In truth, we could make this list 5 times longer and it would not be enough, but for the sake of your sanity, we will list the 5 most prominent.
Mistake 1: Branding for yourself
And involving your whole family in the process. If they are not the target consumer, DO NOT involve your family and friends in the process. You are being, in fact, selfish, because you are ignoring the single most import thing in your business: the people who will give you sales.
Branding your business — and please, we are also talking strategy here, not just design — because you like the way one thing is done over the other is a selfish act that will prove, in time, to be ineffective when it comes to sales.
Unless you are designing a personal brand, the colours you like don’t matter. That’s lack of strategy to a level that we just turn away and cry. It is beyond frustrating to work with a founder or a stakeholder team who think they have the answer for everything instead of assessing what the market thinks.
Mistake 2: Adding too much fluff to your branding in Design terms
Age old question, to Fluff or not to Fluff.
When you look at the brands the perform the best in your industry, what do you notice? And not the brands you like the most, but the ones that are statically doing better in sales.
Do you notice a complicated brand identity?
Are they consistent with their message?
How does their Design affect their strategy (which you can detect on a surface level)?
Great Design sells, bad Design helps ruin your reputation. Paying attention and investing in Design show that you care about your business and your customers.
Mistake 3: Skipping strategy and designing a logo
Woaaaa. A logo will not solve your business problems, lad. If you can do strategy by yourself, then hire a branding specialist who will review that stuff for you and design an identity system.
A logo is just the tip of the iceberg of branding, and often times seen as a synonym for this convoluted term. It is not, we assure you.
Skipping strategy together will show through. If you are going to do a business, do it right. People will take notice. In fact, customers are very picky from whom they purchase, and if you can perspire confidence with your branding, you might as well not waste your time with a business.
Mistake 4: Selling for everyone who…
That’s a classic.
When you sell to everyone, you are selling to one. When you are selling to everyone, you have no focus and therefore people will not pay attention to your product or service.
Focus is the key for a successful brand. Whether you are focusing on a demographic or on a tribe of people, or a kind of mindset, focus will show you are a specialist and meant to be working with them.
Mistake 5: Doing it the same way your competitors
To the point you actually copy the colours and typography.
Seriously, who do you intend to fool by copying exactly or close enough what your competitors are doing? Be authentic, be different.
Yellow doesn’t mean positivity or belongs to any industry. It’s just yellow. Use your brand assets well and you will stand out.
As we said, the list could go on and on.
When you hire a brand designer, make sure you aren’t coming into the project with a mind too closed. Afterall, you are working with a professional and you need to trust their abilities to get the job done right.
If all you need is the Design, think of what’s best for your business, and not just what you want.