There are definitely more than four branding mistakes you can make when branding your business, but today, we’re going over some of the most common ones we see in the wild. The good news— these mistakes can easily be avoided by following some simple rules we’ll share with you!
There are so many business owners that have DIY’d their business up until this point. We get it, sometimes it’s necessary! You might not have the funds to hire a brand designer in the early days and eliminating costs is key to getting started. However, even Courtney will tell you that it can be difficult to design your own brand because you’re so ingrained in the day-to-day. It can be easy to waste time struggling in the perfectionism of it all.
Wherever you are in your branding journey, whether it’s day one of your new business or you are looking to invest in a rebrand; here are some of the most common branding mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
1. Low Quality or Pixelated Images
Poor image quality is a quick and sure sign that your brand isn’t one of your top priorities. Which for your audience is a red flag. It takes only seconds for someone to decide if they like your brand or not. In fact, according to Forbes, visitors may form an impression of your brand’s website in as little as 50 milliseconds. Here are two things you can do to avoid this branding mistake:
- Avoid having low-quality images by investing in a brand photographer — seriously, you need to invest in some quality photos.
- To help keep your page speed extra fast on your website, upload web-sized images to programs like TinyPNG, CompressJPEG, or CompressPNG to minimize size and not quality.
Read more here about how to better optimize your website for page speed.
2. A Complex Logo
A logo needs to be able to scale nicely and fit in small spaces without losing its integrity. This is where brand submarks are a great addition to your brand. Simplicity is sometimes better when it comes to logos. Avoid things like drop shadows or embossment. These effects rarely add to your branding and usually only cause complexity and legibility issues.
Another branding mistake we often see is using too many fonts and colors. A good rule of thumb for fonts is to keep it to 2 or 3 fonts max. When you consistently use the same fonts across your website, social feeds, email lead resources, email newsletter, etc. you are creating consistency and strength in your brand. Same with colors. You should ideally be consistenly using 5-10 brand colors, with a core 4-5 being more primary colors. While the others may be secondary for those platforms you can be more playful, like Instagram.
Remember that your logo, and brand elements overall, don’t need to do all of the work. This is why a brand is so much more than just a logo. Leverage your other brand elements (patterns, colors, fonts and icons) can complement your logo and expand your brand’s presence.
3. Unidentified Mission and Vision
The visual part of a brand is the fun part, right? But if you are struggling to identify your mission and vision, your brand will always fall flat, no matter how pretty it is. When we first meet with clients who are struggling with things like social media, web design, email strategy— any sort of marketing— the problem often lies in an unidentified brand strategy. A big part of that brand strategy is your mission and vision statements. These two statements are often confused or seen as the same thing. It’s very important to understand the difference and identify your own.
What is a brand mission statement?
A mission statement defines what the purpose of your business is today for both your employees and your customers. It is your company’s purpose.
What is a brand vision statement?
Your brand’s vision statement depicts the future you aspire to. It is what pushes the company forward. It should feel just a little out of reach.
Understanding the difference between these statements is what pushes you forward. Anytime you are looking to pivot in your business, add a new product, service or offering or hiring a new employee— you can ladder that decision back to these statements. Is this aligned with my mission and vision? If yes, keep moving forward. If not, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate.
4. Unclear Services or Products
If you’re unclear about what it is you sell or offer, chances are your audience is even more confused. You absolutely must take some time to identify the services and products your business offers. What are the functional and emotional benefits of these offerings? Read through your testimonials and if you don’t have any, get some! Are your offerings aligned with your mission and vision? Are you embodying that mission and vision statement in everything you do? Truly spend some time thinking through your offerings because this is going to help you sell them a billion times better.
These are super easy branding mistakes to make, so don’t beat yourself up if you’ve made one or two yourself! Go through your brand and change it based on the tips we recommended in this episode. If you’re ready to elevate your brand, hire a brand designer (psst…. us, wink wink)! Trust us – it will be worth the investment!
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Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen are Minnesota-based marketing experts, educators, and co-founders of boutique marketing agency Duo Collective, which specializes in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about Duo Collective, or to inquire about working with our team, head over to www.duocollective.com.
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