Building a brand can be an exciting process, and when business is booming, the first instinct of many marketers is to get new ideas out there as quickly as possible. That instinct is easy to understand – your business is growing, and you want nothing more than to share your excitement with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, in many of these circumstances, marketers fail to notice the big mistakes they’re making in promoting their brand. Take note of these three major branding mistakes in order to avoid making them in your own business.
Once your business starts to grow and you’re ready to build on that growth, expanding you brand is a good idea. But your expansion should never come at the expense of your brand’s core identity. For example, if your brand is built upon finding environmental solutions for small businesses, then it wouldn’t make much sense for you to start selling motorcycle jackets or printing car bumper stickers with your logo on them. Every expansion needs to be aligned with the original principles upon which your company is built. If not, you will come off as phony, or worse, a traitor to your brand’s core values.
You’ve probably heard lots of marketing phrases like this before: “We locally source free range, certified organic food products from small batch sources in order to ensure the highest level of sustainability and food security.” There are lots of appealing words there, but the problem is, none of them mean anything anymore. When a marketing term becomes a buzzword, it means that people are tired of hearing about it. Buzzword marketing is easy to get sucked into, because often buzzwords do provide a good description of what your business offers. However, even if a buzzword is accurate, that doesn’t mean that it’s a good term to use. Instead, think of original ways to describe what your brand has to offer. That way, people will actually want to listen to what you have to say.
When it comes to saying something stupid and having that stupid statement immediately broadcast to millions of people, social media is definitely your best bet. Social media is great for up-to-the-minute communication, but sometimes it’s better to sit back and think about something for a few minutes before tweeting it out for the world to see. Example: During the 2011 uprising in Egypt, fashion designer Kenneth Cole tweeted: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online…”
How’s that for poor taste?
The take-away from all of these mistakes is: even though the marketing world moves quickly, sometimes the best policy is to think twice before launching your next marketing plan. Brand growth is a good thing, but growth can quickly turn into a very bad thing if it isn’t managed correctly. Your branding can make or break your business, so make sure you get it right.