A brand is not just a logo,
it's something more.
A brand is how people think and feel about a business, so
getting yours right is critical.
It's not just large companies that have brands - every business
has a brand, whether they have worked on it or not.
A solid, recognisable brand can make the difference between
success and failure for a fledgling company, and very quickly.
Branding, when developed with a planned strategy in mind, helps to
build trust with customers, develops loyalty and helps enormously
towards spreading the word of a new, up-and-coming business.
If you want your small business to be a success, read on to
discover these five common branding mistakes.
Not deciding who you are before designing your brand
A brand is to a company what a reputation is to a person. It
should represent you when you're not in the room. It should be how
people remember you, and why they want to do business with you
Before designing a brand, it's important to know exactly what
your business represents. Sit down and talk about why you
do what you do, rather than the end product. No-one cares if
you make t-shirts, but if you make t-shirts for teenagers who
suffer from eating disorders, then you have an emotional connection
Your branding needs to reflect what you do. It is the first
impression that counts and you don't get another chance. If you
want your business to be taken seriously, then a cartoon cat as a
logo isn't going to work.
Once you decide who you are and why you do what you do, then
you'll have a solid foundation to build a brand upon.
Trying to do it all yourself
It's undoubtedly tough starting a small business, and for any
entrepreneur, a time will come when decisions have to be made regarding budget. Getting things done seems to
take priority over getting things polished and this often leads to
doing things yourself, rather than pay a professional who is
qualified for the job.
Branding seems to be one of the biggest victims when it comes to
Just because you can make a logo in powerpoint or photoshop,
doesn't mean you should!
Customers will instinctively know the difference between
professional and amateur when it comes to design, and although you
may be creative, if you're not a graphic designer, this will be
very obvious right upfront.
Invest in a professional, and yes, it is an investment.
Your brand is what will sell your product more than
And don't go cheap either - when it comes to design you get what
you pay for. If you think good design is expensive, you should see
the cost of bad design.
Not establishing design guidelines
Brand consistency is essential in business, otherwise there's no
When creating a brand identity, established design guidelines
must be founded and adhered to. This must be carried through to
everything associated with your business including: business cards,
websites, campaigns, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, signage,
banners… basically anything and everything related to your
The exact same colour palettes need to be used, along with
fonts, layouts and typography. When any of these show
inconsistencies, customers lose sight of the message you are trying
to portray, along with trust in your brand.
Not being different or standing out from the crowd
When it comes to branding, ultimately being unique will be the
key to your success.
Many small businesses look to rival, successful or inspirational
brands and try to copy them. And it makes sense on the surface; if
it worked for them, it can work for you too, right?
This is absolutely the wrong way to approach branding, as
imitating someone defeats the purpose of branding entirely.
If you look like a competitor, then no-one will remember your name,
Standing out from the crowd without being too different is
difficult, but not impossible. Find your own unique selling point
and focus on that. Stay true to yourself and your image and
don't be tempted by passing trends, as they will date your brand
and in a few years you'll have to do it all over again.
Not re-branding when needed
Ok, let's say you're not a new start-up, but have been in the
industry for a while and you've suddenly realised you're guilty of
everything on this list. It's not too late to re-brand.
There's nothing wrong with re-branding, but the trick is, if
you're going to do it, now is your opportunity to get it right.
If you do have an established brand but feel it's looking dated,
let your customers know what's coming. They won't care that you are
getting a new logo or colour scheme - as long as they know about
it. Changing everything without telling anyone means you're
basically starting again at square one.
And when it comes to customers, don't be afraid to ignore those
who are not your target audience. If you make clothes for
teenagers, don't worry about how your brand will look to adults.
They are not the ones wearing your designs. Trying to appeal to
them will get you nowhere. Focus in on
your client base for maximum
How we can help with branding
In today's digital world, branding is the biggest weapon a
business can wield. It is essential in not only making that first
impression, but in building a reputation customers know and want to
We work with some of the biggest names in the business,
and can help with
Our unique, hands-on approach gives small designers the personal
touch that they would usually only get with local suppliers, but
with our large international network that delivers across the
complexities of a global supply chain, we can offer much more.
Contact us today if you would
like to know more about how we can help your business when it comes
to building a successful brand.