In the past decade, brand management has evolved into a multi-faceted responsibility. No longer just a combination of traditional identity/print/broadcast, everything from social media to search engine ranking impacts brand identity. Many traditional methods still apply, but marketers must be cutting-edge to compete in today’s brand-saturated world. Here are seven common mistakes to avoid when managing your brand across traditional and digital platforms:
Mistake 1: Generic Branding
One of the Internet age’s major benefits is its easy access to creative work — images, photos, icons, and more. While this allows for design and branding work at a low cost (or even free), it often comes at the expense of specific design intentions. Quality brand management means careful consideration of logos and taglines to properly represent your philosophy, culture, and value. Too many organizations simply look through stock images and phrases to find a general fit. At best, it fails to sync up with your organizational image. At worst, it’s completely forgettable, which leads to difficult marketing retention. Be specific and do your research — it’s worth the effort.
Mistake 2: Wrong Value Proposition
Value proposition is all about setting the customer’s expectations. For example, a budget value proposition doesn’t make sense for a company that charges for high-quality work — it’s a completely different target audience. Determining the right value proposition requires careful definition of your strongest selling point and your target audience. Misunderstanding leads to a misrepresented brand, which negatively impacts your image, the customer experience, and your bottom line. And in the age of digital branding strategies, it’s easier than ever to Google further information about your brand — and if searches produce conflicting information, people will quickly pick up on that.
Mistake 3: Inconsistency
Inconsistency has always been a branding misstep, but it means even more in the age of digital branding. An inconsistent message leads to a campaign that lands somewhere between forgettable and confusing. As Google has placed a greater emphasis on brand identity for search results, inconsistency winds up sabotaging strategy across many levels. Find your identity, define your message, and stick with it. Don’t forget about harnessing the power of digital and social media branding strategies to reinforce these ideas.
Mistake 4: Ignoring Analytics
Branding in the digital age comes with many more responsibilities and options. On the flipside, digital media allows for immense data tracking, which can provide instant — and invaluable — analysis without laborious market research and focus groups. Modern analytics can provide data about everything from usage statistics to user demographics; it’s not absolutely necessary but it can make strategizing much, much easier.
Mistake 5: Ignoring Social Media
Social media branding is one of the biggest X-factors in digital brand management, and ignoring it hinders your ability to connect on a grassroots level. From your Facebook page to emerging sites like Pinterest, social media is a simple avenue to emphasize the core principles of your brand.
Mistake 6: Forgetting About Your Online Presence
You’ve set up your brand’s Facebook page, Twitter account, and blog. That’s a great first step, but you can erase any potential benefits if your social media branding sits untouched. Don’t ever spend energy creating a graveyard. From a customer perspective, neglected social media gives off the impression of a static, unengaged brand — and from there, users may assign a plethora of negative connotations. Don’t even open that door; if you’re going to create an online presence, be sure to maintain it.
Mistake 7: Leaving Brand Materials in Silos
The inability to control and manage brand campaign materials can lead to inconsistency, slow brand growth, and rogue brand materials floating all over the Internet. The good news is that many cost-effective solutions exist, giving companies the ability to manage, control, and track their branded materials. Cloud computing – today’s favorite buzzword – makes it even easier for companies to centralize brand assets. Some even track campaign analytics based on usage for images, logos, videos, and other specific assets. Thanks to the latest technology, brand management has never been easier or more effective – as long as companies remember to use it.