The start-up phase of any new business is exciting and daunting in equal measure – largely due to the fact that there are a lot of decisions to make. These aren’t just any decisions either – the choices you make now are likely to directly impact the outcome of your business launch and its future success (or failure).

This pressure can naturally cause a lot of business owners to put off branding or overthink the process before it’s even begun. At the same time, lots of businesses actively look forward to the branding stage – focused solely on the visual aspect rather than the unique value your brand represents. And whilst this stage should be exciting and fun, it’s also important to be careful and conscious with your decisions and avoid some key mistakes a lot of businesses make which cost them time and money further down the line.

1/ Forgetting to consider target audience

This is a major issue and it’s incredibly common – because more often than not, you’ll have tunnel vision when it comes to your own business. You’ve probably visualised your brand before it’s come to fruition, and you have an idea in your mind of how it should look and how you want it to be.

That’s fine – beneficial, even – but be sure to take time to step back, question it and try to see your idea through the eyes of your target audience. If your brand doesn’t connect properly with your target audience, it simply isn’t doing its job properly. The worst-case scenario here is that your brand actively turns customers off rather than encouraging them to spend money with you.

2/ Playing it too safe

There’s something to be said for conducting thorough research before you start the branding process – taking into account your sector and successful competitors. But too many companies fall into the trap of playing it safe with their brand – opting to do something that’s already been done many times and done well, because it seems like the most sensible option to connect with and engage your audience.

But like most things in life, the reward lies within the risk. Yes, your brand needs to be carefully constructed to appeal your audience and communicate who you are and what you do. But it also needs to stand out. To excite consumers, you need to offer them something different, something unique. Using the ‘same old’ approach to branding will impair customer impression and affect your capacity for growth and development in the long-term.

Another increasingly common issue we see (especially when supporting businesses with a second look at their branding) is following trends. There is a time and a place for trends – but the branding stage isn’t it. Brilliant branding is authentic, original – contemporary, but established. The most iconic brands (the ones you can visualise when you hear their name) are timeless. This longevity and versatility comes with a truly unique brand identity. Businesses that base their brand on trends quickly start to look dated and ‘old hat’, then need to spend time and money on a refresh or rework.

There are lots of great tools out there businesses can take advantage of now – including Canva and AI generators. But the lack of originality of these designs usually offer is affecting the initial impact of the brands that use them, impairing profitability as a result. You become ‘just another’ rather than ‘the one’ to your ideal customer.

Bottom line: Trends are temporary. If you want your business to be around for a long time – that means your brand is going to be around for a long time, too. 

Need expert branding support?
Our holistic process ensures every aspect of your brand identity is covered, so your business has room to grow. Our branding experts work with you to create something truly unique which fully reflects your vision and values.

With a team of professionals on hand to support you with every aspect from visual concepts and colour theory to tone of voice and brand guidelines, you can concentrate on scaling your business with confidence.

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