Don’t assume that just because something is common rhetoric doesn’t mean that it’s true. Especially when it comes to branding and your small business – there are a billion “tried and true” methods to grow a business, but since every business uses these methods, wouldn’t that mean that every business is successful?
We all know that this isn’t the case – and it means that all of the stereotypes and myths that you’ve heard about branding aren’t flawless. This means that branding isn’t a formula, that there’s a lot of variables that anyone can plug in (depending on their individual business) and success can be attributed to tons of other factors.
A brand is a promise that a business makes to its customers, all tied in with the concept of branding. Branding is how your business conveys this brand to others and the experience that others have interacting with your brand. Following myths about branding is doing yourself a disservice – below are some of the top branding myths that need to be dispelled for small business owners to get their brand up, running, and successful!
#1. Designing your logo needs to be hard. While simply slinging together a logo or brand isn’t recommended by anyone, creating a logo also doesn’t need to be a mind-blowing process. With some research about colors, fonts, shapes, and a little help from a graphic designer or free logo maker tool, anyone can create the logo that works for their brand.
#2. A great product means a successful business. A great product is only one part of building a successful business and brand. Quality is not everything. So while you might have the best product or service around, you’re going to need to think outside of the branding box to move forward. Consider how some of the largest brands out there sell their products – even if they’re everyday products. Axe, for example, sells deodorant, but so do many other businesses. They’ve moved past their product to become a personality.
#3. Branding stops once a logo is created. Your logo and website are only one small part of your visual identity and your branding and is aimed at helping your customer identify you, but it’s not all that you are. Again, your designs are each one part of your brand, it’s not the entirety of your brand – all of this will take work as long as your business is active. You might be able to build a logo and a website in a day, your brand needs time to develop. A brand doesn’t need a logo to succeed, but it definitely needs a consistent brand!
#4. Only big businesses can create a brand. No! No, no, no, no no! A brand identity is essential even as a small business, not only for larger brands. Branding makes you appear professional, in charge, and put together – all things to build your business and marketing materials further. Especially for small business, without name recognition, branding is even more essential for you to present yourself to your clients.
#5. Branding is really expensive. With the rise of social media, branding is less expensive than ever. As long as you’re using these as tools to create an identity for your business than you can create a brand spending as little money as possible. It’s a huge myth that only businesses with investors and funding are those that will get their feet off the ground.
#6. Branding is 100% about advertising. Advertising can help to maintain your brand, yes, but it’s not all that your brand needs to succeed. It’s a quick way to put your business in front of a ton of people, but it’s definitely not the only way.
Dumping tons of money into advertising is only effective if done correctly since it doesn’t build a brand’s credibility in a world where advertising is all around us. In fact, there are tons of businesses that don’t use advertising at all! Even further, advertising is simply the way you’re showcasing your business identity – branding IS your business identity.
Importantly, your brand needs to be open to change, rebranding, and edits by your target market. This does not mean that the whims of the market should cause you to rush and change everything about your brand, but rather understand and recognize the larger trends and insert your business into it.
The biggest myth is that branding is static. It’s not. Your brand is a living, breathing, shifting organism and should be treated as such – don’t be afraid to dive in, change what works for you, and throw out the branding formula.