Three common branding mistakes small businesses make and how to avoid them

Mistake #1: Believing that your logo is your brand

Your logo is not your brand. Read that again. There is a super common misconception that brand strategy has one thing on the list: a great logo. And once you check that off the list you’ve achieved brand mastery, right?

Sorry, friend but it’s not quite that simple. Your brand is the essence behind the products and services you offer. It’s the personality, the visual identity, and the core values that your business is built upon. Having a dynamic logo that your ideal customers can relate to and easily recognize? Super important piece of the puzzle. But it’s just that, one piece of a much larger brand strategy puzzle. The best brands are recognizable beyond their logo. Their photographs, tone of voice, and various design elements are all cohesive and used consistently. Potential customers can interact with just one platform or a single product and can connect it back to your business. That, my friend, is what great branding is all about. Fostering an irreplaceable connection with your audience that makes it crystal clear to them what you do, what you stand for, and how you can make their lives better.

Mistake #2: Ditching cohesion for variety

Trust me, I totally get it: There are so many colors, fonts, and design styles, it can be hard to commit to a select group that will represent your brand. But if every time you sit down to design something for your brand you are using different colors, random fonts that you think look pretty cool, or another random variation of your logo, you are at risk of confusing your audience. And as we all know, a confused audience is not an engaged, eager audience. Cohesion when developing a brand identity is massively important. This means consistently utilizing the same elements to represent your brand visually. If you want to learn more about how to develop a visual branding strategy, click here to learn all about brand style boards. :)

Mistake #3: Relying solely on social media to build your brand

This is dangerous and I see it happen all the time, especially with Instagram. Instagram is fun, ultra-visual, and is great for fostering community...don’t get me wrong! But if your brand exists solely on this platform that’s very limiting and scary. For one thing, who’s to say Instagram won’t have the same fate as MySpace? It’s super popular and everyone seems to be using it this year...but what about next year or the year after that? We don’t have nearly as much control over this platform as we think we have and it’s risky to put all of your marketing eggs in one basket by relying on Instagram alone to showcase your work and find clients.

...and don’t get me started on the stinkin’ Instagram algorithm! It always seems to be changing and often interferes with our audience seeing our posts. There is no guarantee that what you post will appear on your follower’s feeds in a timely manner (or even at all). Another risky aspect of the ‘gram.

Lastly, just because you like and spend time on the platform, doesn’t mean your ideal clients do too! Diversifying your branding and marketing efforts reduces the risk of potential clients not finding you if they don’t use the same platforms you do.

Instagram in conjunction with other social media platforms, a killer website, and an email marketing we’re talkin’! Diversify your strategy and think about which platforms your ideal clients are using.

This ensures that the content you’ve worked so hard to create gets seen by those who are most likely to purchase from or work with you.

Are you making any of these mistakes? If you are, no're in the right place to get on track! What goals can you create that revolve around improving your brand strategy in these areas?