It can be easy to lose your way along the branding road. You may have started out strong and then slipped, or perhaps you just never got going the right way.

Regardless of how it started, it’s often hardest to see when and how you went off track. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for when it comes to your brand – problems you that you may not even know you have!

  1. No one knows who you are: This is often true of start-ups, however everyone has to start somewhere. There are steps to take to get you the awareness you need to grow and thrive. Sometimes this is the case for organizations who have been around for a while that have lost relevancy in the industry. It’s time to shake things up!
  2. You have no story: There has to be some substance to your brand. It is related to the values and ethics your brand upholds as well as where the brand has come from. You can’t just be a logo, website, and name. You have to create something for your audience to hold onto and believe in.
  3. Your outreach and message is inconsistent: Your outreach should be unified across channels and audiences. You can’t try to be all things to all people because then you lack a singular character and brand story. Recognition will be easier if you present a consistent brand.
  4. Negative customer experience: If your social feeds are full of negative comments and complaints – and they have gone unanswered, you’re doing it wrong. It’s not going to go away if you ignore it. You need to think about how you are making your customers feel before doing anything.
  5. Too much ego: So you think you’re the best and you don’t care what others think. It’s good to believe in yourself, but if you are so busy tooting your own horn that you don’t know what’s going on around you or in the industry, you will have a hard time coming out ahead.
  6. No internal support: You have to take care of your house before you show it to the world. If your employees don’t believe in your brand, how are they supposed to represent you? Keep an eye on morale, which means taking the time to get to know your team. Your employees are the best brand ambassadors you could ask for because they are invested in your brand if you invest in them.
  7. You’ve lost sight of what the customer wants and needs: Perhaps you have drifted from your overall goals so you have become out of touch with what the customer want from you as a brand. With no customers, you don’t exist.
  8. You don’t believe in marketing and branding: You have to keep telling people about your brand, even in the tough financial times. In fact, it’s most important in the tough times to be marketing yourself. Always set aside a budget for marketing.
  9. You’ve lost sight of your core capabilities: You are focused on what your customer wants, but it takes you away from your core capabilities. Before expanding your business offering, make sure that it fits with what you are trying to accomplish as a brand.
  10. You haven’t created any positioning or targeting strategy: It’s hard to reach everyone. Start by segmenting the larger audience into manageable mouthfuls to consume. You can gradually take more bites out of the market as your brand awareness grows
  11. There are no brand guidelines: Set them and stick to them. If you feel the need for a change, go through the proper channels to do it right with a professional
  12. You’re not doing anything different: You have to find your differentiator and use it to create a unique brand. How do you plan on sticking out in a sea of competitors if you all have the same colours, logo concept, messaging, etc.
  13. Your digital presence is falling flat: You may have your channels set up, but when was the last time you checked Facebook or posted to Twitter? And when you do post, does it drive engagement with your brand? It’s important to do it and to do it right.

If you are facing any of these branding challenges, you are definitely not alone! The key to coming out on top is how you decide to deal with it.

Originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications Blog.