As a new entrepreneur, one of the most important things you need to do is to build a strong brand. You want to have a good reputation with your customers and the world at large, but sometimes one bad mistake can tarnish your brand in ways that can be hard to bounce back from.
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when you are building your brand:
Being Too Customer-Focused
This might seem counter-intuitive but it really isn’t if you think about it. While you definitely want to please your customers, being too focused on pleasing them might lead to you to make decisions that are not healthy for your business. You are positioning your business smarter if you always keep an eye on what your competition is doing and make sure that you are differentiating your products and services from similar businesses.
Not Creating Your Own Angle
If you were to study other successful brands, you will probably notice that they all have one particular angle that separates them from their competitors. For instance there are plenty of pizza shops, but how do you truly tell them apart? Domino’s is known for fast home delivery while Little Caesars is known for offering “two pizzas for the price of one”. What is your most important attribute that you want your business to be known for?
Just Picking Any Old Name
Names are important. It gives a sense of what the business or product represent so you want to choose wisely. Unfortunately though what has meaning to you, might not have meaning to your potential customers so you should always create your marketing strategy first to ensure that whatever name you pick will resonate with your desired audience.
Underestimating the Power of Visuals
A visual associated with a brand helps communicate the values of your business. When people see certain colors or certain designs they will associate your business and all the feeling behind it with those visuals.
Expecting Things to Take Off Quickly
We are all anxious to be a big success and the quicker the better, but sometimes that anxiousness can lead us to make bad decisions spending too much on advertising and ordering too many products in the hopes that will find immediate success. When you don’t have a lot of money to devote to advertising, public relations can be your best friend. Most of the time though it takes a good year or two to really make your business stick. Don’t put your success in jeopardy by biting off more than you can chew. It is going to take a long of hard work and time to launch your brand and you need to be prepared to do the time.
Diversifying Too Soon
I know your mother has warned you about having too many eggs in one basket. While in one way it may seem like a smart choice to diversify your products and services in order to ensure you make enough money, this plan can easily backfire on you as well. It is better to stay in your niche at first and make sure you do that really well before attempting to expand. If you try to spread yourself too thin, you are only setting yourself up to fail.
Not Investing in a Professional Website
In today’s technology age, you can’t not have a website. The internet is always the first place people look when they need information about a new product or service. By spending the money on creating a polished and informative website, you will draw in more customers who were just scrolling the internet and were hooked by something interesting on your site.
Remember that with the website, you need to focus on three important things: 1) visuals 2) content 3) functionality. Your site needs to be visually enticing, have all the important information your customers or investors might need and it needs to be easy to navigate. If visitors to your website can find their way around your site to find the information they need, they will grow frustrated and go somewhere else. Designing a professional website takes time and money so don’t skimp on either, and definitely don’t just through something slap dash together.
Don’t Be Afraid to Become an Expert
The smartest way to grow your brand is to become an expert in your field. If you become the go-to person that the media want to interview about your area of expertise or the speaker colleges and universities are clamoring for to come speak to their students than you will garner a lot of attention and respect without having to put out a lot of money on advertising.
Don’t Be a Crowd Follower
Sometimes in an effort to capitalize on the latest and greatest in trends, we try to mold ourselves and our business into something we are not. Never forget that showing your own uniqueness, your own style is the best way to differentiate yourself from everybody else. By offering your customers something no one else has, you will easily stand out in the crowd.
Not Recognizing Your Strengths and Weaknesses
The most important thing to remember is that building a brand takes time and a lot of work as well as a lot of introspection. You need to truly understand your strengths and weaknesses and how best to turn your skills into a thriving business. If you are not honest with yourself you may end up heading down a path that just isn’t right for you.
The bottom line is that your brand should be a true reflection of who you are and what is most important to you. Don’t worry, if you are true to yourself and work hard, people will see your passion shining through. The other two key ingredients are putting in the hard work to sustain your vision and your ability to strategize so you know how best to reach your intended audience.
Want to learn more about how to build a strong brand? Call MBB Management Today.