Top Ten Branding Mistakes As Identified by Brand Research Company

Marketing research helps companies know the answers to critical brand questions, not just guess at them. Creating brand strategy without timely and accurate information isn’t just risky – it’s difficult and wastes resources. Understanding the market, what they want and need and how your brand is going to play allows you to focus all of your resources on hitting the target. Research helps prevent common brand marketing mistakes.

1. Losing control of your brand. Companies that let any outside agency or organization take control of and define their brand are in for trouble. No one knows your brand – internally and externally – like you do and you should never cede this power to another.

2. Not establishing a differentiation. Differentiation is the one thing that makes any brand stand out from the crowd and gives the customer a reason to choose it. If a brand is not differentiated, any competitive advantage is eliminated and it is probably becoming commoditized.

3. Benign neglect. Most companies are not directly hurting their brands, but they are not strengthening and enhancing them either. They are treating them with benign neglect, possibly the most vulnerable brand state.

4. Not defining a target market. No one brand can be “all things to all people.” If you are trying to do that by avoiding targeting a specific market segment, you will end up being “nothing to everyone.”

5. Not aligning promise and delivery. The number of brands who do not deliver on their brand promise is legion. Why waste advertising dollars making a promise that your organization is simply going to break? Not only does this waste today’s marketing budget, it can actually erode any positive equity your brand may hold.

6. Not making branding “Everyone’s Responsibility.” Marketing alone cannot continually build and strengthen the brand. If everyone in the organization is not holding the brand promise as a decision standard and a behavior guide, then Marketing’s best efforts will fall short.

7. Changing too much or too often. Brands do not change radically; they evolve. A well defined brand with a strongly differentiated position doesn’t need to change too frequently. If you find yourself looking for a new brand position every couple of years, slow down, do some research and get it right. Then stick with it.

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