Brand & Advertising

5 common branding challenges and how to overcome them

Written by Pim van Helten on 4, Math 2021

Building a strong brand is no easy feat. It’s a complex process that goes beyond creating a slick logo and catchy tagline. It requires time, dedication, and above all, skills.

Today’s customers are spoiled for choice. They have hordes of brands competing for their attention. As a result, they’re drawn to authentic, memorable brands that they can relate to on an emotional level. 

The importance of branding

In an age of ever-growing competition, striking the right emotional chord is key to standing out from the crowd. The most successful brands today are those that build lasting relationships with their customers.

Branding is about defining who you are as a brand, what you stand for, and why it matters. That’s no walk in the park. 

There are so many elements and dimensions to take into account that it can be easy to slip up. And while it’s important to make mistakes and learn from them, you don’t always have to. Here are five branding missteps I’ve encountered one too many times. Set yourself up for success by steering clear of them:

1. Struggling to commit to the process

Too often, brands overlook the importance of the brand building process. They go about designing, developing, and changing elements of their brand without having a well-defined strategy guiding their decisions. 

Successful brands earn customers’ trust by offering consistent, memorable experiences. It’s a constant work in progress. You need to answer tough questions about who you are as a brand and what you stand for. For that, you need to be fully committed. 

2. Lack of creativity

In this highly competitive market, creativity is essential to differentiating your brand and staying ahead of the pack. When you put creativity at the heart of your brand experience, you’ll leave a lasting impression that attracts and retains customers. When you don’t, you risk winding up with a generic, homogenized brand that blends in with the competition rather than stands out.

3. Losing touch with your brand identity

Your brand identity is what sets you apart from the competition. It’s how you evoke emotions and build relationships. This comes down to your brand’s look and feel, from its design to its tone of voice. Each element contributes to how customers perceive your brand. Remember, consistency is key. 

At the same time, brands are constantly evolving to stay relevant and keep up with growing customer expectations. It’s important not to lose sight of your identity as your brand grows and evolves over time. Drawing up a set of brand guidelines can help keep you grounded. 

4. Skipping steps

It’s easy to get lost in the branding process. You may be tempted to skip certain steps and speed things up. But you can’t hit fast forward when building your brand. You need a well-crafted, step-by-step plan in place, and you need to stick to it. 

For example, when you start creating content for your website’s blog, you first need to define your brand tone of voice. If you don’t know what you want to sound like, you’ll end up with inconsistent content that your customers struggle to relate to. 

5. Creating products without a brand foundation

Building a brand is like building a house. Without a strong foundation, it’ll fall apart. Your brand foundation is a stepping stone to the visual identity of your brand. It defines your brand’s purpose, vision, and values. 

I’ve seen too many brands trying to create new products or revamp their website without a solid foundation in place. Ultimately, they find themselves lost when making future brand decisions, because there are no principles in place to guide them. Without a brand foundation, you’ll end up with inconsistent products that confuse your customers and will eventually lose their trust. 

Branding isn’t a one-time project. It’s a long-haul process requiring all hands on deck. Getting it right is fundamental to your brand’s success. In the end, what matters most is how you define, differentiate, and communicate your brand. That will determine your legacy.

Luckily, you don’t have to do this alone. We’ve put together the ultimate brand guide to help you build a strong and unique brand. Download the guide here.

STORY WRITTEN BY
Pim van Helten
CEO
Pim van Helten
CEO

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