Your brand is everywhere – from social media to websites, from employees and their engagement levels to public perception of your company, current and prospective customers are constantly interacting with your brand. But what happens if a mistake is made when managing your brand?

Today, the GRIT team is outlining five brand mistakes we see and providing tips on how to avoid them in the future to help your company build awareness, brand equity and loyalty over time.

1. Not taking the brand to the next level

Designing a logo and drafting up a tagline is not enough when it comes to branding a business. It is critical to take the brand to the next level by digging deeper to identify how you want your product and service offerings to be perceived by the public. Pinpointing what your unique selling point is, or in other terms, what makes your product or services different from the competition is essential. Defining this as well as the personality of the brand and the experience you want to convey will help position against the competition and take your brand to the next level.

2. Not following brand guidelines

Do you have brand guidelines (also known as brand standards)? If not, we strongly recommend them (because we’ve seen what happens when you don’t)! Brand guidelines help the internal team understand how to consistently deliver messages and elements of your brand to external audiences, and not having them can send mixed messages to your customers. It’s critical to have guidelines that outline all acceptable versions of your logo (and when to use them), what your brand colors are in pms/cmyk terms, which typeface/font should be used when creating marketing material, templates of wireframes for new website pages, descriptions of your brand voice, and much more. By having this guide, anyone inside or outside (vendors, freelancers, etc.) can easily implement the brand elements leading to brand consistency which builds credibility and trust among your audiences.

3. Not being flexible and adapting to change

As your company and audience grows and changes, so does your brand. Therefore, it’s critical to adapt and adjust as these changes occur. For example, look at where your brand started and where it stands now. Has it changed and if so, how? If it hasn’t changed, does it still resonate with the audience and align with the company’s vision and values? If your brand does not run parallel with the current state of your company and what it stands for and/or your target audience, it may be time for a change. To learn more about when it is time for a rebrand and how to approach the process, check out our blog!

4. Not protecting the brand (legally & personally)

Most companies put a lot of time, money and effort into developing strong brands that resonate with their audiences and it’s important that it’s protected. Trademarks can protect the brand name, logo, tagline, and any other supporting elements to ensure others do not try and steal/copy your identity. Remember to also protect the brand on a personal level by monitoring what people are saying on social media, in online reviews, and other mediums. When your brand receives negative feedback (or your audience has poor perceptions of the brand), it will be critical to have a plan of how and when to address these concerns.

5. Not using current customers and employees to promote the brand

Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools. Individuals are more likely to trust their family and friend’s opinions than a company they are not familiar with. Many brands make the mistake of not utilizing the resources they have – employees and customers. It is useful to ask your constituents for their opinion on marketing material or about your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Not only can this information improve your brand, but the testimonials can be included in marketing materials, which is an effective tactic.

Ensuring the brand is strong and will build awareness of your business overtime, generate brand loyalty, and play a large role in the success of your company is critical. Need help? Connect today if you are starting from scratch, looking to rebrand, or just find yourself making some of these mistakes. We can help.