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Branding Mistakes to Avoid

I can’t stress enough how much an impact a quality brand identity has on your business. This includes everything from the photography choices, color palette, logo and other design elements. Don’t undervalue the role that this “look and feel” has in your business.

Good design builds trust.

 Without consciously acknowledging it, the design of a website, business card or advertisement impacts our initial impression of a business. For instance, when searching for a new dentist in my area, I subconsciously ruled out those dentists whose sites seemed very dated, or had poor functionality. This proves that industry-wide, the visual identity of your brand is significant.

When it comes to your business, here are a few pitfalls you can easily avoid, in order to make your brand identity as quality as your business is!

Avoiding establishing a brand identity

One major mistake businesses make regarding branding, is undervaluing the impact of a quality brand identity. I am always shocked when businesses request design services such as a website, PDF worksheets/flyers, or any other promotional piece, when they do not have a brand identity established yet. I understand cutting costs when starting your business, however there is no way around producing marketing materials without a brand identity. Even if you only have a website, you still are required to establish a look + feel. What colors evoke your brand? What typefaces speak to your audience? Photography style? You get the gist. It is necessary and actually such a fun way to see your vision come to light.

Purchasing a cheap logo

Insert cringing emoji here.

There are several sites that offer logos as cheap as $50. While this may seem like a great way to save money up front, I urge you… don’t do it! You will be guaranteed to end up with a logo that does not reflect your vision, value or quality you deserve. Also, you are most likely going to replace this cheap logo down the road, so really you are spending more money by having to hire this service twice. You deserve quality, and it is best to establish a cohesive brand up front.

Trying the DIY method

I totally understand wanting to have control over every aspect of your business, however it is best to stick with what you do best. Whether that is photography, event planning or creating products, you should spend your energy there. This is why I hired out development for my site, as well as photography (coming soon!). I have the capabilities to do both of these services, however I am very limited in my skill set so I chose to outsource. Though you may know your way around Photoshop, brand identity designers are better suited to reflect your business in the best way possible. This will save you loads of time and grief.

Changing your branding frequently

If you are constantly revising your brand identity drastically, it is most likely due to the desire to conform to design trends. You want to build a timeless brand, rather than one that constantly shifts. Through sticking with one brand identity, you build a cohesive brand, that in turn reflects immediate recognition + trust among your followers and advocates.

Rushing through the process

Though you may feel overwhelmed with the growth you are seeing in your business, I urge you to not take the brand identity process lightly. Take time to invest in defining the vision behind your brand, and discover your business purpose. These details help your designer truly reflect your business, so that you are left with a brand that just fits you perfectly! By taking the time up front, you are less likely to re-brand in the future, or to despise your current brand.

If you went with a cheap logo option, as mentioned above, you as well as the designer most likely did not take the time to invest in your brand. You want to avoid being left with a brand identity that are embarrassed of, or feel doesn’t reflect your vision.

How to avoid these pitfalls

The best way to avoid these common mistakes in your brand is to invest the time up front. Try to understand what makes your business unique, as well as define your purpose. Once you have a good grasp of your vision, hire a quality designer to give a face to your brand, and help build a cohesive design. If you would like to work with me for your brand identity + web needs, I am here for you to help you get the ball rolling!

Do any of these resonate with you? What other mistakes have you made, or seen other businesses make?



The branding quick-start checklist


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  1. Amy

    This is great and simple advice! I’m a graphic designer and recently had a client come to me without a logo but wanting promo material and stationery and even advised that I could suggest a new name for her business!

  2. Chrstine

    This article completely articulates what I try to tell my clients. Phenomenal job.

  3. Monica Galvan

    Well said! It’s important to realize how much branding, design in general impacts a business, it’s what distinguishes the great from the mediocre.

    1. Jamie

      Couldn’t have said it better, Monica! Branding plays a HUGE role in how you are conveyed to potential consumers, clients or customers.

  4. Kali /// June Mango Design

    I totally relate to having people who want to purchase a cheap logo for their business! I do branding + web design, but I also have an Etsy shop with pre-made wedding logos for couple’s who are getting hitched. I get inquiries ALL THE TIME from people asking if they can purchase a wedding logo for their business. I never say “no way!” but kindly tell them this may not be the best choice for their unique business. 🙂 Thanks for the lovely post!

    1. Jamie

      Good for you! Pre-made wedding logos completely make sense… most couples are not going to drop a hefty amount of money on a custom logo!

  5. Kercia

    Amen, Jamie, Amen! Establishing a strong vision is so, so important to having a strong brand and will keep you from feeling the need to ‘rebrand’ every 6 months. 🙂

    1. Jamie

      Yes, yes and yes! I am pretty frugal, so even just thinking of saving money by NOT rebranding often is incentive enough. Do it right the first time, that is my mantra!

  6. Noor

    I agree with all of these, oh and I hate when someone changes their website design and logo constantly.

    1. Jamie

      Thanks for stopping by, Noor! Agreed – constantly changing your website + logo are very problematic. It is best to invest the time and money up front to establish quality branding up front!

  7. Alyssa J Freitas

    Great advice! I will say that I am a fan of the DIY method for myself since I’m a blogger who is not looking to monetize. For a business I totally understand the value of making that investment.
    Alyssa J Freitas

    1. Jamie

      Great point Alyssa! Of course, if you have a personal blog you are not looking to monetize, investing in a quality brand identity doesn’t make much sense financially! Once you make the transition to a business, branding makes all the difference in setting yourself apart from a “personal/fun” blog to “professional.”

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