You know part of building a successful business means establishing a successful brand. Branding includes your website, logo, name, print campaigns and billboards. But branding is not limited to merely advertising.

Your brand includes your customer experience, your employees’ experiences, how you present your business and your product, and how people perceive your business.

You are likely going to spend a lot of time and money developing your brand, so make sure that you don’t make these five branding mistakes along the way.

1. A lack of passion

Many businesses focus too much on making rational branding decisions without considering the emotional benefits they can provide. Your customer wants to relate to your business on an emotional level. However, customers can’t become emotionally invested if you’re not.

Passion is organic. You need to believe in your branding because you can’t successfully market an idea in which you aren’t passionate. Passion leads to genuine enthusiasm about your brand, and it’s infectious.

2. Inconsistencies

If you are using different logos for different aspects of marketing, your branding will fail. How you present yourself on your logo, website, social media platforms, business cards, billboards and in your office should all be consistent.

If you change your website, you need to change your brand across all levels. You need to ensure you’re using the same name, logo and tagline with every contact inside and outside the company.

Even your internal branding and how your employees perceive your company should be consistent with how customers perceive your brand.

Also, how your phone is answered, how your employees represent your company and how any potential customer hears about your company should be consistent with your branding. Have branding guidelines that outline a consistent brand identity.

3. No focus

It is essential that you have a detailed marketing plan in place before putting your branding strategy into action. Have a strong, committed focus.

You can’t reach everyone. You need to know who you want to reach and focus on them when creating your branding strategy.

Know what your brand is and how you want your audience to perceive your brand.

4. Trying too hard

As stated above, your customers need to relate to you. Don’t go too far with inside jokes and jargon. You want to be noticed in a way that increases sales, not in a way that induces confusion.

With so many mediums, there is a lot of pressure to create phenomenal branding that has the potential of going viral.

However, there is a fine line between engaging your customers and repelling them. If your content imitates other viral content, it’s lazy content.

Great branding requires thoughtful work and dedication. Don’t try too hard to be silly, edgy, hip or trendy unless it’s genuine and reflects your overall brand. Otherwise, you just look like the weird old man using the term “bae.”

5. No branding communication

Your employees are essentially a live representation of your branding. They’re your walking billboards and business cards. Keep them in the loop on your branding strategy, and get them excited to share it with others.

Train your employees how you want them to represent your company’s brand. Give them incentives, and award them when they do it effectively. Successful branding starts inside your business.

Branding is a fundamental aspect of any successful business, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. If you avoid the branding mistakes listed above, you can help your business grow by making critical connections with your customers.

Jarad Hull is the CEO at Blueroof360.

Email Jarad Hull.

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