7 branding errors in SMEs
When we think of branding, we imagine the logo of Coca-Cola, Windows, Adidas, Tesco… If you have a small business (SME) you may think that it is difficult to get a good branding or that it is not important for your company. This is not true. An SME can have excellent branding.
We give you 7 tips for you to consider when creating your brand. Do not make these mistakes!!!
Error 1. Do not understand the power of a brand.
When someone thinks about buying clothes online, maybe they think of ZARA. It would be good to associate your name with “buy your product“.
It is also important to define your brand in terms of SEO. It is an open secret that Google prioritises brand offers in its organic search results, as users are more likely to click on them. And many clicks are equivalent to happy customers, which means that concentrating on building your brand can generate unexpected visits to your website.
Error 2. Forgetting to set the styles of your brand
You must set defined styles (fixed) that cover the following elements:
- Logo (both the main logo and any application that can be used: horizontal, vertical, with dark background, with white background…).
- The colours of the brand
- The slogan
- Fonts and styles of titles, paragraphs, texts…
- The voice that will be used in your promotional materials
- Graphic images or icons
- Pets and ambassadors
Obviously, this list is not complete, there will be other brand features that you feel your business needs to define. Add all this to your brand identity document.
Error 3. Complicate your brand in excess
See how the classic Coca-Cola logo has changed since it started selling. Although the fonts used have varied a bit, the original logo remains almost intact after more than 100 years of service.
When you start the brand building process, it can be very tempting to add more variables than necessary. But your logo does not have to have six different colours, nor does it need to have six individual graphic elements that represent the different services you offer. Simple and clean elements are usually more recognised and remembered by customers.
Error 4. Be lazy
Also do not do the opposite and end up with brand styles that do not convey the value proposition of your company.
Try to convey what you do in your logo and your brand in general. Define a slogan that summarises in a few words your product and your added value.
Error 5. Misuse your brand styles
When you have well defined styles of your brand, your colours, fonts, sizes, proportions of logos, slogan… Why are you going to change that?
“Do not use different colours. Do not change the proportions of your logo. Do not use a new slogan”.
If you make these mistakes, you will be destroying your brand. If Hewlett Packard stops using the letters H and P in his logo and decides to use a computer icon… would you know it is HP? If Ferrari stops using the horse and the yellow background and uses another animal and another colour, it is clear that it would not be understood it is Ferrari. It would be a serious mistake. Your company should not make this mistake either.
Error 6. Do not register your products
Developing and implementing the brand guidelines of your SME is only half the work. There is more battles… For example you could have problems if the competition makes logos similar to yours.
Some of these problems may be minimal, but there will be situations in which you have to take legal action if you feel that your brand elements are not being used correctly.
According to the laws of each country, there are different ways to protect your logo, your identity, your branding.
Do you remember the conflicts between the Apple Corps and the Apple Computers?
Error 7. Make unprofessional brand changes
Making a change in your brand is not bad, unless you do it unprofessionally. Keep in mind that any changes you make to your brand reduce the connection you have built with your customers. Therefore, you should only make changes when the benefit of making them exceeds the value of the risks. If you decide to make a modification, you need to educate your followers about it.
On the other hand, any change in your designs tries to do it in a professional way, with correct software, with master files, backups, identify well the range of colours used (both in RGB, as in CMYK and Pantone), vectorise the files (create outlines), etc.
Although brand building is a marketing specialty in itself, it doesn’t need to be too complicated. Good intentions, and avoiding the mistakes described in this article, will help you create vital connections with your audience.