As a branding agency, we continuously have to educate ourselves & clients on proper brand practices. We come across lots of brands incorrectly portraying themselves to the public, and typically they do not know they are even doing it. The mistakes I discuss in this article are some of the most common ones we run into on a weekly and sometimes even daily basis. For a brand to succeed it needs to be agile in this fast paced economy including constant attention and maintenance.
Having great visuals and messaging means nothing to your audience if you are not consistent. Without a consistent voice and brand message your audience gets confused and are less likely to understand your value proposition. From colors, fonts, graphics, and content your brand needs to be consistent. Do you have a brand guideline and are employees using it? Is your web presence consistent with your social media content, printed marketing materials and customer proposition? These are important questions to guide the evaluation of your brand consistency.
Wow your idea is amazing, and it's never been done - but YES you still have competition. "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" is a good way to think about it. You need to know as much as possible about your competition, and what they are doing right, wrong, and how to differentiate yourself. We examine our competition quarterly, since so many new brands pop up, change, or adjust their positioning to new markets. Pretending you have no competition is typically step one to brand failure.
Your logo plays a major role in your brand, but it's only one piece of your identity. Personally I believe brands should be living and breathing, and they need constant attention to survive in our economy. From a strong identity (logo, business card, letterhead, etc), stunning graphics, an intriguing website, strong messaging, and marketing materials, your brand is made up of much more then just a logo. All parts need to be oiled and running up to speed to have a quality "brand presence."
One comment we here from potential and existing clients is that their "target market is everyone." Every brand needs to clearly define their target market. From age, occupation, sex, interests, income, location, and more your target audiene needs to be broken down into specifics as much as possible. Once you define your audience, think about splitting them up into multiple target markets.
There is no reason to let your brand go stale. Your target market wants industry leaders, they want someone with knowledge in your field, and they want someone they can trust. Letting your materials go out-dated shows that you are not up to speed on what is out there in your industry. I can guarantee your competition is staying updated, and they are one step of a head of you if your not.