As a brand designer, I see it A LOT in facebook groups….“I only need a logo”... “I don’t need a brand”... “Branding is for large organisations”...So many branding myths and misconceptions!
So today I wanted to burst the bubble on 7 branding misconceptions!
1 | Branding is simply a logo
A logo is a big visual part of a brand, but it is not the whole brand.
This is a very common misconception, and many small business owners often get confused.
Branding is putting your brand identity to use. To further clarify, a brand identity is your logo, fonts, colour palette, pattern, icons, and other visual elements that communicate your business vision and goals. It also encompasses your business characteristics, such as tone of voice, messaging, and story.
2 | Branding is just for large companies
This couldn't be further from the truth. As a small business owner I want my brand, and my business, to be recognised not only visually by my logo, and other visual brand elements, but also by the entire experience I provide my clients. So for example, from the moment I receive an inquiry, right through to “party time” - when the project is complete, I believe in creating a streamlined, professional yet friendly process which is part of my brand experience.
Companies like Starbucks have mastered this very well. Not only do you recognise the Starbucks logo and cups, esp in the Winter, but the moment you step into a Starbucks, and place an order, you are asked for your name - this process is part of their brand experience. It gives you, as a customer a sense of recognition, and involvement. You know that no matter what Starbucks you go into, you will receive the same experience.
3| Branding is just pretty design
Referring to my previous point above, branding is NOT just a pretty design. This is a massive misconception many small business owners have. Remember branding consists of the way your business vision and goals are brought to life - this can be by the tone of voice in your email copy, or website copy, the way you greet clients/customers on the phone, your personality, your product delivery or handover, as well as the visual (“pretty”) part.
4 | Branding should be based on what I like
Obviously your branding should be something you are keen on but first and foremost it needs to reflect your business vision and goals, and more importantly, attract your ideal client and be in line with what you're offering.
5 | I should revamp my branding often so it is on trend.
This is a big no no. Your branding should not be updated based on the latest trends, or fashions. Your branding should reflect your business vision, values and goals. Understandably if these change then yes, you should revamp or rebrand. However updating your branding because this year's design trend is “watercolour” is not a good idea.
6| I’m small business owner/just starting out/freelancer. Branding is not a big deal, I only need a logo
I’ve witnessed in a few Facebook groups that new small business owners/ or startups are often on the lookout for a “designer to help create a logo”. They often don’t see the importance of needing a brand and think they simply need a logo. The problem with this is, as mentioned, a logo is only part of a brand as a whole, it can only go so far. A brand helps you build your business, giving it the right look and feel in order for you to attract your ideal clients, and helps you to relay your business story.
7 | Phew. My branding is done and dusted. Now to concentrate on the real work
As offensive as that statement is to me as a Designer, I have heard people saying and referring to branding as if it is something that doesn't warrant any real thought to it. The problem, the misconception, of thinking like this is that branding is actually a really important aspect of any business, big or small. It is also an ongoing process, especially as mentioned above, it is not just about the pretty colours and logo, it is also about the tone of voice, communication and delivery of your services.
I often have seen small business owners making the mistake of creating a variation logo or adding another font, which they think is similar enough to use as the primary font. The problem with this is, they have unintentionally created an inconsistency in their branding. This can lead to a number of issues such as becoming untrustworthy, looking unprofessional, clients and customers not recognising their brand etc. So it's safe to say, once your branding is complete and you are armed with the right files, and thinking, you still need to keep consistent going forward and ensure you stay true to your brand and business values and vision.
Have you ever fallen for any of these misconceptions? Don’t worry you will be surprised how many business owners have. If you need any branding help feel free to get in touch to see how I could help.