How to Avoid the 5 Branding Mistakes That Can Cost You Customers


Branding mistakes and pitfalls can plague even the most respected and established brands. Anything from bad product launches and marketing blunders to co-branding errors and controversial advertising can send your consumer base running for the hills. Let’s look at some of the biggest branding mistakes that both new and seasoned brands can make.

Not Offering Good WIIFMs

“What’s in it for me?” This is the main question that your brand’s core product (and all products) should answer. New brands will often provide so many details surrounding their product’s features that they neglect to illustrate to consumers how their product will enrich their lives. This is especially important for brands in the technology sector.

Don’t assume that all or any of your potential customers are “techies” and know industry jargon and feature capabilities. Selling your products means selling the benefits that they offer to your customers. So what if your new laptop has 64 GB of RAM? How exactly does this help buyers when they’re using the computer? Use your creativity to find ways to help consumers almost feel the experience of owning your products.

Stepping Outside the Wheelhouse

Not every brand can sell everything. It’s almost comical how even big brands can make this common branding mistake that the limits of their own capabilities, but they do. Today’s consumers are more educated and savvy than ever, and it typically doesn’t take them long to point out disastrous efforts made by big brands. For example, what if Coca-Cola started manufacturing luxury vehicles, or Pizza Hut started making smartphones? Good branding means staying within your realm of expertise and not venturing out on a limb just because something in another industry is super-hot for the moment.

Losing the “Edge”

Remember, everything must change sometime. Not staying ahead of innovations and changes in your industry’s landscape can slowly, but surely cause your brand to fade into the peripheral view of consumers. It’s important to stay ahead of the curve and know who the latest movers and shakers are in your industry, as trying to play catch-up with market trends can be challenging and costly. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should jump on every new idea that hits the market; rather, keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your vertical.

Co-Branding Flops

Partnering with other brands in your sector can offer your brand additional awareness and the prospect of engaging new audiences. It can also wreak internal organization havoc if planned poorly. Before establishing partnerships with other brands in your industry, consider the following questions:

  •  What products/services does your target audience want that the other brand provides?
  •  Do they have similar company values to your brand?
  •  Do they have a reputable brand history?
  •  Are their partnership goals in line with yours?

Do your due diligence before partnering with other brands to make sure that both of your companies have the same goals. Things like brand synergy and communication styles can play a big role in determining whether or not your partnership will be beneficial and long-lasting.

Maintaining a solid brand requires consistency and strategic planning. You’ll discover that your customers will be more inclined to spend money with your brand if they feel that they can trust you, your products, and your outreach strategies.

If you found this branding article helpful, here’s another one that you’ll find interesting, 8 Branding Mistakes You’re Making Right Now.

Sunny Bonnell

Described as a visionary thinker, Sunny Bonnell is Co-Founder & Chief Visionary at Motto. She’s also co-author of the brazen new business book, Rare Breed. Sunny was named GDUSA’s Top 25 People to Watch and has been featured on Yahoo, AMEX, The WSJ, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, The Breakfast Club, and more.Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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