Five common branding myths
I was about 7 years old when my mom told me about the bed monster.
She was a little frustrated that my sister and my method of cleaning our room was to cram everything we owned under the bed.
So one night, she told us the story about a monster that lives under the bed, and if you put your toys under there, he will reach around the bed at night and grab you.
To be fair to my mom, she felt horrible about this for the next 30 years. She was new to motherhood (she had just married my dad), she was young, and she had no idea the impact that story would have on me.
I spent years running and jumping to get onto or off my bed, in fear that the bed monster would grab my legs.
Now, this was a complete myth, right? As an adult, I now know that there is no such thing as a bed monster.
But the myth changed my behavior and affected my actions for years, even after my mom told me it wasn’t real.
That’s the problems with myths. Believing something untrue can have unintended consequences.
So I want to talk today about a few common myths people often believe about branding.
Branding is one of those abstract things in the realm of business that is often misunderstood. It is also hard to trace it’s impact, so it doesn’t always get the credit it deserves.
Here are five myths that about branding I want to debunk.
1. “My logo is my brand.”
A logo is a piece of your brand. It is actually a fairly small piece when compared to the big picture. Branding is much bigger than one symbol. It is the essence of your business, your voice, your personality and what makes you different.
Branding separates you in the marketplace.
There are many elements that go into a brand, from some of the core identity and messaging decisions you make to the colors you choose to your style to your fonts. All of them work together to present something to the public. While your logo is important, it is just one piece of the puzzle.
2. “Good branding is too expensive to invest in at the beginning.”
If you hire a custom brand designer, yes, branding has a price tag. Especially if you choose someone who has a lot of experience and incorporates strategy.
That can feel like a hard thing to invest in at the beginning.
What many people don’t realize though, is that bad branding is expensive too. It results in lost opportunities and slower growth in your business.
Without a solid brand, your business is less likely to gain recognition, trust and loyalty among the group you are best suited to serve. It’s too easy to get lost in the mix without something to help you stand out.
Now, that doesn’t mean you have to go hire the most expensive brand designer out there to have a good brand. You can take a crack at it yourself. But the key is that you spend some time and attention shaping your brand and thinking about your message and who you want to understand it.
Thoughtful decisions around your branding will have a many-fold return.
3. “My brand will just come together as I go.”
Branding should be intentional and strategic. If you take a wing-it approach, you are bound to wind up with an unclear message that confuses people or blends into the noise around you.
If you don’t brand your business, others will decide your brand for you. But it may not be the one you want. Tossing your business’s brand up to chance can slow your growth.
4. “Branding is just for big companies.”
We often see how branding plays out when a company makes a big break. But we forget that every business started small.
I know when you are scrambling trying to get off the ground, you can feel like it’s just not worth adding it to the plate. But branding can make things easier for a small business. It sets a foundation for you to work from, instead of slogging down in the mud trying to shape everything from scratch.
Branding is often what makes a small business a big business. But there are many small businesses with powerful brands making an impact in their communities every day.
5. “My brand needs to be perfect, so I need to wait until I can make it perfect.”
Hey, I'm learning this myself: Perfectionism is overrated. Chances are, you probably will not end up with a perfect brand on the first go no matter how much you pay for it.
You business and brand will evolve to a certain extent over time. You will make tweaks and adaptations as you learn more about your target market and your service. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to unveil the perfect brand from the outset.
What you do want to avoid is wild impulsive swings. Make sure that changes to your brand are thoughtful and have a strategy behind them.
So have you ever believed any of these branding myths?
If you are a new business, make sure that branding is something you think about now. Spending some time and energy on it will add momentum to your growth and help you find your stride much sooner.
If you have been in business for a while and have never gone through a branding process, it’s not too late. The second best time is now.
If you want some free guidance on how to get started in the branding process, I am offering my Brand Podium Workshop on April 28 at 11 a.m. PST. We’ll talk about the three pillars of branding and how to apply them to your business so you can skip the myths and start seeing the impact a strong brand can have on your business’s growth.
Sign up here and I can’t wait for you to step up to the podium in a new and exciting way!