The 7 deadly sins of branding

Branding is crucial for any business, but it's not always easy to get it right. In this blog post, we'll explore the seven deadly sins of branding that you should avoid at all costs.
Joe Mutuku

1. The superior product fallacy.

Listen, when you've got a product that's really good, you better believe there's someone trying to copy it and if they have a larger budget and resources for advertising, they can easily steal your customers. A competitor with a similar product but a stronger marketing strategy and better customer service can easily capture market share and steal customers away from a brand with a superior product. Additionally, a brand's reputation and image are also crucial in maintaining customer loyalty and attracting new customers. A company with a tarnished reputation or a poor image may struggle to succeed, even if its products are superior.

2. I’m too big to fail.

Nokia, Kodak, IBM, Blackberry. Need I say more? 

Blackberry smartphones were once considered superior to other devices on the market, with advanced features such as a physical keyboard and a secure messaging system. However, BlackBerry failed to adapt to the growing trend of touch-screen devices, and its market share was eventually overtaken by companies such as Apple and Samsung.

Kodak was known for producing high-quality film cameras but failed to adapt to the digital camera market and eventually filed for bankruptcy.

These examples show that even if a product is superior, long-term success is not guaranteed if they didn't invest in a strong brand outside its products.

3. That thing called “Fear.”

If you are afraid of being rejected, the truth is, all brands get rejected by people outside their "tribe" and that’s a good thing.

It's important to understand that not everyone will be a fan of your product or service. This is true for any brand, and it's something that should be embraced rather than feared. The idea of "tribe" in branding refers to the group of people who identify with and are loyal to a brand. Every brand has its own tribe, and it's important to find and target the right group of people for your product or service.

For example, Swiss watch brands are known for their luxury and high-quality craftsmanship. These watches are not intended for budget shoppers, and most budget shoppers wouldn't be interested in them. However, Swiss watch brands have a tribe of people who appreciate the luxury and craftsmanship, and are willing to pay a premium for it. On the other hand, budget shoppers have their own tribe and are looking for affordable and functional watches.

The key is to differentiate yourself and appeal to the right tribe of people. By understanding who your target audience is and tailor your branding and marketing efforts to that group, you'll be able to build a loyal following of customers. And while it's true that not everyone will be a fan of your brand, that's okay. The important thing is to find the right people, the right tribe, who will be loyal to your brand.

4. Ignoring the psychological language of design.

The psychology of design refers to the ways in which design elements such as colour, shape, and layout can be used to evoke emotions and influence behaviour. When designing a brand, it's important to consider how these elements will be perceived by the target audience, and how they can be used to create a desired emotional response.

If a brand ignores the psychology of design, it may create a design that doesn't resonate with its target audience, and might not be able to create the emotional connection it needs to be effective. This can lead to a lack of engagement and interest from potential customers, which can ultimately result in lower sales and a weaker brand.

Another consequence of ignoring the psychology of design is the risk of creating a design that might be perceived as confusing or off-putting. For example, using the wrong colour or imagery might create a negative connotation or could be misinterpreted by the target audience, this can lead to a lack of trust and credibility, which is crucial for any brand to establish.

5. Marketing before branding.

A story is told of a small business owner named Sarah. She owned a boutique that sold handmade jewellery. Sarah had been running her business for a few years and had a small but dedicated group of customers who loved her unique and high-quality pieces. However, she struggled to attract new customers despite her efforts to advertise and market her business.

One day, Sarah decided to participate in a local craft fair. She set up a booth and displayed her beautiful jewellery pieces. As the fair was in progress, she noticed a woman admiring her jewellery from a distance. The woman, named Emily, approached Sarah and started asking her questions about her business and jewelry. Sarah was happy to chat with her and showed her some of her favourite pieces.

As it turns out, Emily had already seen Sarah's jewellery at a friend's house and was impressed by the quality and design. She had been meaning to find out where she could purchase the jewellery for herself. Having that previous knowledge, Emily felt more comfortable approaching Sarah, and more open to buying her jewellery.

In the end, Emily ended up purchasing several pieces of jewellery and even recommended Sarah's boutique to her friends and family. From that day on, Sarah noticed an increase in new customers who had heard about her through word of mouth. Sarah realized that it was much more effective to sell when someone already knew about her and her brand. It made it easier for her to build trust and credibility and to connect with potential customers.

From that experience, Sarah learned that building relationships and making connections with potential customers is just as important as advertising and marketing. It is more effective to sell when someone already knows you and your brand. It creates a sense of trust and loyalty that makes it easier to build long-term relationships and generate repeat business.

6. Preaching water and drinking wine.

Do you know why they say never trust a skinny chef?

The phrase "never trust a skinny chef" is a common saying in the culinary world, and it is often used to suggest that a chef who is thin or in good shape may not be as passionate or knowledgeable about food as one who is overweight. The idea behind this saying is that a chef who is truly passionate about food would be inclined to taste and sample their dishes frequently, and as a result, would likely be heavier.

A lot of business owners don't see results with their brand because their audience can clearly tell that they don't practice what they preach. Have you ever seen a fitness trainer endorsed by Coca-cola that constantly displays its products? Will you take that trainer seriously?

7. Changing your logo and congratulating yourself for having finished branding.

I’m sorry but you’re just getting started. You are not built by what you do on day-one but by what you do consistently since day-one

Need help with your branding?

Growworth Consulting is a branding and marketing agency located in Sarasota, Florida USA that serves specialized businesses across the globe. You can get in touch by giving us a call: +1 941 404 5978

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