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In the days of the Old West, massive herds of cattle roamed the countryside. If you found a cow off on its own, the first thing you would do is look at its flank. If the cow belonged to someone, there would be a brand on its side to advertise that ownership. That brand represented not just a mark of property, but also a seal of approval. It became the symbol for a company, acting as a shorthand that let buyers know which outfit had raised this animal.

While we might not have cowboys heating up their branding irons the way we used to, but the idea of a brand representing a corporation’s reputation is very much alive and well in today’s world. If you’re worried about your brand, and how to make sure it doesn’t get tarnished, here are some branding mistakes you need to avoid.

Mistake #1: Making Your Logo Complicated

Let’s head back to the frontier for a moment. Most cattle brands were simple things, like a pair of letters, or a simple symbol like an O-O. Ranchers knew their brands had to be simple (in order to make a branding iron that held their shape), and they had to be both unique and identifiable at a glance. Modern brands should take those lessons to heart. So, while it might be tempting to make something intricate or convoluted, keep your logo simple.

Mistake #2: Being Vague in What Your Brand Stands For

Before you even get started, you need to know what your brand has to say about your company. What message do you want to send, and what impression do you want to make? The Woolworths ‘Green Apple’ logo, for instance, is friendly and the green coloured apple associates it with freshness. That all comes across at a glance, without so much as a word. So ask what you want people to think when they look at your brand, and then figure out how to convey that in the briefest way possible.

Mistake #3: Not Testing Your Brand Before Roll Out

If you were going to release a new product or service, you’d check to make sure it was actually something people would buy, wouldn’t you? You’d probably come up with a few different names for it, you’d have surveys, and maybe do some samples with your clients to see whether it was something they liked, and wanted more of.

So why wouldn’t you go through all that work for your brand?

Before you make any changes, or release any official branding items like a logo, catchphrase, or mascot, always do a trial-run to try to gauge audience reaction. Test it, and make sure it’s something people are going to respond positively to before you spend the time and money to make something that could be the face of your business for a long time to come.

Mistake #4: Changing Your Brand Too Often

It is possible to change your brand, or to re-brand entirely if the old image you had simply isn’t working for your business anymore. However, it’s important to remember that re-branding is not easy to do. What you’re essentially doing is trying to change people’s perceptions of you. While changing your clothes, and styling your hair differently can make for a different impression, it won’t erase the old you in most people’s minds. That will take time, and dedication to being this new you with a different look, and a different tone. So if you’re constantly changing your look, your message, and your tone, people are going to forget who you’re supposed to be.

These are just a few of the simple mistakes any business can make when creating a brand. For help with your branding issues, simply contact us today!

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