At first, you’re going to be making some branding mistakes that could risk your entire business! Branding allows you to distinguish between yourself and your competitors.
Personally, I’ve been branding for over 6 years… this includes the evolution of my first blog (way back in 2016) till today with my first REAL business, Designs & Art by Rae. With years of mistakes and trials, I’ve learned how to create a brand that stands out.
So in this post, I’ll be sharing with you 5 common (and biggest) branding mistakes to avoid and how you can use them to help your own brand.
Mistake #1: Using a “clashing” colour palette
It was near the early stages when I was just starting out Designs & Art by Rae. I was creating a new colour palette, brand logo, font palette, etc. When it came to creating my first palette, I was using really vibrant and bold colours…
5 Colours that do not clash well with each other (hint: pomegranate and gold were on there). When it came to designing my social media content and brand headers, all the colours were so bad that they clashed with each other and made my designs look, well, ugly!
I got advice from a FB group about my Instagram content and why I wasn’t growing. I had multiple comments stating that “the colours are too bold.” I thought that it was a personal attack but now that I think about it, it really wasn’t.
So the day I did another rebrand in July of 2021, with the help of my past social media marketer, we decided to come up with a colour palette that suited what my brand was all about along with who I am: feminine, chic and glamorous!
And can you admit it, I freaken loved it! It had all the colours that I love – peach, red and rose-gold. They all went well with each other and I still love it to this day.
My advice to you is to look for inspiration from palette generating sites like Pinterest or Coolors before coming up with your own one. Then you can use a tool like Canva to create different brand palette ideas until you find one that hits the spot.
Make sure you find colours that balance each other out such as lighter colours and darker colours. That way when you design your social media content, you can use bolder colours on a light background and vice versa.
This is optional but you can also add a monotone shade to your palette. For example white, black or grey. It doesn’t have to be these exact colours. You can also take one colour from your palette and turn up (or down) the saturation.
To learn more on this, you can read it in my “Branding on Canva” eBook where I give more resources on-brand design.
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Mistake #2: Not knowing what your brand stands for (aka not having a clear brand message)
Ask yourself “what is MY brand message?”. If you can answer it, then great! But if you can’t think of anything or it’s taking you a long time to come up with one, then you need to start working on it.
By definition, a brand message is how you define your business through a value proposition (which I will be talking about later in this post) and communicate to the public what your brand values are all about. You use this when it comes to speaking to your audience (just like how you would when you introduce yourself to a new person).
Your brand message has to be CLEAR, shows what your brand does or sell, show your branding “charm” or tone of voice and influence people. That way your audience (or the public) can identify who you are or what your business is.
A few examples of excellent brand messaging is through slogans. For example, what comes up when you think of Nike? “Just do it”. What about McDonald’s? “I’m lovin’ it.” And what L’Oreal? “Because you’re worth it.” See, you get the point?
The first step to creating a successful brand messaging is identifying who your audience is. So who is the target market that you’re aiming for? For example, my one is aimed towards beauty businesses and female businesses. You can do research and create your “dream ideal customer” aka a buyer persona. You can use this helpful post to create one.
If you would like to learn more on how to create your successful brand messaging, I suggest this really good post by Rock Content.
Mistake #3: Targeting EVERYONE
When it comes to building a brand, ask yourself “WHO” you’re targeting. Remember, you can’t please everyone. I’ve mentioned in the last paragraph about building a buyer persona. This will help you create marketing strategies.
When I first started a blog, I was writing for myself. I wrote literally anything and everything that I had my mind on. You can call me a “lifestyle” content creator at the time I guess. I didn’t know who I was targeting at the time because I wrote on self-care and the next thing you know, I’m writing about food.
It wasn’t until 4 years into my blogging journey that I would pick a niche (the self-improvement and wellness niche) and stick to it. That’s when I started to attract the right audience for my site and gain authority in that area.
And don’t worry if your target audience changes! You can always do a re-brand. 😉
Mistake #4: Jumping on trends
You can still jump on trends (for example Christmas or Easter) but don’t ALWAYS jump on the trends. A viral moment for you can be awesome but it will last temporarily. For example, there was a trend about the Disney movie “Encanto” (I really love this movie btw!) and you can do it once or twice. But what if the trend slowly dies down? What happens then?
Want an example from my brand? Since I’m aiming towards the beauty businesses and Euphoria has just-released season 2 in early 2022, I decided to create drawings of Euphoria inspired makeup looks (because that’s what they’re known for) and post these contents on my TikTok and Instagram account. One of them actually went viral on Instagram and helped me gain a few followers!
If you want to make a lasting brand, make sure to have a balance between unique products/services that your target audience wants from you but also do trends revolving around your brand value so that you can get more impressions.
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Mistake #5: Not having a brand proposition
Earlier, I spoke about brand values and proposition so I will elaborate more on the “branding proposition” (which is important if you think about it). A brand proposition or “unique selling proposition” (USP) helps you identify what is unique about your business and how you’re “better” than your competitors. This allows you to be engaging, relevant and know what benefits you can offer to your customers.
Think about it like this, why would I GO to your shop and purchase your item when I can purchase it from another shop that is similar and have a lower price? I didn’t know this was a thing until I studied a course in personal branding.
Ask yourself this important question: “What makes me unique from my competitors?” Think about your target market’s pain point (issue), how your product/service can fix their pain point (solution) and what makes you different from others (value).
For example, here is my one (and it’s pretty long): “I work with female and beauty businesses that don’t have the time to grow their online presence through visually appealing art. It’s time to find someone who can help you achieve those goals through chic and glamorous designs or even outshine your brand with beautiful illustrations (just like you imagined). I can help you create designs and illustrations to make your brand unique, creative and better than your competitors! ✨”
See how I added a brand emoji at the end of my USP? This can help you create your own USP so that you can use it when you introduce your business to someone else or create a strong connection with your loyal fanbase.
What branding mistake can you relate to in this post?
You learned 5 common brand mistakes I’ve made in the past including not having a clear brand message, not picking the right colour palette, jumping on trends (mostly) and targeting everyone.
Let me know what you’ve learned from this post and remember to check out my Etsy store for pretty branding templates and digital illustrations!
Did you know I have an eBook where you can learn how to create branding on Canva and sell digital templates online? You can purchase it here (comes BONUS with Instagram post templates) OR you can gain access to free templates below!