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Product branding myths

By Expert commentator 21 Sep, 2018
Essential

Five common product branding myths

Branding is one of the aspects of running a business that people just can’t seem to get right. Here are a few nuggets of information that are not facts, but product branding myths.

There is a lot of information out there on the subject, but most of it is sadly incorrect. This has made it somewhat impossible for many businesses to properly exploit branding.

Myth 01 - Branding is all about the logo and colors

Technically speaking, if all you needed to make an excellent brand was a good logo and a perfect color palette, then brand designers would have become obsolete a long time ago.

Branding is more than a combination of logos and colors. It is the addition of personality to the appearance of your business. A way to tell a story with as few words as possible.

Branding has very little to do with the logo. It has to do with making sure that the brand actually embodies your beliefs and personifies the characteristics of your business.

It is a way to bring your business to life making it relatable, personal, uplifting and beautiful. This is what branding is about. A good brand makes you unique, tells your story as perfectly as possible and speaks to the masses in a clear voice.

Myth 02 - Branding is for the big companies, not the small ones

The common perception is that branding is only for the bigwigs. Companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola. This is completely wrong. Branding is for everyone. It’s not just about having a flashy logo and attractive colors, branding is about helping everyone visualize your business mission and vision.

To understand why branding is an exercise that all businesses require, think of it in this scenario. You are standing in the middle of a busy street with a placard. This sign that you are holding up has information printed on it. The information is printed in black ink on a white background. To everyone passing by, this sign may seem boring and considered as something not worth their attention.

On the other hand, if you decorate the placard, write the relevant information with enticing text, add attention-grabbing colors, some blinking neon lights around the edges and play some fine tunes, and it will likely get the attention of passers-by.

These are the basics of branding, ensuring that your message and business are visible to the right group of people. This is why we only think of the big guns when we visualize branding because they have found a way to properly tell their tales.

So, if you are considering doing some branding for your business, no matter how small, don’t hold back. An effective brand can be the determining factor of whether your business sinks or swims and that properly it resonates with the world.

Myth 03 - Branding is too complicated

Yes, branding is not easy and straightforward. However, this is not a reason to procrastinate and delay it. Branding should be considered from the very conception of your business.

It is not an element of your business that you want to put off until a more convenient time. The longer you leave it, the more your company will have developed, and the harder it’ll be to implement a branding strategy. Without the guiding rope of a company brand for employees to associate with, things could start to go haywire.

Start your brand with your business and grow them together. Because one is there to complement the other.

This does not mean that you need to have everything about your brand figured out from the beginning. Take it one day at a time. Build the personality of your business one brick at a time.

Start with something as simple as your tone and language. What you need to achieve in the beginning is a perfect foundation. Something small that people will know your business for. From here you can venture further and tackle the numerous moving pieces one by one.

Embody your business in the messages that you pass on, as this will set you on the right track to building a commendable brand.

Myth 04 - Branding is so easy I can do it myself

Most people are avid watchers of sports and games. If you are a lover of basketball, then you have definitely watched a playoff game or two. There are times when a player misses a shot that looks extremely easy.

It is at a time like this that you throw your hands up in frustration. Maybe even shout a heated phrase or two. The most common expression is usually, “Seriously, he missed that? That was so easy even I could have made it!” But, if you were put in the exact same scenario, would you have actually delivered a different outcome?

This is a general perception that surrounds branding. From the outside looking in, it is the easiest task to perform. However, a professional’s work can make any line of work look easier than chewing gum. If you look at a brand, all you see is the finished product. The visuals, infographics, colors and the powerful message.

What you cannot see is the effort, time, resources, endless nights, research, interviews, test runs and revisions that goes on behind the curtains. Kicking off the process is easy, but competing it is nothing short of a miracle. Especially if you are walking around in the dark and learning as you go.

Branding involves:

  • Business research in terms of goals, mission, vision, and tone
  • Market and industry research
  • Creating the relevant visuals
  • Making the images to accompany these visuals
  • Revising and reformatting everything until you hit that sweet spot

And these are just the basics. Things get complex as you progress. It takes a lot of time and effort to create something that will fulfill its intended purpose. So, if you are still considering going it alone, be ready to put in the work and deal with the frustration that comes with it. Because, a brand is more than just the logos, colors and taglines.

Myth 05 – Branding is an overpriced luxury

There is some truth to this statement in that branding can sometimes be pricey. It is however not a luxury but a necessity. For large businesses, rebranding can make a dent in your wallet. For this reason, it is always good to grow the right brand from the time that your business is still in its infancy stage.

For most, it is nearly impossible to look past the branding bill and focus on the beneficial aspects. Well executed branding will:

  • Directly speak to your potential customers
  • Give your business a professional feel
  • Help market your business
  • Present your content in the best light making it easier for people to purchase it

There is a lot of market research that accompanies the branding process. This makes branding an essential stepping stone to realizing success in your business. It is one of the tools that you can use to take your business to the next level. Always keep in mind that no matter how costly, branding is an investment.

Conclusion

For most, it is easier to spend a few dollars on tutorials and DIY instructions. This, though the cheaper path, is not always the best for your business. It is always advisable to save up your money and get the professionals to do the branding for you. Experts will give your business the look and feel that it not only needs but deserves.

Taylor Ryan - CMO at Valuer.aiTaylor Ryan - CMO at Valuer.ai. | LinkedIn | Twitter 
A mentor, startup junkie, technical marketer, presenter, and a growth hacker. Taylor grew up in Washington DC, but he has been living in Denmark, Copenhagen, for the last 2.5 years, where he is currently CMO of the venture-backed 70+ employee Ai company Valuer.ai. Taylor has also published a few marketing ebooks and consulted independently on startups and growth for 4+ years. 

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