The power of branding is often underestimated by small and medium companies. In the world of business, this is one of the deadliest mistakes that leaves small business marketers without much margin for error. We have all read about large businesses making branding failures, but what we don’t get to read in the news are the collapses of small businesses, which happen much more often.
Branding doesn’t have to be a nightmare or a headache if you know enough before launching your startup. It is true that branding errors hide behind the wrecks of small businesses, but it’s because business owners didn’t understand the importance of branding. In order to stay away from these common errors and make running a business less stressful, business owners should ensure that they have the branding basics down pat.
These are some of the mistakes that small enterprises make and tips to help you avoid the lost time and expenses they cause.
1. Not tracking the results
You won’t know whether your marketing efforts really work if you don’t keep track of them. If you’re not tracking conversions through PPC ads, goals on your website with Google Analytics, or calls and foot traffic from an advertising investment or a big sale – you’re throwing your money away. You need to learn from your mistakes, but you can’t do that if you’re not well informed; if you don’t know you’ve made a mistake, there’s no chance of learning from it.
Analyze how your paid efforts are converting, redirect a part of your budget to the strategies that work best, and start getting in touch with your highest value leads while reducing marketing costs at the same time.
2. Not defining your target audience
Defining your target audience is crucial, even before you launch your business, because it can be of great help when developing the best possible business strategy. It will allow you to understand your customers better and give you leverage when building a branding campaign. After you conduct a study on your customers’ preferences, you’ll have the knowledge necessary to develop firm branding guidelines. Otherwise, you’ll lose time, money, and energy in trying to reach the wrong audience.
3. Hiring marketing experts before studying the matter yourself
Even the smartest business owners fail with this because they don’t have the time to do their marketing themselves, so they outsource for help. This could be a good start for a company, but if you haven’t studied marketing, you can make different mistakes – like not being able to tell who knows how to do their job properly. For example, you’ve opted for a certain type of marketing, but you don’t have realistic expectations of what it can do. Or you don’t know how different marketing tactics fit with each other. Or maybe you expect a PPC campaign to work profitably within only a week. With all that in mind, it might be a good idea to hire a good digital agency to boost your branding efforts, but you should know what you need and what you’re hiring it for.
4. Overcomplicating your brand
Many of the most memorable and iconic brands understand the phrase “keep it simple”. This doesn’t mean that your brand identity should be built as completely generic, because there’s a fine line between making it forgettable and keeping it simple. Make a statement, be bold, but keep it clear by staying away from unnecessary bells and whistles. Keep your choice of words, colors, and icons to a minimum, and once you have a simple and clear brand – enforce it consistently throughout your enterprise.
5. Inability to evolve
Don’t think that you won’t need to change anything as your business evolves and grows. Branding strategies need to evolve as well, because the audience may change their expectations and demands – to which you will need to adjust. If you expect everything to stay the same, your audience will move on without you. Everything is constantly changing – your customers, the market, and the new technology that drives things forward. Always be ready to adjust to the market, customers’ needs, and technology. Be ready to rebrand, and you’ll ensure your company’s success and survival.
Branding can open many new doors and improve your business, but only when done right. Start small, always track, and expand the strategies that work. Avoid these common mistakes when branding your business, know what you’re doing before you do it, and you’ll go a long way towards helping your small enterprise form crucial connections with your target customers.