience, offers informed solutions.
When choosing a design studio, you should pay attention to customer reviews and portfolios: if designers have already worked with companies in your field, there is a greater chance that they will offer a better solution.
Mistake 5. Design for the sake of beauty
Each design element is designed to solve a specific problem. A common trap other than “like/dislike” can sound like “beautiful/ugly.” After all, making something “beautiful” and “functionally” are sometimes different things.
How to solve:
Remember that design is meant to serve its purpose. For example, the text must be easy to read. Therefore, you should be careful when choosing backgrounds or, say, intricate fonts – they are suitable for headings and accents, but not for long sheets of text.
In addition, design elements should look harmonious together and work towards a single concept. The logo will not cope with its task if there is only one: support it with corporate colors, perhaps add illustrations.
If you want to add a character, think about what function it will perform – it will not be useful on its own.
Guide: how to build a brand as an entrepreneur
- Conduct research on your target audience and create a portrait of your client. You need to be clear about what your potential customers are doing to ensure your branding reflects the relevance of your product.
- Define your brand’s mission and values. Formulate the company’s goal, what is important to it – this will allow it to be remembered by consumers.
- Analyze your competitors’ positioning. This way you will understand how to offer customers something unique and stand out from your competitors.
- Develop a logo and corporate identity that visually communicates your values.
- Introduce branding results into all customer communication channels.
Branding is a complex and long process where no one is immune from mistakes. What is important is to recognize them in time and correct them. And then, having built a confident brand, the company will be able to reach a new level of interaction with its customers.
Thanks to a clear positioning consumers will be able to distinguish a company on the market from its competitors. And a proven corporate style will help convey values through which people can associate themselves with the company and, together with its product, buy a certain status.