Top 5 Startup Branding Mistakes to Avoid
These five biggest startup branding mistakes made during a brand's development may ruin everything, even for big players. Know them to avoid at any cost.
Written by RamotionApr 9, 20226 min read
Last updated: Sep 26, 2023
Expect branding for startups to play an important role this year. Companies have entered a recovery phase doing everything they can to restore their positions after the pandemic. This means the competition will get more challenging, the market will become more saturated, and solutions will become more intricate.
However, while marketers seek ways to attract target audiences and get them to convert in some way dragging departments into A/B testing, one thing remains intact. It is brand identity. It ensures a solid foundation for newborn companies to move forward.
A lot has been said about its importance and significance. Brand identity is the one and only asset that is always on your side, silently working towards your success. However, as an ongoing unified effort, it requires constant attention and revisions since mistakes happen all the time; and they can ruin everything. Let us consider the top five branding mistakes examples that many young entrepreneurs and firms tend to make to exclude them from your path to success.
Take Branding Lightly
Taking brand identity development lightly is one of the most common branding mistakes. Every other startup believes in things going their way on their own, giving too much credit and faith to logotype or clever name. However, this is a colossal misconception caused by a lack of understanding of the concept.
Brand identity is a never-ending process. It does not stop at creating elements of visual identity. It encompasses all assets and mediums through which the company delivers its core message and values, such as websites, digital newsletters, promos, user experience, etc. It implies a set of actions that help the company achieve both short- and long-term goals and navigate the market fluctuations and economic crisis staying true to itself. Therefore, it needs to undergo constant revisions to keep on top of the game, demanding undivided attention all the time.
According to Forbes, staying inconsistent with brand identity is one of the most famous branding mistakes that even the leading companies and goliaths of industry make time after time.
Indeed, many companies (the branded startups are no exception) tend to fall victim to trends and modern tendencies trying to please the target audience's constantly changing preferences and expectations, thereby losing sight of the brand values. However, staying consistent with brand identity through all distribution channels and upholding the brand promise is crucial.
Recent studies show that authenticity is one of the main factors that play a decisive role in converting prospects into leads and retaining loyal customers. The brand promise, values, and message need to stay consistent with every interaction each stakeholder experiences. This helps prolong the company's life and secure much-needed revenue to move forward.
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Neglect Brand Strategy
Ignoring brand strategy is one of those branding mistakes to avoid at all costs. Staying ignorant of a plan of action developed specifically for the company to grow and deliver the message to the target audience is a commercial suicide that, surprisingly, many young, ambitious firms make.
The deal is that those startups are seduced by numerous prolific DIY solutions like a brand kit generator or website creator. Indeed, by paying just a tiny amount of money, you can create a landing page, launch an email campaign, run advertisements on social media, and even collect some information about the effectiveness of brand development. However, all those tools prove to be effective only in tandem with a well-thought-out brand strategy developed by a professional startup branding firm specifically for the company's unique values and mission.
The brand strategy stands behind everything: it sets the direction of the marketing campaigns, it educates the team on how to create an excellent user experience, it seeks ways to meet the target audience's preferences, and it enriches the pool of employees with talents. It is beneficial in many ways; therefore, it should always be in focus.
Try to Please Everyone
Pleasing everyone is among bad branding mistakes even though it does not sound so. You may ask, what is wrong with trying to meet every prospect's needs and preferences?
The problem is that this approach pursues quantity rather than quality. Are you ready to respond to every whim by revising and adapting your product, brand's presence, and means of communication? If so, eventually, you will lose your individuality and personality, which in the market with cutthroat competition means catastrophe.
A strong brand stays true to its values and promises. It knows its target audience perfectly well. There is nothing wrong with broadening your market; however, covering every inch of it is a potential risk that leads to complete company destruction. Even big names like Amazon or Coca-Cola stick to their market share: everyone should serve their ideal clients.
Rush into Things
Rushing into things falls into obvious brand mistakes that seems everyone knows they should avoid. However, as practice shows, every 1 out of 4 startups fail because of their lightning speed and acceleration with things that should be done.
New trends and solutions seduce companies. They jump on this bandwagon without weighing all pros and cons, overlooking the brand's longevity. Others rush into executing tactics without mulling over the action plan, losing money and eagerness to move forward.
Every brand's development needs time. Every step should be carefully done. Every action should be weighed.
Branding Problems and Solutions
From funny business mistakes to some serious international branding mistakes, companies are not perfect in their ways of conducting business. Even big names are prone to error paths. Therefore, do not be sad if you are one of those who have accidentally rushed into things or taken brand identity lightly. Every problem has a solution.
In addition, along with avoiding the mistakes featured above, it is vital to stay away from some small ones that may also ruin your brand eventually. They are:
- Vaguely defined core values, message, and mission.
- Poorly designed logo, name, and color palette.
- Stretching brand when you are not ready.
- Ignoring the brand's user experience across various distribution channels.
- Blindly following trends.
- Neglecting customers' issues.
- Not connecting with the audience.
- Ignoring inclusivity.
- Not tracking brand efforts.
Branding mistakes come in all shapes and sizes. From simple brand name mistakes to some serious faux pas in brand strategy, businesses may take various wrong steps on their path to success. However, this does not mean you should follow their steps.
To save your company from this fate, first and foremost, avoid these five biggest mistakes featured above. Second, remember that every problem has its solution; therefore, act fast and address the issue without delay. Third, find a startup branding agency whose team will take your company on the right trajectory. Finally, do not be afraid to revisit your brand strategy and adapt it to stay on top of things.