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Branding Mistakes You Could Be Making Right Now

Building a brand takes time, vision, and a lot of hard work (not to mention working with these guys). There’s no way that I can deliver a formula in a blog post that will work specifically for your business. I can, however, give some tips on how to get it wrong. Share them, post it in the office, or print this post and make a funny hat out of it. Just please send pictures if you choose the latter.

1. Rely solely on cheap stock photography.
There’s nothing more attractive to a prospect than photos of young, beautiful staffers on your site that don’t actually work there, in a building you don’t actually work in. Truth is, people can spot those over-used models from a mile away.

2. Change your logo/brand elements every year. Looking at the same logo everyday is a bore, I’m sure. If you’re going through $99 logos like most people go through socks, you’re probably doing it wrong and need to put the appropriate investment into it. Cutting corners on your image in the name of cost isn’t doing your company any favors.

3. Use plenty of industry jargon and catchphrases in your writing. Everyone is looking for someone who thinks outside the box and will take them to the next level. They also want to work with someone genuine. Be direct and sincere. You wouldn’t really use worn-out pickup lines at a bar, right? Exactly.

4. Mimic your competition. If it works for them, why start over with something new? No one got successful by re-creating the wheel, but many found their fortunes by creating tires, internal combustion engines and a slew of ideas that are better than a lousy wheel.

5. Remember, your brand is only how you look and what you say. Don’t follow it up with the way you conduct business. And while you’re at it, exaggerate on what you say you can do for your clients. That’ll never come back and bite you in the ass.

Is there anything I missed? Did I step out of line? Let me know in the comments.

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.

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