How do you avoid the 5 critical branding mistakes

If your brand is inconsistent, generic, confusing, sub-par, etc. then you can easily undermine your business’s credibility, which can in turn ruin your chance for success. Take these five branding mistakes, and learn how to avoid them:

1. Bad Company Name
When you begin a business, choosing the name is just as important as everything else. A strong brand name is easily recognizable by your prospect and current customers. This recognition begins with your business name. Your company’s business name appears everywhere: Business Cards, Websites, Letterhead, Your Truck/Van, Marketing Materials, Social Networks, and more. Naming your company can be challenging and often times it is time consuming, but putting in the time is well worth it in the end.

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Your company name should be easy to pronounce, simple, easy to spell and write, and most of all memorable.

2. Poor Design
People associate a brand with a logo. If you are a locksmith and you are reading this thinking you do not need a logo… think again! As you think about your logo design, keep your audience, products, and services in mind. A good logo will build trust and a strong logo will pull your brand together.

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When you look at the GAP logo, how do you feel? Do you feel happy? Do you trust the brand? Now, look at your own logo. Don’t have one? Do you think customers trust you then? If you do have one, does it show you are someone they can trust?

Now, take a look at your website. Does it look professional? It should! Is it updated regularly? It should be! Does it have relevant information for your customers? It should! How do your customers feel when they view your site?

3. Inconsistent Voice
A brand is the sum total of the experiences your customers and potential customers have with your company. A brand is your story. Your locksmith company’s brand lives every day, every interaction, every image you share, every job you do, every message you post on your website, every video you create, etc.

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What you say, and how you say it, is important. Your company’s “voice” is the language and personality you and your employees will use to deliver your branding message to reach your customers. Think about the brands you admire and ask yourself “What makes them unique?”

Are you asking yourself “Why do I care about brand consistency?” You should care because it leads to familiarity, and familiarity leads to trust, and in the locksmith industry trust leads to more jobs. Customers will call locksmiths they trust.

4. Breaking Promises
Locksmiths lately are being inundated with poor advertisers who are scammers. They break promises by quoting a $35 job and charging $450 on-site. Don’t break promises! Prove you are a qualified, honest, and trustworthy locksmith. When you tell your customer you offer outstanding customer service, then stand by that promise and deliver outstanding customer service… every time! If you over-deliver on your promises (not a bad thing) then you create loyal customers who will turn around and give you the best advertising ever: Word of mouth.

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Sounds like common sense, right? You’d be surprised how many small businesses will tarnish the relationships with their customers by not following through on their promise. Happy customers create more referrals. Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, has built great trust and credibility with their customers. They promise quick delivery in 2-5 business days, but Zappos goes even further and upgrade most customers to free overnight shipping. As a result, they have loyal customers.

5. No Vision
How do you want customers to remember you? Think about brands that you shop and are loyal to. Why do you shop at the same store (and it’s not because of convenience)? They connected with you emotionally. You may have started shopping there because it was close, or because you were told to shop there (word of mouth), or they had a sale (marketed products to you). You went back because you had an enjoyable service. Have a vision for your company and referrals will start flowing in.

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