Since product promotion has moved out of the advertising agency and into the computer, many small business owners are trying to learn the basics of marketing from scratch. The process of brand building may not be familiar to them, however, and busy people already working to master the day-to-day challenges of running a company may postpone the intimidating challenge of creating the company’s visual identity. Ignoring the importance of design can end up being a costly mistake. Here are three common branding mistakes that business owners make:
1. Overlooking the need for branding
You’ve probably focused on your product, your finances, your staff, your physical setup and a thousand other tasks involved in running a small business. You may not have stopped to think about conveying the unique personality of your brand or the way in which your web design tells the world who you are. The good news is that just by stopping to read this blog entry you probably aren’t going to keep making that mistake!
2. Thinking that branding begins and ends with your logo
Logos are definitely crucial, and the right one can go a long way toward fixing your product in people’s minds. A logo by itself, however, isn’t sufficient for building a brand. The logo works more like a pathway, guiding customers’ thoughts to their whole experience of interacting with your company and products. Branding is the atmosphere that surrounds people whenever they have contact with your business, and you have to create that atmosphere. Think of fonts, color schemes, taglines, mission and philosophy – then assemble them all into a branding file.
3. Getting carried away
What do we mean by getting carried away? Sometimes, less is more. It’s easy for a business owner to get so enthusiastic that they can’t narrow down their branding focus. They want the web design to include their 6 favorite colors, historical background on product development, photos of their location, testimonials from users, special sales events, their favorite inspirational quotes, rotating banners on the homepage, and more. Your passion is what will make your business succeed, but sometimes it helps to step away and let a graphic design professional weed out extraneous material in order to let a clear message shine through.
Envisioning the philosophy behind your brand, and then choosing the design elements to express that philosophy, is a deeply rewarding endeavor. It can be one of the most creative, personal aspects of running a business. Whether you work with web design professionals or do everything from scratch on your own, a clear understanding of brand building will form a strong basis for your company’s future.