5 Common Business Branding Whiffs & What to Do About Them


Even the strongest businesses make mistakes from time to time. One of the most common types of mistake — and it’s a big one — involves branding errors and omissions.

No matter how much attention you pay to your company’s brand, you’re probably making one or more of these mistakes. The good news is, all are relatively easy to rectify.

 1.Failing to Tailor Your Message to the Platform & Audience

 How well do you know your audience? If you’ve yet to invest in buyer persona development, drop what you’re doing (or at least divert some marketing dollars) and get on it. Then, tailor distinct messages for each major buyer group and disseminate them along the appropriate channels. Anyone who thinks their entire buyer population hangs out in the same places is kidding themselves.

 2.Neglecting Your LinkedIn Page (Or Failing to Create One at All)

 LinkedIn is a fantastic business branding tool, even for consumer-facing brands. If you’ve yet to create a LinkedIn business page, that’s an easy fix. Beyond that, make sure your key employees’ LinkedIn profiles are accurate, up-to-date, and connected to your company’s. Florida entrepreneur Steve Dorfman’s LinkedIn profile is a case in point; visit it and right away you’ll know where he works, what he does, and why he’s credible. That’s really what it comes down to: credibility for your brand and its team.

3.Using Stock Imagery

 Sure, it’s easy, cheap, and (more or less) relevant. But it’s not you. Use stock photography sparingly, if at all, and invest in original photos that capture your brand’s essence.

 4.Skimping on Your Logo & Color Scheme

 As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you spend $25 for a bottom-of-the-barrel logo churned out in some overworked graphic designer’s sleep, it’ll show. Take your time, work with a professional, and finalize a logo and color scheme that you’re happy to showcase as the face of your brand.

5.Letting Your Brand Languish

 No brand is forever. It might seem like durable blue-chip brands — the Nikes and Cokes of the world — glide serenely atop an ocean of good will. Nothing can shake them from their respective thrones, right?

Not even close. Marketers of a certain age well remember the “New Coke” debacle, one of the most epic branding fails of the late 20th century. “New Coke” allowed then-upstart Pepsi to seize the initiative and establish itself as a viable alternative to the dominant soft drink of choice. It took years — decades, really — and untold millions in marketing spend for Coke to reclaim its luster.

The lesson here: it takes real work to maintain a brand’s sheen, even absent unforced errors like “New Coke.” You might be gliding atop an ocean of good will now, but your little legs had better be churning furiously beneath the surface.

 Build a Better Business Brand

 Your new-and-improved business brand is out there. If you follow these tips, you’ll avoid the long, slow decline experienced by far too many indifferent brands and white-hot debacles like “New Coke.” Make the construction and execution of your business branding plan your top priority, because it’s no exaggeration to say the future of your company depends on it.