5 Branding Mistakes for Service-Based Businesses to Avoid
September 22, 2020
Your brand is the overall clients’ perception of your service and is a crucial component of your company’s marketing strategy. A strong brand gives you an edge when it comes to enhancing your customer relationships. You want to achieve an immediate, definitive relationship with your clientele. Nothing does this better than a strong brand.
Starbucks goes beyond being a famous coffee brand. Coca-Cola is not just a soft drink. Clients get ‘experiences’ whenever they interact with these big brands, and it is this experience that prompts them to buy. Better yet, these companies understand the experience you expect when you buy, so they create and market their services with this in mind.
For most consumers, branding is the deciding factor whenever they’re making a purchase resolution. According to a 2015 Nielsen study, up to 60 percent of shoppers acknowledge that they are active buyers of familiar brands. Another 21 percent of respondents noted that they made a purchase just because the brand appealed to them.
All these make branding an iterative strategy that requires you to get in touch with your business and clients’ hearts. Through branding, your business gets an identity beyond the service you offer. It is the face of your entity and makes your company memorable. As such, consumers can easily distinguish your company across all mediums.
Branding Mistakes That You Should Avoid
There’s so much that goes into creating a strong brand, and there are many factors to consider to achieve success. Being an iterative process, you may likely make a few mistakes that may hinder your efforts.
Here are the critical branding mistakes common in the service-based industry:
1. Targeting The Wrong Audience
The primary purpose of a strong brand is to establish awareness, trust, recognition, and revenue. All these stem from one facet: the consumer – precisely your target customers and audience. Unfortunately, most companies fail to achieve a brand that resonates with their audience. This prevents them from fulfilling the above purposes of branding.
To avoid this great mistake, you can carry out target market research. Before you begin creating your brand strategy, it would help if you first understand the ideal audience that you wish your branding to speak to. To whom do you offer your services? What are the critical attributes of your ideal customer? What was the main purpose and inspiration for establishing the company in the first place?
The lessons learned and insight gained from the target market research can be significant in influencing the right branding decisions. Therefore, ensure you make it a priority to determine the right audience and create a brand that would appeal to them.
2. Failing to Establish the Mission Statement
What is the primary goal of establishing your company? Once you provide the right answers to this question, you’ll be in a position to create an elaborate mission statement. Its main objective is to define the purpose and passion of your company. But most entrepreneurs still fail to come up with their mission statement. Beyond making profits, they never explain why they created the business in the first place.
To create a brand that your audience can identify with, trusts, and values, you must communicate your operations’ purpose. Once you’ve established this, ensure that every aspect of your brand (imagery, logo, voice, personality, and tagline) reflect the same vision and mission. This significantly enhances your brand’s familiarity with your audience.
Your company’s mission statement serves as the foundation for the brand manifesto. This encompasses the reasons for company existence and why your audience should try your brand.
3. Not Defining Your Unique Attributes, Values, And Benefits
Service-based entrepreneurs maneuver fierce competition from business rivals in their niche and industry. As such, most end up focusing on their competitors and ignoring their unique values, qualities, and benefits.
What’s the unique component of your service that no other business rival can imitate? Your brand is. As a result, you must focus on ensuring it is inspired by and comprises the crucial attributes unique to you. These are the benefits, qualities, and individual values that illuminate your company’s uniqueness.
Take your time to note down everything that sets your company apart from others. This does not mean features like capabilities, components, and appearance. You just have to define how your services facilitate success and improve livelihoods.
4. Inconsistency Across Mediums and Platforms
The critical rule, if you wish to establish a strong brand, is to be consistent. When you present a consistent identity to consumers, you’ll foster comfort and trust for your audience. What’s more, this can go a long way in establishing a recognizable perception for your enterprise and you can learn how to communicate through your design. Most entrepreneurs don’t understand this and end up appearing disjointed, unprofessional, or untrustworthy.
To achieve the right consistency, you must first coordinate your visual assets across all platforms where your business is represented. These include your social media pages, company website, print materials, ads, etc. But this doesn’t mean you just stamp your logo on items and call it a day. You must align the company’s visual identity efficiently and reproducibly through a brand style guide.
The guide is a simple rulebook highlighting your preferred colors, logos, imagery, fonts, and other visuals. For a detailed style guide, you must go beyond the essential design assets. Furthermore, ensure you include standards for your brand’s voice, written elements, and values. With a detailed style guide, you are sure to present a cohesive, consistent message in every platform displaying your brand.
5. Over-Emphasis On Design Trends
One sure way to represent your company in a contemporary and fresh manner is to keep up with the latest design and branding trends. However, you may likely lose your core identity in the name of pursuing the hottest trend.
Whatever looks cool at the moment may quickly sweep you up. However, remember that you may have to weather several design trend waves without looking outdated. One reason why most brands end up looking dated is that the companies commit heavily to trends that end up as temporary blips.
To stay safe, consider these design trends as inspiration sources. However, avoid relying on them as a crucial component of your company’s next branding design or growth marketing strategy.
When creating a strong brand, you must consider all aspects of your color scheme to the tag line logo. You also need a support system, a memorable name, a strong message, and every relevant legality. All these requirements and the immense work involved would make you commit a common branding mistake that would backfire.