We have come to the final lesson in the Small Business Branding Made Easy Crash Course. I hope you’ve enjoyed your lessons and learned a lot about creating a solid brand for your business.

In this final lesson we are going to touch on some of the more common branding mistakes so you can avoid making them and then talk about how you can use branding to increase sales.

As we know, branding is more than just a pretty logo. It’s about creating a seamless experience for consumers so that they will know, like and trust your business the instant they see it.

Remember your brand is your promise to consumers that you can meet their expectations. It’s important that you build it carefully, deliberately and be prepared to invest a lot of time and effort maintaining it.

– Audience

One of the biggest mistakes I see when it comes to effective branding is the failure to understand your target audience.

Before you begin branding or selling anything for that matter it’s important to have a good understand of what type of audience you’re speaking to. Take time to get to know them, understand their problems, their wants, needs, their desires, the places they like to hang out, the brands they follow. Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, branding and messaging will be much.

– Competition

Failure to research the competition, as I mentioned in another broadcast, is another big mistake. This is especially important if you are a new business. Researching your competition will help you get a handle on what established businesses in your industry are doing right and what they’re doing wrong. It will also help you see opportunities that will give you brand an advantage.

Look at their products, services, websites and social profiles. Pay attention to their target audiences. What are people saying about them?  What can you do better?

– Feedback

Taking feedback from the wrong or limited sources can cause a lot of damage to brand campaign. Consumer feedback is very important and should be leveraged to boost your brand but it’s important that you take feedback from the right sources.

Every business owner wants great feedback. It’s our natural instinct to only want to focus on the good things, but limiting our sources to only positive feedback can actually cause more harm than good, because it won’t help you set measurable and appropriate goals.

– Inconsistency

We’ve talked a lot about brand consistency in these lessons because it has a huge impact on your business. Consistency helps raise awareness, loyalty and credibility. If there are inconsistencies in your brand, consumers will become confused and lose trust. The more consistent you are with your image, promotions, communication and every other interaction you make with your audience the stronger your brand presence will be.

Building and managing a brand isn’t always an easy thing. There are many businesses that think a brand is something you establish and then it takes care of itself. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

If you want your business to be successful you must be ready to adapt to the constant changing needs of the market and you should constantly improve and refine your brand to provide better quality and consistency for your customers because ultimately your success depends on them.

As we close this final lesson, I would like to thank you again for joining me for this short course. I sincerely hope that you’ve learned a lot about how to brand your small business and even though the lessons have come to an end I want you to know that you can still feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I’m more than happy to help.

Until then,

Dave Glick