Branding is hard. Because it isn’t just one thing. It’s alllllllll the things.
Together. Forever. And then ever and ever.
Feeling lost with your brand in no brand’s land? Then take a literal page out of our magazine and flip the heck out of these branding myths. Knowing what’s wrong just feels so right.
1. Branding is marketing
Actually no, no it’s not. In fact, say it with us: Branding is NOT marketing. “Marketing is marketing,” says Alison Faulkner, owner of The ALISON Show in Provo and an influencer who does brand strategy for corporate clients. “Brand is value. A brand is the authentic personification of a business.”
2. Branding is your product
Wrong again! “This one is a big no-no for me,” Faulkner says. “Making the brand solely about the product you are selling is a mistake. Your brand should be about the benefits you are offering to your community, your customer and your clients. Your product is obviously a piece of that, but your brand is So. Much. More.”
3. Branding is cliche heaven
Enough! Enough with the cliches and common names. “How many ‘Wasatch’ or ‘Mountain West’ businesses do you see?” says Michael Janda, chief creative officer and partner at EKR agency in Provo. “It is challenging to stand out in a ruthlessly competitive business world when you name yourself just like the company next door. Cliches are useless.” Eight wrongs don’t make a right, people! (Oh, wait …)
4. Branding should play it safe
Dare to be different. We double dog dare ya. “Just like cliché names, if your logo is not unique and customized, you are inviting an extra challenge in your effort to separate yourself from the competition,” Janda says.
5. Branding is about what’s popular
If a branding campaign works for one company, it will work for every company guaranteed, right? Riiiiiiiiiiight. “People often create a brand based on what they think people want, rather than what awesomeness they inherently have,” Faulkner says. “Figure out your unique offering to the world, and brand that.”
6. Branding is just a feeling
Feeling the branding love? Who needs details? (You do. You need so many details.) “An un-policed brand is a recipe for branding disaster,” Janda says. “Colors, fonts, photos and design elements must be consistent across all marketing materials. A blue color on your website that is different from the blue on your billboard makes for a messy and unsuccessful brand.”
7. Branding is a bargain
When you have a good product, it’s easy to think the branding will naturally fall into place. But branding is work. It’s premeditated. It’s power. And it’s pricey. “Take your time and do it right,” Janda says. “You may be tempted to save a buck by having your brother’s neighbor’s high school friend create a visual identity for your business. In the long run, a well-crafted, impactful brand will pay big dividends.”
8. Branding is about ROI
Hey, spreadsheets? Ya basic. “I get that your branding needs to contribute to the bottom line. I really do,” Faulkner says. “But don’t you dare ignore your intuition. Focusing solely on measurable results is a mistake, and it will not take you to the next level. It’s also super boring.”