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Fatal Branding Mistakes
Fatal Branding Mistakes and How to Avoid ThemAuthor: Naz Daud
In launching a new business, branding can often be an aspect given far less attention than it really deserves, and this can cause a number of problems and issues in the future. The brand of a product or service, or the company as a whole, can make a huge difference as far as its success is concerned. Think of the many brands which are clearly in the general public's consciousness, and then ask yourself, how they managed to get there.
In some cases, it is simply as a result of longevity. Naturally, major brands or companies which have been around for many years have become well known, and household names. But there are many new companies, organizations and services available which have not been around for very long at all, and yet they have already achieved a high level of status and recognition.
The most successful companies, including offline and online home businesses, put a great deal of time, effort and attention into their branding, and will include marketing and advertising into the discussion to try to ensure that the product is as successful as possible.
Branding can be everything from the name of the product or company, the logo, and any attributes such as color themes, styles, physical appearances and slogans. These need to work together, without being too complicated.
When it comes to a successful brand, simplicity is often the key. Sometimes the very complicated graphics, or difficult names, can be forgotten or ignored too easily. The simplest graphics, slogans and names can often become very popular, simply because they are so easy to remember and to recognize.
If you think of logos first of all, which brands jump to mind? Often it is the simple, clear, distinct logos which are most easily remembered, such as Nike, for example. Although there are successful logos which are at the same time quite complex, they tend to be in the minority, and have another aspect to them which is simple, in order to compensate for it. The Coca Cola logo is rather more complex than Nike's tick, yet the colours are limited to red and white, with a distinctive font.
Branding involves a wide range of aspects, the name being one which is of most importance. Remembering a logo, or a slogan, or even a color theme, without being able to remember the actual product or business name, is of no use whatsoever. Any logo or slogan needs to be able to bring the product or business name to mind, otherwise the branding has failed.
But thinking of a clever brand name is fraught with challenges. How do you come up with a name which is memorable, easy to pronounce, even if your customers don't speak the same language as you, and at the same time, encourages associations which are positive and relevant?
When deciding on a good brand name for a product, there are a few golden rules. Firstly, avoid trying to cash in on a rival's success by emulating their brand name, or copying or adapting it in a way which is clearly recognizable. Although this has been done before, and occasionally with a measure of success, it is best to avoid it for a number of reasons.
Associating yourself too closely with a rival could result in people thinking you are the other company, and remembering your advertising, but their product. You might also find yourself beset with legal challenges and infringement of copyright issues. Not only that, but what would you do if there was a scandal, or problem with the company you were trying to piggy back a ride on?
The general public has tired of words such as 'mega', and other related superlatives. The trouble with superlatives is that they can be too frequently abused and, like a medicine or drug, they become accepted, and eventually ignored and unnoticed. If your first product is a 'mega', and then you bring out an improved model, what superlative will you use next? And after that? Eventually it can become absurd, with products branded as new, and improved, mega super products that begin to sound slightly desperate.
Be aware also that when people are searching the web for products or services such as yours, the name needs to be clearly associated with the type of product or service. Think about the keywords you'll be using. If you're selling web hosting, then try to include the words web, hosting, or other technology related words in the brand name, since most searches will be based on these.
Branding is a tricky area, and needs to be treated with caution and care, and given enough attention, without overworking it to the point of unnecessary complexity.
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