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Branding is a delicate process, one that no small business owner should undergo without the guidance of a branding consultant. However, even with expert advice available to all, there are certain mistakes that keep popping up in businesses big and small. Here are five branding strategies that virtually guarantee failure for your business and your brand.

Rebranding for the sake of rebranding. Change can seem like a good idea, but this is not always the case. If you have a brand that is recognized and loved by the majority of your customers, resist the urge to change it unless there is a clear and compelling reason to do so. Rebranding is expensive, and undoing your rebranding when it fails miserably is even more so. On the other hand, if your brand is failing to inspire your target market, it may be to time to make some changes. A branding consultant will be able to help you identify what, if anything, you should change. Read about five reasons to rebrand.

Micro-marketing. Often, a branding move that kills small businesses is treating one product in a way that is separate from or incongruent with the overall brand. Many businesses launch a new product with gusto and a marketing campaign separate from the general branding and marketing. However, it is important to make sure your product marketing matches your overall marketing, and that your product’s brand works as a part of your business’s brand.

Forgetting the call to action. It is not enough to promote your products and your business. No branding campaign is complete without a call to action. Don’t just tell customers what is great about your products or services; tell the public how badly they need them and how they can become the next proud owners. A call to action is most effective if it is part of your overall branding and not just a phrase at the end of your advertisements.

Entertaining without advising. Many ad campaigns are brilliantly funny and highly successful. This often leads small business owners to think that they too should use humor in their marketing. While humor definitely makes an advertisement more effective and memorable, you have to make sure that this humor matches your brand without detracting from your product. In other words, offer information first and entertainment second.

Being generic. The test of good marketing and branding is whether you could remove any single element and still have the message be recognizable as belonging to your small business. Don’t think you can slap a logo on something and automatically be well branded; you have to make every word and every image a seamless part of your overall identity. This is difficult for the amateur, but second nature for branding professionals, which is why almost all successful companies consult them.

Are you committing any of these branding crimes? Luckily, there is hope. Consult a branding consultant today and get the creative direction you need to rocket your brand and your company to success.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.