The DNA of an organisation, branding represents value, quality and credibility within a business – yet so many Australian businesses are not considering the entire brand world – from behaviours to internal culture and customer experience, and how branding creates value for your business.
“Branding is a fickle business. Many companies think they have it all figured out, only to find themselves in a branding nightmare. Creativity is not a committee meeting, and strategy is about intelligence doing the unexpected,” says Jye Smith, brand expert and managing director and founder of DOUBLESTAR CO.
Common branding mistakes companies make
Thinking your brand is just a logo and a website
Brands need to consider the entire brand world, from values and behaviours to culture and customer experience. Businesses are like countries and logos are the flags, but they don’t represent the whole society, culture or subculture. Your brand is not your logo, and your brand is not your website – it’s a full experience across every touch point – digital, physical and ethereal.
Not understanding your competition
Brands can learn a lot from their competitors. Look at what your competitors are doing well – and look just as closely at what they’re doing badly, and use that information to create a brand that sets you apart. A strong brand can differentiate you from your competitors and by developing a unique brand identity and positioning, a business can stand out in a crowded market and create a sense of preference among consumers. This can lead to increased market share and greater pricing power, as customers are often willing to pay a premium for brands that they trust and value.
Lacking a single-minded message
When it comes to branding, conciseness and clarity is key. This will help build brand recognition and loyalty. We’re lazy as individuals and are bombarded with messages so keep it short, keep it simple, and keep it going.
Not evolving: Brands evolve over time. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your brand if it’s not resonating with your audience or if your company’s focus has shifted.
“We live in a hyper-visual world and are competing for just inches of space on mobile devices. A brand becomes an icon, a flag, a marker of purpose, values and the customer’s identity. Branding is also the visual cue for total customer experience – how we communicate tone through style, look, and feel,” Smith added.
Branding is an art and a science that requires careful planning, research, and execution.
Four key phases when developing a comprehensive brand
The first step is to identify your brand personality, values, and beliefs. This will guide the rest of the process and help you choose the right inspiration.
Look outside your category for inspiration. Look at brands from different industries, cultures, and time periods. What do they do well? What makes them unique? How can you apply their techniques to your brand?
From your research, look for patterns. Are there any common themes or techniques that stand out? Can you apply these patterns to your brand while still maintaining a unique personality?
Be distinctive, not different
In branding the term “distinctive assets” comes up a lot. Our best advice is, “Don’t be boring, don’t follow the crowd and hell, even ignore your customer feedback – just make your brand remarkable.”
With the current economic outlook, Smith highlights that investing in branding and identity is a crucial step for business success.
“A good brand can support long-term growth and sustainability. By investing in brand-building activities such as advertising, sponsorships, and community engagement, a business can develop a loyal customer base and establish a positive reputation in the marketplace. This can help to insulate the business against short-term challenges and provide a foundation for long-term success,” Smith explains.