Newsexpress place banner advert Yudala genuine products
BRANDING MISTAKES your small business could be making

By News Express on 08/05/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 365


When you think about great branding, Coca Cola’s distinctive red and white lettering, Nike’s swoosh and Adidas’s three stripes likely come to mind.  But as a small business, imagining the level of investment that’s gone into these iconic images can make the thought of undertaking your own branding initiative seem overwhelming.

It’s actually easier to do than most imagine. Just make sure to avoid some common pitfalls and branding mistakes.

Not understanding the power of a brand

From a customer-relationship perspective, having a strong brand is obviously advantageous.  For instance, when people think of online shoe purchases, they think of Zappos. You want to have that kind of immediate, definitive relationship with your buyers as well.

Defining your brand is also valuable from an SEO perspective.  It’s something of an open secret that Google likes to prioritise branded listings in its organic search results, since visitors are more likely to click on them.  More clicks tends to equal happier customers, which means that focusing on brand building could lead to unexpected website traffic and awareness benefits.

Forgetting to establish defined brand guidelines 

Even when you know that your company may want to develop a brand, but what exactly does that mean?  When creating a brand identity, you will want to establish defined guidelines that cover all of the following elements (as well as others that are relevant to your field). Here are a few points to consider: Logo (both an overarching logo and any other logo lockups your company uses for individual product lines), brand colours, fonts/typography. The “voice” used in your branded materials, Mascots and spokespeople.

Clearly, this list is not comprehensive, you can include more. If there is some other branding characteristic you feel is necessary to define your business, go ahead and add it to your brand guidelines documentation.  The worst thing you could do is to avoid creating these important documents altogether. Without them, your branding efforts will lack the consistency and direction needed for success.

Over-complicating your brand

Take a look at how Coca Cola’s classic script logo has changed, since its first usage in 1887.  While the fonts used have varied slightly, the original look is still largely intact, after more than 127 years of service.

Small businesses can learn a lesson from this beverage industry giant.  When initiating the branding process, it can be tempting to add more variables than you truly need.  But your logo doesn’t need to involve six different colours, and it doesn’t need to have six individual graphic elements to represent the different arms of your company.  Clean, simple elements are more likely to be recognised and remembered by consumers, so steer clear of over-complicating your company’s branded elements.

Falling into the vague branding trap

But then, again, do not go the opposite direction and develop brand guidelines and elements that reveal nothing about your company and its value proposition.  Chances are you have seen this before in generic logos or in marketing language that is downright repetitive. For example, “best-selling” books, “championship” golf courses and “award-winning” ad agencies really don't mean anything.

This type of lazy branding is referred to as "wallpaper copywriting" or the use of vague, catch-all nonsense that is been repeated so often it’s lost all meaning. So the solution is: clear language, logos and imagery.  For a great example, take a look at the screen-shot of mobile-payment processor, Square's landing page, or those of any of our banks here (GTBank, First Bank Plc, IBTC Stanbic Bank, or even PAGA and e-Tranzact.  Not only does the company’s logo mimic the product in a way that’s unmistakable, the value proposition stated in the company’s tagline, “Start accepting credit cards today,” is clear.  

“Cheating” on your brand guidelines

So you have sat down, and crafted careful brand guidelines and begun implementing them across all of your company’s marketing materials and on-line properties.  But two months down the road, you need to create a new ad for a product line you are launching, and it had be really great if you could use a few colours, outside of the palette you specified out in your branding documentation.

Can you do it?  Of course, you can. But keep in mind every time you deviate from your stated brand guidelines, you dilute their power by some small amount.  By doing so, you are essentially introducing a new brand image to your customers, diminishing the strength of the association they have had, to a more unified branding campaign. 

Not policing your brand’s usage 

Developing and implementing your small business’s brand guidelines is only half the battle.  In addition, you have got to be proactive about monitoring where and how others are using your branded elements on your behalf. If not, you could have competitors creating a logo that looks similar, a review website using your logo and not linking back, or a partner publishing an ad featuring your logo but with the wrong colours.

Some of these issues may be minor, but in other situations, it may be necessary to pursue legal action, if you feel your branded elements are being infringed upon. 

Rolling out brand changes poorly

There’s nothing wrong with rebranding. That is, unless you approach it poorly. Bear in mind, any changes you make to your established brand reduces the connection you have built with your customers.  Therefore, it’s important to only make changes when the benefits truly outweigh the risks of losing business. If you do decide to make an alteration, you need to clearly educate your followers on the changes you are making.

While branding is certainly a marketing discipline in its own right, it doesn’t need to be over-complicated.  Good intentions (and avoidance of the mistakes described above) will go a long way towards helping your small business form vital connections with your target customers.

For more on the subject, send me a message via WhatsApp or SMS.

•Lawrence Nwaodu is a small business expert and enterprise consultant, trained in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with an MBA in Entrepreneurship from The Management School, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, and MSc in Finance and Financial Management Services from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Netherlands. Mr. Nwaodu is the Lead Consultant at IDEAS Exchange Consulting, Lagos. He can be reached via nwaodu.lawrence@hotmail.co.uk (07066375847).

Source News Express

Posted 08/05/2017 07:51:44 AM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

 

You may also like...
Food security: Ambode unveils plans to integrate South...

2015: Don’t be misled by fake prophecies, Akpabio...

Swiss firm is to commence diamond mining in...

Local Govt. workers begin strike in Bayelsa

Confusion over election of President General of Awka...

Bribery Allegation: God will vindicate Amaechi — Rivers...

Indian Tribunal orders 2 sisters raped as punishment...

Police nabs suspected kidnappers of 6 Lagos students...

Agro-exporters seek FG’s intervention to end EU ban...

Global leaders, partners budget $1.2bn to fight polio...

Moroccan King phones Buhari, expresses satisfaction at rate...

Lagos plans advocacy workshop on safety

 

Latest News Divide Nigeria into 12 Regions, 54 States — Middle Belt Leaders NDDC office sealed off over N336m tax debt Trial begins of nurse suspected of killing up to 60 children Nationwide teachers’ strike looms Dickson seeks special attention for Brass LNG project Experts converge on Abuja June 29 to tackle inflation, recession BNYL set to launch Biafra referendum campaign BBOG renews call for the rescue of 113 Chibok girls, 6 Lagos schoolboys Health stakeholders condemn non-inclusion of vaccine procurement in 2017 Budget Respect court ruling on Otodo-Gbame, CEE-HOPE tells Lagos Govt. Rivers sanitation agency announces cleanup exercise for Saturday (June 24), vows to deal with defaulters Lagos offers free legal services to inmates of Ikoyi prisons

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (257,905 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (236,758 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (194,406 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (169,301 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (164,383 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (145,730 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (126,369 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (121,069 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (111,365 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (105,058 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (104,900 views) APC cries foul as PDP’s Fayose takes early lead in Ekiti governorship election (97,763 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (27) Business (2,600) Business Verdict (17) Columnists (701) Complaints & Requests (92) Enterprise & Opportunities (157) Entertainment (333) Features (461) Global Business Monitor (154) International (1,425) Interviews (124) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (59) News (25,729) Opinion (736) Pidgin (8) Politics (3,741) Religion (559) Sports (1,281) Stock Watch (18) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN words on marble advert

 

 

Thousands of Biafrans gather at Nnamdi Kanu’s father’s palace for address...

 

APO Newsbreak logo

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement



 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!