Branding Gone Wrong: Image Building Blunders That Cause More Bad Than Good

branding gone wrongThe best quality branding takes time and a lot of thought. It’s a little like watering a delicate flower – do too much and it dies, do too little and it never takes off – so you have to get the balance just right. Here are some mistakes to avoid so you can maintain your branding equilibrium and keep your image strong.

  • Skipping the research: This is a common mistake and it always results in disaster. Before you embark on your actual branding you need to know your target market. You also need to remember that your brand must reflect the personality of your company. Make sure you’ve got all this in place before you begin.
  • Generic branding: Don’t fall into the trap of using well-worn marketing clichés, stock photos, and generic taglines. It’s all been done before and it really won’t do you any favors. Your brand should be unique, that’s what makes it memorable.
  • Emulating another brand: Why would you want your brand to look similar to someone else’s? Your customers might get them mixed up and go to the other company. Make your brand stand apart from the others. This is where a marketing agency can help you draw out your company’s most influential values. You can avoid this mistake by getting a custom crowdsource logo from DesignsDesk from just $99. The designs are 100 percent unique and once purchased, you own the copyright. They even have a 100 percent money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose.
  • Getting trapped in a current trend: If you jump in on the latest design trend, just because it’s trendy, you run the risk of losing your identity and being swallowed by what’s popular now. Also, if you get caught up in what’s trending now, eventually it will become old and you’ll be trapped in the past. This can be costly if you have to keep rebranding your company.
  • Not taking advantage of video: Don’t over-focus on text and still images. Video is a great way to push your brand out there. Just ensure your videos are relevant to your products. Make regular checks to ensure all your videos are running properly and make sure they can be played on all mobile devices, not just laptops and smartphones.
  • Branding the wrong things: Stick to your niche and don’t go over the top. Use your company name very selectively, particularly when it comes down to sponsorships, events or branded products. Don’t stray too far, and only connect with relevant products that fit with your company message.
  • Not considering how your brand will be received globally: Even if you’re currently not a company that operates overseas, in the future, you may want to expand. This means you need to be very careful not to create a brand message that might come across as being offensive to another culture or when translated to a different language.
  • Using brand changes carelessly: There’s actually nothing wrong with rebranding as long as you approach it sensibly. You must remember that whatever changes you make to your established brand will diminish the connectivity you currently have in place with your clients. This is why it is of tremendous importance that you only make brand changes when it’s absolutely necessary. You must be certain that the benefits will outweigh the potential risks. If you’re going ahead with the rebrand, it’s also vital that you communicate clearly with your followers, so they know what to expect.

An Example of Branding Gone Wrong

In 1982 Colgate, already famous for their brand of toothpaste, decided to branch out with a line of frozen meals called Colgate Kitchen Entrees. In the early 80s, the frozen, ready-to-eat meal market was expanding and the company thought it would be a great space to increase their presence. However, their goal was blocked by their own brand. People associated the Colgate brand with toothpaste and because they were now trying to sell a line of food, the cross-branding just did not work. No matter how delicious Colgate’s frozen entrees might have been, the product was a total failure. This is a perfect example of why you should not stray too far from your current product when you’re expanding your brand.

Remember, your brand is more than just a logo and a slogan. It is a marketing icon which can stand the test of time and show effectiveness. It must be able to carry the stamp of your company’s personality so that it can be recognized immediately.


Sarah Lane is a small business consultant. She loves to help businesses grow and her posts are available on many start up websites today.

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