Venturing into entrepreneurship is a risky but rewarding move. How you brand your investment determines if it will make or break your business. Look at the iconic branding of big companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Coca Cola, or Adidas. Branding is not something you come up with during your leisure time.
It’s something that requires careful planning. But what is branding? Deanna DeBara is quoted saying, “Your brand is the set of perceptions people have about your company. But branding is the set of actions you take to cultivate that brand”.
1. Having A Logo Is Important
Logos are essential as far as penetrating the business market is concerned. Having a catchy business name is a great move, but having an intriguing logo, adds you bonus points. Logos are an image representation of your business. They send a message about your business. The colors, fonts, and images used have to have an emotional connection with your target audience, something they can relate to and easily remember.
Logos create your brand recognition. They have to be present in your business cards, websites, or even merchandise. In that sense, the logo design and elements have to evoke emotions. The colors, fonts, or images used have to be clear and simple for a consumer to identify with.
2. Being Too Cautious
As a solopreneur, you have to understand that a business is a risky affair. Playing too safe won’t help in growing your brand. Your brand has to be captivating, unique, and out of the ordinary. If you want to have a huge market share, then your brand has to stand out. To achieve this, you have to study your competitor.
What are they doing that you can do better? At the same time, you also need to be wary so that you don’t deviate so much. Doing a lot of research will help you identify gaps that you can exploit to your advantage. Emulating what your competitors are doing will not create the uniqueness that you need.
3. Failure To Have A Branding Strategy
It’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a solopreneur. You can invest a lot of capital into products and services that your entrepreneurship will offer, but without a clear branding strategy, your money will go down the drain. Your marketing techniques have to be captivating, unique, and appealing.
These techniques are what will set you apart from your competitors. You need to figure out what your branding style will be, have proper communications channels, and a website that consumers can easily gather information about your business and services you offer.
4. Brand Changes Are Poorly Planned
Rebranding is something most businesses do, but if done poorly, consumers lose the personal touch with your business. For instance, Coca Cola has changed their logo over a couple of decades, but that the original feel of their logo is maintained. The critical element of branding is coming up with something that consumers can easily remember. Once you alter this, you stand to lose a lot of your consumers.
Some may think your business has changed ownership. Before you roll out any rebranding, take your time to plan. There are various factors that you need to consider when rebranding. What will be the impact of the changes? Is the cost of rebranding worth the benefits? Will the new look of your business attract more consumers or detach your already existing consumer base?
5. Lack Of Authenticity
Reports indicate that 86% of consumers feel that authenticity is a significant factor for them before they support a particular brand. Most entrepreneurs tend to use celebrities to market their brands. While it’s a marketing strategy to use celebrities to market your brand, be wary of the impact it will have on your business.
The stories they tell about your brand have to be authentic, don’t tell stories you think the consumers want to hear, speak about the truth about your brands. The person sharing the story has to relate with your brand, and has to be a consumer of your brand. Otherwise, consumers will be able to identify the inauthenticity of your story, no matter how little.
6. Neglecting Social Media
Another huge mistake solopreneurs are making is overlooking the significance of social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. These platforms are free, and when used in the right manner they can become a powerful marketing tool. Regularly post content about your brand, always be present in your social media accounts to answer questions to consumers, and telling them about your brand.
Alternatively, have a scheduled time or day when you can answer questions that consumers have about your brand. These platforms have a lot of users, and when you know how to market your brand, you will gain a huge base of consumers.
7. Overlooking The Importance Of Brand Guidelines
This mishap done by solopreneurs is what breaks their businesses. Establishing brand guidelines is a crucial step that defines the route your brand will take. Overlooking this step means that your brand doesn’t have a defined path, meaning your business has no direction. Brand guidelines that you need include the following;
- Business logo- it creates an impression within the mind of a consumer. An eye-capturing logo will attract the attention of so many people.
- Brand colors- they also create a long-lasting impression. The colors you chose have to communicate about your brand. Also, don’t use too many colors, it will be hard for consumers to relate to your brand.
- Fonts- they have to be legible. Also, don’t use too many fonts.
- Establish the voice of your brand.
These guidelines help you maintain the authenticity and consistency of your brand. Those are not all the guidelines you need. If you feel you have more brand guidelines you can add them. The biggest mistake will be to venture into entrepreneurship with no set of brand guidelines.
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There’s a lot of investment that a solopreneur has to make as far as branding is concerned. While it’s not easy to be a solopreneur, compromising on branding strategies will make your business fail before it evens picks. You don’t have to complicate your branding design and strategies. Keep it simple, and avoid the above mistakes.
Have manageable and realistic expectations, identify your target audience, and know how you will connect with them for a long term run. Remember, you can’t appeal to all consumers, but focusing on your target consumers is paramount. It will help you grow your brand in a better way and deliver services in a way that will the trustworthy of your brand.
“20 Common Branding Mistakes That Small to Mid Sized Businesses Make: JUST™ Creative.” JUST, 8 Mar. 2020, justcreative.com/2019/11/16/20-common-branding-mistakes.
“10 Common Branding Mistakes That Solopreneurs Make.” The Personal Growth Channel, 31 Aug. 2020, www.personalgrowthchannel.com/2020/08/10-common-branding-mistakes-that-solopreneurs-make.html?utm_source=rss.
“10 Common Branding Mistakes That Solopreneurs Make.” Solopreneur Diaries, 18 Dec. 2019, solopreneurdiaries.com/branding-mistakes/.
Patel, Sujan. “7 Stupid Branding Mistakes Your Small Business Is Making.” Entrepreneur, 5 Mar. 2014, www.entrepreneur.com/article/231966.
Author Bio: Karl Murphy
Karl Murphy is a professional journalist from Des Moines, Iowa. After obtaining his Master's degree, he's launched his career and over its course, Karl was contributing to the popular publications for men. He's passionate about eSports, so now he develops his blog csgo-bettingsites.com.