Although it’s a high pressured industry, mistakes can happen in the business world. They always say that making mistakes can help us to learn and grow in the future.
However, the repercussions of some mistakes are not the same as others.
For a startup, making mistakes can often come with extreme consequences that are hard to come back from. Especially when you compare it with a brand that’s established and has adopted a loyal audience.
For an established business, whenever they make a mistake, although their flaws can be exposed on a wider scale, they’ve established their audience, relationships, produced great products and are worthy enough to weather the storm ahead. The reputation they have built is a large enough safety net to catch them when they fall.
On the other hand, the same cannot be said for a startup.
Whenever you make a mistake in a startup, the brand isn’t big enough to hide behind something. Due to lack of establishment of the brand, the mistake made by the startup is the thought they’ll be most known by. As a result, it can seriously affect business growth.
With your startups, you need to be extremely careful about how you brand it. One major branding mistake can be serious harm to the success of your business. Here is a list of branding mistakes that have been made by startups which you should avoid and how to do it.
Not identifying a target market
At the moment, everyone seems to be bucking a passive approach to their branding. Rather than planning for the long-term, many companies tend to wait and see what happens and then act on it instinctively.
Although this is a natural approach to take there must be considerations taken with this approach. It’s understandable to see how your audience responds to your product/service, but this doesn’t mean that your branding should take a backseat with your target market.
Identifying your target market from the beginning will be key to your start-up’s success. Identify a target market and hone-in on their interests and needs so that your brand avoids being too broad which nobody can connect with.
You don’t value your employees
Business owners need to control their branding efforts, but micro-managing the operation isn’t the way to spur creativity. Your best assets are the ideas of your employees and staff. It’s all about instilling trust between the relationships you have with your staff and allow them to use the space to explore their ideas.
Also, providing them with freedom online helps to create little brand networks for your business. They’re essentially a way of promoting your businesses in a small personal way.
You follow the same crowd
The purpose of a branding campaign is to let your audience know how you’re different from your competitors and provide them with reasons why they should come to you. Doing this can provide them with a unique experience and helps them to engage with you directly.
By following the same road as your rivals and having “copy-cat” mindset that you can be more successful won’t help your business to grow and brand out. The best and most successful startups are ones that can provide a unique and different experience. If you brand your business similar to other competitors that are established, how are you able to compete with them?
You don’t follow your brand guidelines
The purpose of brand guidelines is there to provide guidance with the overall decision making and messaging of the business.
While they shouldn’t be guidelines that are completely crucial in the decisions that you make, they should definitely have a big influence on the choices that are made.
If you steer away from your branding guidelines, it can be detrimental to your overall reputation and how audiences connect with your brand.
For example, one of the first aspects when it comes to creating a brand identity is choosing the colour scheme for your brand.
It is advised that a business uses 3 colours that they can use in advertisements and other branding campaigns. You use these colours for the first few months of your start-up and then randomly choose to use a different colour scheme in an advertisement that you do.
Social media mistakes
Social media is a great platform to help your business to grow and create networks. At the same time, it’s also a dangerous resource to utilise in certain situations. For a startup, you’d love the possible attention that you can gain from social media but make a mistake and you’ll end up receiving the wrong kind of attention you want.
Two mistakes that should be avoided include:
1. Never picking a fight
The first point is pretty straightforward. The last thing you want to do is get in squabble with a customer online because it can easily go public.
The second mistake relates to your brand making posts that are completely unrelated to your brand/business/sector. These are some examples of how posts have backfired or mistakes have been made.
Dealing with branding and marketing in a business can sometimes require risk in order to stand out. But it does require plenty of caution too which means risks that you take must be calculated.
If you’re unsure about the best methods to go about your branding and marketing, you can always gain support from a digital agency that deals with brand identity design because make a risk too big, and you may end up regretting it heavily in the future.
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Image Credit: Nik Shuliahin