brand mistakes to avoid

Your brand acts as the threshold that welcomes a new customer into their experience with your business. Over time, the connection that your customer has to your brand deepens, and brand loyalty is established. At least, that’s the goal.

The ability to develop brand loyalty in a customer is dependent upon your ability to deliver consistently over time. Customers are long-term thinkers. Loyalty exists as a result of a reliable, trustworthy experience. If that trust is compromised at any step along the way, brand loyalty quickly dissipates. There are just too many brands out there, providing the same products or services, to risk compromising that trust with your customer.

Don’t allow for any chinks in your brand armor. Be thoughtful and thorough, keep your eye on the details, and pay attention to these five common mistakes companies make:

1 — Inconsistency

The goal is to stand out and be memorable. If customers can’t remember your brand, you haven’t got a chance against competitors. One easy way to lose them is inconsistency. Strong brand guidelines should outline a clear brand voice with complementary and cohesive visual guidelines (rules for colors, fonts, imagery, spacing, etc.), specific grammar and capitalization rules, and other elements to help guarantee a consistent representation of your brand over any channel and in any medium. You want each new experience that a customer has with your brand, no matter where it happens, to feel new, yet familiar.

2 — Ignoring Housekeeping

There are many points along a customer’s journey with your brand where small housekeeping items create those make or break moments. That handout that people rarely ask for so you never took the time to update it. Or the new webpage that you developed for your new cutting edge product that uses cool, albeit off-brand, cutting edge messaging. Or worse, that webpage that uses that old infographic that everyone hates internally, but you left there because technically, it’s accurate. If a customer experiences these little missteps, why should they trust that your lack of attention to detail for your own branding won’t extend into a lack of attention to detail for their needs? Complete regular brand audits and stay on top of change.

3 — Skipping the Basics

Good spelling and grammar, relevant images, mobile responsiveness, the user’s experience — it’s the basics. And the basics matter. If you want a customer to take you seriously, don’t misspell anything. Take the time to review your work. And once you take the time to spell correctly, and write well, make sure you’re delivering that content in a good, tested vehicle. Take the time to experience your brand from the customer’s shoes so you know what each touch point feels like from their perspective. Customers will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Digital content moves at light speed, so it’s easy to make mistakes or be a bit sloppy. But don’t let speed get in the way of basic good practices.

4 — Not Playing as a Team

Successful brand management starts inside the company walls. Every member of your team should consider themselves an ambassador for the company brand. Even if they aren’t on the marketing team delivering tweets, they or the projects they work on will interact with the public in some way eventually. Get everyone on the same page. Train your team on what it means to maintain a branded presence, and what their role in that looks like going forward. Then, provide them with the assets they need to fulfill their role in a location that’s globally accessible and well organized, and communicate in a clear manner whenever any updates are made or when important guidelines change.

5 — Neglecting the Core

Like the human body, a strong core brings balance and stability. The most successful brands have a very clear, simple, strong core purpose that is well defined and understood bringing balance and long-term stability to their brand presence over time. Establishing a strong core requires understanding why you do what you do and who you do it for, with your core products, services, and offerings aligned to those founding principles. The key here is to revisit that core purpose over time and nurture its growth.