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5 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Business's Brand
July 25, 2018
Mistakes-Business-Brand

5 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Business's Brand

As you probably know, your small business’s brand will reveal to your customers what they can expect if they buy your products or services. Having a positive brand image can impact your business’s performance, because consumers won’t make purchases from entities that they view negatively. Plus, if you have a recognizable brand, customers will remember your business and potentially become loyal patrons.

In this post, we’ll explore common mistakes that businesses make with their brands, so that you can refine your company’s brand image moving forward.

1. Your Brand is Inconsistent

If you’re inconsistent with important elements of your brand, consumers won’t remember your business, or they’ll be confused and won’t understand what you offer.

In fact, a brand that doesn’t mirror your business’s products, service, or overall experience could alienate customers. Your brand is one of the first opportunities that you have to give customers a preview of what they can expect if they make a purchase. For instance, if your retail business provides colorful clothing items and accessories, but your website is blasé and lacking in character, there’s no way for your customers to anticipate the exciting products you offer!

2. Your Brand Doesn’t Reflect Your Business’s Mission

Your business’s mission statement should highlight its main objectives and the characteristics that your company has that can please consumers. Therefore, if elements of your brand contradict your mission, your business probably isn’t meeting the needs of your customers to the extent you’d like.

For example, part of Disney’s mission statement is, “to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.”  If Disney’s movies, which are part of its brand, become boring and consequently unprofitable, the company would be failing its core objective and, not coincidentally, displeasing their customers.

3. You Don’t Emphasize Your Points of Differentiation

It isn’t enough to emphasize your brand’s ability to meet consumers’ needs.  To convince users to utilize your business’s products or services, you also must emphasize at least one benefit that makes it superior to competing brands. Such benefits are called “points of differentiation.”

Of course, the points of differentiation you promote must be valued by a significant number of consumers. For example, Amazon’s brand has a few points of differentiation that make them stand out from their main competitors. These points of differentiation include convenience, affordability, and a wide variety of products.

Any time you promote your brand, you should try to emphasize your most potent points of differentiation, so that customers are attracted to your business instead of a competitor.

4. You Don’t Rebrand When Necessary

Changes in your company’s situation can make rebranding necessary. For instance, if you expand to new markets or introduce a new product, you may need to present a new brand image that will better reflect your offerings. Another situation that might lead to rebranding is if your competitor introduces a new product that causes one or more of your points of differentiation to become irrelevant.

One example of a company that failed to rebrand fast enough is BlackBerry. After Apple launched the iPhone and Google unveiled Android, BlackBerry continued to brand itself as a consumer cell phone maker. This was long after it became apparent that BlackBerry’s consumer cell phones paled in comparison to their competitors’ options. In the last few years, however, the company has rebranded itself as an IT security company, emphasizing the strength of its products’ security offerings. The rebranding has enabled it to survive, and if they hadn’t it may have put the company’s future in jeopardy. If your business’s brand is no longer reflecting your company’s situation, it might be time for you to rebrand, too!

5. You Associate Your Brand with Inappropriate Things

You shouldn’t associate your brand with people or things that contradict the image you’re trying to create. For example, if you own a daycare, you should have a brand image that is trustworthy, educational, and kid-friendly. Therefore, that image would be greatly undermined if you advertise on a radio show that’s known for discussing controversial, potentially offensive topics. This is just one example, but it’s crucial to always consider the outlets that you’re aligning your business’s brand with.

Conclusion

By avoiding the mistakes described above, you’ll greatly increase your chances of maintaining a positive brand. It’s important to improve your business’ image among consumers, so that you can greatly raise the likelihood of it thriving long-term.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].
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