Building a brand is one of the most difficult aspects of being an entrepreneur. That’s why you need to make things easy as possible for yourself along the way, ensuring everything you do is both positive and supportive – not damaging and detrimental.
It’s all well and good advertising your brand as the best in town, but if you constantly and repeatedly shove this message down your customers’ throats, soon enough you won’t have any customers to sell to. Indulging in excessive self-promotion is one of the worst things an entrepreneur can do when it comes to building a brand. By all means promise high quality products (if you can deliver them), but don’t go overboard and shout about how good you are from the top of the hills. After all, the best brands don’t need to tell everyone how good they are – the products speak for themselves.
2. Delivering Cheap Digs
You may have seen the likes of mega supermarkets delivering sly digs at competitors on television – advertising the prices of their products right alongside a rival’s. Doing this yourself is a big no-no. When you’re first starting out, casually mocking or demeaning bigger competitors comes across as desperate, cheap and tacky. What’s more, it’ll only add to the value of the brand you’re attacking – not yours. Stick to your own message, focus on yourself and reserve your thoughts and feelings about other brands for coffee talk among friends.
3. Telling Your Customers What They Need, Rather Than Listening To What They Want
A lot of entrepreneurs – both amateur and experienced – make the mistake of thinking they know what’s best for the customer. Sure, you might have a great product that could enrich their lives, but you need to adapt it so that it’s attainable, affordable and beneficial for them in the right ways. Invite feedback from your customers and listen to what they have to say – tweaking your product accordingly. Stubbornness will get your brand nowhere fast.
4. Not Protecting Your Brand
It’s a dog eat dog world out there. The sad truth is that if you don’t protect your idea, somebody else will snatch it. Make sure you have everything locked down as soon as possible. Recruiting a capable lawyer to write up all the necessary T&C’s for you is not difficult, and will be worth forking out a chunk of your budget for in the long run.
5. Ignoring Social Media
Social Media is a huge part of branding now, and without linking your creation up to a wide variety of channels, you’re going to get left behind. So much brand awareness comes from scrolling up and down Twitter and Facebook feeds, and you need to ensure that you’re projecting a positive image about your brand on a daily basis in a variety of different ways. Think images, content, videos, GIFs, cartoons and interviews.
by Diarmuid Scollard