These Bad Branding Habits Are Putting Your Customers Off

Your brand is what shows who you are and what you do to the world. It’s what differentiates you from competitors and creates ubiquity between your business and your product. Every time someone asks you to Xerox some papers, calls a generic tablet an iPad or makes an announcement over the Tannoy, you’re given an insight into how effective this ubiquity this can be in strengthening a brand. Of course, brand ubiquity can be a double edged sword. Customers are fickle and if they see your branding everywhere they can quickly grow tired of you. Thus, entrepreneurs walk a fine line between emulating what works best in other brands and making it their own in a way that’s attractive to potential customers.

Unfortunately, in their zeal to create a brand that works, businesses can find themselves falling into bad habits that can repel customers so fast it’s like they’ve been shot out of a high pressure air hose. Building your brand can’t be an exercise in trying everything and hoping that something works. Your branding strategy needs to be cohesive and avoid these common bad habits.

Committing to bad branding

It’s easy to be lured into approving a bad brand strategy, but there comes a point when your marketing department insisting that you should “just give it time” just won’t cut it. Sometimes it’s best to kill a brand and keep a customer. If your branding isn’t showing signs of efficacy in terms of social media engagement or increased sales, it needs to be jettisoned.

Choosing the wrong colors

Graphic design elements like you logo are works of art. Corporate art, sure, but art nonetheless. The trouble with judging any work of art, however, is subjectivity. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that the branding is about them, rather than their business. Thus, they make choices about images and particularly color based upon personal preference rather than what’s best for the business.

Green, for example, tends to represent freshness and environmental conscience. Blue tends to represent aspiration, harmony and success (hence its use in so many financial and tech based brands).

Make branding decisions that create positive associations for your business, rather than appealing to your personal preference.

Neglecting your digital presence

Your digital presence is not a novel add on to your business plan, it should be at the very core of your marketing strategy. Your digital presence will, whether you want to believe it or not, be the way in which many potential customers engage with your business, and if you’re making poor web design decisions, you will not only harm your search engine visibility but reduce the chance of people setting foot on your premises.

Misplacing the emphasis in your marketing

Is your product reliable? Stylish? Cutting edge? Sexy? Helpful? Potentially life saving? Your branding should be predicated on the intended effect of your product and thus your target audience. Your branding needs to reflect this or you risk misplacing the emphasis in your branding and alienating potential members of your target audience. Take, for example, the Czech vehicle manufacturer Skoda. In the early ‘90s their branding was based around affordability, which was misperceived as ‘cheap’ which damaged the brand for almost a decade.