Before you capture the attention of your target audience, you need to pay keen attention to your brand’s visuals. More often than not, you only have one chance to make a good impression with customers, and visual branding is a vital component of that.
Establishing a robust visual identity offers a few other benefits. For one, you’ll be able to make a stable connection with your audience. And with that solid connection, you can save a substantial amount of money over time in the form of reduced spending on promotions.
However, branding mistakes can undermine your efforts, or even worse, hurt your brand.
What are these mistakes that you should be aware of?
Visual branding can be tricky to nail down due to the sheer number of elements involved. Branding experts all agree that developing a coherent and consistent visual branding is crucial for long-term success.
In branding, as in other matters in life and work, having too many options available can be overwhelming. When you have several colors, fonts, and styles to choose from, the sheer number of choices can pose a serious challenge to your designers and audience. Furthermore, a wide gamut of options, especially in terms of fonts and colors, can leave your audience wondering about your actual identity and messaging.
Early on, you should settle on a family of fonts that are related to one another. Ideally, you should limit the number of fonts that you use to three.
Overemphasis on the logo
Your brand’s logo is a critical asset. However, it is not the only branding element that matters.
Putting too much emphasis on the logo provides customers with an incomplete snapshot of your brand and what it has to offer. Instead of overemphasizing the logo, you should give equal weight to other design elements in order to make your brand truly resonate with consumers.
Lack of originality
With the advent of the Internet, it is easy for designers to influence one another and put the spotlight on specific design trends. While this is undoubtedly a boon, it can also prove to be a double-edged sword that can hurt brands.
When your brand’s logo and visual elements look uncannily similar to another brand’s, even if it is from another industry, it can be difficult to gain the trust of your target audience. Worse, you could potentially face legal action from another company.
Appealing to a diverse demographic
Universal appeal may sound like something good to strive for, but not in branding. When you try to appeal to a different number of consumers, that does not necessarily translate to more significant sales. In fact, you might end up alienating the market segment that you should be targeting instead.
At the earliest time possible, identify the specific segment you should be targeting. Everything should emanate from that.
If, for example, your brand caters to a particular niche, your visuals and messaging should focus on that niche. On the other hand, if your brand caters to different segments, it would be helpful to craft individual messages for each of those segments.
Not embracing innovation
It can be fairly easy to embrace the trap of the familiar. After all, if it worked in the past, why should you change anything? Or as the old adage goes, why fix something that isn’t broken?
However, subscribing to that idea is the easiest path towards becoming stale and monotonous. What some people see as familiar can also be seen as outdated.
Do not hesitate to get out of your comfort zone and shake things up from time to time.
Blindly following trends
If everyone else is doing it, why shouldn’t you join the bandwagon?
If other brands are getting outstanding results by implementing a particular trend, that does not necessarily mean that you will be able to replicate their results.
In fact, jumping on the bandwagon can hurt your brand. It is vital to remember that branding is all about creating a separation between you and your competitors. If your visuals look like everyone else’s, how can you distinguish your brand?
Left unchecked, these mistakes can undermine your team’s hard work and even hurt your brand over the long haul. Keep a close watch on any of these mistakes that you might have been making and correct these as soon as possible.
Stuart Harris is the Creative Director at Yellow, a Dubai branding agency, digital partner and advertising company working with progressive businesses to build bold, meaningful brands.