10 Branding Myths to Question TODAY!
Entrepreneurship is on the rise. It seems like everyone has their hand in it one way or another, which is AMAZING! Take a moment and be incredibly grateful for this chance we have to create our own success doing the things we LOVE on our own terms! We live in amazing times!
With so many experts, there are endless resources and entrepreneurs sharing their stories and their perfect roadmap to 7 figures in under a year. If there were only one road we would all be there right? But there isn’t one road, there isn’t one way to success. For me, this is both freeing and incredibly terrifying. I love having a step-by-step formula to get from point A to point B, but then I also hate being told what to do. I would rather fail on my own and try new things. (Anyone else equal parts perfectionist and free soaring hippie?)
Below are 10 myths that I want to debunk allowing you to do what is best for YOUR business.
Myth #1 – SMALL BUSINESSES DON’T NEED BRANDING
You may be small but you are powerful, my dear! But if you don’t stand out from the crowd, how will anyone know?
Branding is MOST important for small businesses, as you need to establish consistency and highlight what sets you apart from your competitors from the beginning. Start catching your ideal audience from day 1 with what makes you unique.
Myth #2 – YOUR BRANDING IS JUST AN EXTENSION OF YOU
This one can be tricky, especially if your business brand is a personal brand.
If your business is separate from you (and your end goal is to sell your business and remove yourself entirely) then this is so much of a temptation.
If you are a personal brand however it can be really easy to assume that “personal you” and “business you” are the same. I STRONGLY advise against this. There is still a firm division between your business and your personal life. Your business brand should highlight your personality, your energy, and your passion, but it should still be focused on providing value to your ideal audience. I recommend having a small handful, 5-7, personal topics that you sprinkle through your social media and marketing to maintain the personal feel and connection to your audience.
Myth #3 – BRANDING = LOGO
I may be a little biased, but this myth is like nails on a chalkboard for me. Many new business owners believe that if they have a logo, their branding is done, no need to look any further.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your logo is just one piece of the pie that makes up your branding. Your branding is a living, changing member of your business. It consists of your mission statement, values, voice, story, message, positioning, and collateral design elements.
Myth #4 – PUT THAT LOGO EVERYWHERE
Once you have your logo, you’re supposed to put it everywhere right? NOPE! Putting your logo on all your creation sounds like a good idea, I get that, it’s maintaining consistency right?
Yes, but not the kind of consistency that matters. With your logo on everything, it’ll look more insecure and annoying than confident and appealing.
Here is where your collateral designs and look come into play. Your designs and visuals should still be recognizable as your brand without your logo.
Myth #5 – YOUR BRAND VOICE SHOULD ALWAYS BE PROFESSIONAL
This is usually brought up when a business is wanting to insert itself as an expert. Adopting a professional tone is a bit old-fashioned at this point. It is no longer necessary to put on your corporate voice in order to show what you know. You can set yourself apart as an expert with a voice appropriate for your business goals and target audience.
If that fits your branding then YES, but if you’re a casual brand, for the everyday person not sitting in a corporate office, then NO! Your voice should always match your brand. Are you casual and conversational? Motivational and inspiring? Blunt and witty? A mixture?
Myth #6 – NICHE OR DIE
We are all told this one A LOT! While there are definite benefits from niching down, it isn’t necessary, especially at the beginning. For some business owners, you don’t know who your ideal audience is, and you are still trying things out and working with different people.
When you find your niche, capitalize on it, and target your marketing. But while you are unsure, take your time and work with different people.
Myth #7 – JUST WORRY ABOUT THE VISUALS
As a designer, you know how much I LOVE the visuals! BUT your branding goes beyond pretty pictures and visual consistency. Branding is the life force of your business, it includes what you say, how you say it, and when you say it. Without a foundation of words, values, stories, and passion the visuals don’t really matter.
Myth #8 – YOU ONLY HAVE 1 CHANCE TO BRAND YOUR BUSINESS
Every business goes through a rebranding. And most rebrand at least once in the first few years. After 2 years in my business, I had rebranded twice. I don’t recommend rebranding that often after your first few years of business (updating your email address and website are a pain, so rebrand with caution). At the beginning you’re trying things out, you’re usually still trying to fine-tune your offerings, services, audience, and voice.
Myth #9 – WAIT FOR PERFECTION—IN SELF AND IN AN IDEAL CLIENT
We can all spot a forced and fake laugh from a mile away. It’s all about the eyes, right? If you don’t smile from your eyes it can look off putting, not quite what we’re going for here. This is also where having someone else around helps. Putting yourself on the spot to think of or remember something funny when you’re already thinking about head angles, holding your pose, pushing the remote at the right time while holding it nonchalantly . . . AND think of something funny (besides my mental juggling act while relaxing my face to appear effortless and casual . . . ). Having someone who can take you out of your head, knows your inside jokes and sense of humor, makes it leaps and bounds easier to capture that authentic smile.
Myth #10 – YOU’RE DOOMED IF YOU DON’T HAVE A BEAUTIFUL BRAND
While I think it is best practice to have some branding from day 1, you can grow without one. I know several business owners who have grown successful businesses without a brand and without a website or social media presence. I wouldn’t recommend banking on this route, but as always, you do you boo.
There is not just one road to your entrepreneurial success, you need to do what is best for you, your business, and your clients. And no one knows what that road is better than YOU!