6 Common branding misconceptions debunked
Branding or marketing - which one should you start with as a new business owner? The answer is of course branding, as it forms the core of your marketing, yet so often new business owners approach this the wrong way around.
In simple terms marketing is about promoting your business, branding is about telling who your business is, so it's only logical to clearly define who your brand is before you start implementing any marketing tactics for it.
To help you understand why you should focus on your branding first, let me debunk some of the main myths and misconceptions related to branding.
1. Branding Should Wait
It really shouldn't. The longer you go without clarifying your brand and developing guidelines for it, the more time and money you waste on ineffective marketing campaigns. You may think that you don't have enough time to focus on developing your brand, but what you really shouldn't have time for is to not prioritise it.
You absolutely do not need to hire an expensive brand agency to get started, but you do want to set yourself a clear plan for how you're going to show who you are and what you stand for in your business so that the right audience can connect with it. It all starts with first understanding what are your vision, values, and voice like as a business.
2. Branding is just for big companies
Branding is actually your fastest way to stand out from your competitors, which makes branding especially important for small and not yet so established businesses. People need to feel a connection to your business to make a purchasing decision, and if your brand is not clear to them, they're likely not going to buy.
But don't mistake branding as telling how you're the best, as it's more about telling your audience who you are and what you can do to help them. Once they get to know you, you've built trust, know, and like that are crucial for the success of your business.
3. Your logo is your brand
Your brand is so much more than just your logo. Although your logo works as a recognisable and memorable element of your brand, it's just a small part of your overall visual appearance, brand identity, and brand. Your brand is actually just the perception other people have about your business, which you can try to influence through strategic branding.
4. Branding is just how things look
Your brand is your business, therefore you could in a way think of as branding everything you do in your business. It's more about associating specific feelings and emotions with your company when a customer comes across with it.
Yes, this can certainly be done through your visuals which often form the first impression, but also for example through how you communicate, who you collaborate with, what values you stand for, and the overall customer experience your business provides. It all adds up to the image and perception others have about you when they interact with your company.
5. Branding is about following the trends
Following trends is the polar opposite purpose of branding. Good branding is lasting and doesn't change according to trends. Your branding should follow a long-term vision and timeless design principles and not mimic what's fashionable at the time. By frequently changing your branding you're only creating confusion and mistrust in your audience.
6. Branding has nothing to do with sales
It's true that you can't necessarily directly measure your return on investment with your branding, but branding is what makes customers choose you over your competitors so in the long run branding is actually directly tied to your sales.
In branding, the key thing to remember is that people are unable to connect with brands they don’t understand. You've nailed yours if your customers describe you exactly how you would describe your business so always ask yourself what your customers would say about you, is your brand clear and easy to understand and how is it unique compared to your competitors?