Branding. It seems like the most popular topic among trendy marketing experts. But it’s not just for social media influencers. Branding is important for everybody who is in business. So exactly what is “branding” and why is it so important?

Branding can be defined as the way a company expresses their identity and values. It reflects the experience you want your customers to have when they interact with you.  Branding is about more than your company image, however, it should also reflect the values of your ideal client. 

Here are some common branding mistakes to avoid. 

1. Having a logo that doesn’t match your product or service. Ever wonder why so many eco-friendly brands use green as their corporate colour? Plants are green! Try to create a consistency between your brand image and the product or service you are selling. Have brand guidelines that are to be used by you and everyone you work with. Brand guidelines ensure your content assets are consistent and cohesive across every platform.

2. Not maintaining brand consistency. Think of some recognizable brands you know. They all remain consistent in the types of images, colours and fonts they use in social media and other types of communications. For example, Coca-cola is always red and white; Apple always brands their products with the apple symbol; Royal Caribbean Cruise ships always talk about a luxury experience. Stay consistent with your images and messages so your audience doesn’t become confused. 

3. Forgetting to engage with your customers. If your social media followers send you a message, be sure to respond to them. You can acknowledge their thoughts publicly and give a full response privately. This lets everyone else know that you care about your customers and potential customers. It builds trust and strengthens loyalty. 

4. Being too general about who you serve. Many new business owners want to serve everyone. But that’s not practical or achievable. Find a niche that has a strong need for your product or service and stick with it. You’ll have more success by offering specific value to a small segment of the population who feel that you are specifically serving their needs. 

5. Showing off too much. Have you ever been on a date where the person just talks about how great they are and never wants to know anything about you? That’s how it feels if your communications are always about your own victories. While it is important to express the benefits of working with you, don’t overdo it. Take the time to showcase client successes to build rapport with your audience. 

6. Jumping on every trend. While it can be beneficial to comment on the latest new item or trend, remember that trends come and go, so don’t reshape your whole brand. Give trends a little attention to show that you are listening to important events, then move on. Otherwise all your communications may become stale in a short period of time.

If you are ready to take the next step, book a meeting with an experienced business advisor at Small Business Centres Ontario – we have 54 offices across Ontario.  Working with a business advisor means you are not alone and that you can build your plan.  Find a location near you 

Want to learn more about business readiness? Check out our free online course, Branding“.