What is the biggest thing that small business owners get wrong when it comes to their branding? Believing that once they create their visual brand (their name, logo, color scheme and tagline) that they are done with the branding process and they can move on and never look back.
It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of creating great visual elements for your business, but focusing solely on those elements and then feeling like you're done with your branding is a mistake.
The first problem with that kind of thinking is that your visual brand is not brand.
Your logo is not your brand. Your color scheme is not your brand. Your visual branding is only one part of your branding that you need to develop for your small business.
While having a nice logo with some sharp colors and a memorable name may be helpful, none of those things will necessarily bring more customers and sales.
Having a great color scheme on your website won't get Google to serve it up any higher in search results. Having a good logo won't get you more followers on Instagram. Having a good visual brand can only take you so far.
There are other elements of branding that you need to work on, such as having great keywords associated with your products, emails that have a consistent and welcoming voice, and having a story behind your company that resonates with your ideal customers. All of these elements, and more, add up to your business's brand.
The second problem starts when you get married to the visual branding that you created and never make any appropriate adjustments.
Maybe you've spent a lot of money creating the elements in your visual branding and that makes you feel like you are tied to them out of fear of having lost all of the money spent on them. Or perhaps you really like the elements personally, and you try to shoehorn them into your social media whether they work or not.
Your visual branding should always align with your customers. If it doesn't, then potential customers will just move on.
If you create a logo and over time your customer base shifts, say from B2B to B2C, then you should definitely change the logo to match that new customer base.
If you personally are a fan of bright, shiny colors, but that isn't a color scheme that will match up with your customer's aesthetic, then you shouldn't use your bright, shiny colors for your business.
You could come up with the most clever idea for a name, but if that level of cleverness doesn't click with your customers, then that name doesn't have great value for your business and should be changed.
Proper branding is a big picture. Your visual branding is only a part of that big picture. And all of your branding needs to align with your customer and their needs. Once you get all the elements of your brand aligned with your customer, you win.
Our Small Business Brand Audit is a great way to help you determine where you are in building your brand and where you need to go. It helps you identify your customer's perspective and position your brand based on your specific competitive evaluations.
It also helps you to align your brand messaging by mapping your customer's motivations and determine where your small business stands on it's path to actually being a brand.
This self guided brand audit is completely free and available to you at the link below. Download the audit and complete it on your own schedule. The download consists of eight videos as well as a 14 page workbook that contains instructional activities to help you transition your small business into a brand.