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Fifteen common branding mistakes

  1. Thinking that you (not your customers) control your brand.
  2. Branding before ironing out critical functional issues.
  3. Ignoring the fact that a brand means different things to people inside and outside an organisation.
  4. Assuming, because you are doing brand work, that you have a sustainable brand.
  5. Assuming that your products and services will endure without ongoing branding efforts and resources.
  6. Thinking of branding as a quick fix.
  7. Starting with a weak identity.
  8. Forgetting the rule of one brand.
  9. Failing to differentiate.
  10. Failing to launch.
  11. Failing to protect and defend.
  12. Believing that what you say is more important than what you do.
  13. Underestimating the value of consistency.
  14. Asking your brand to stretch too far.
  15. Ignoring the signs of brand aging and the phases of the product/service lifecycle.

Events that damage brand equity

  • Brand promises not kept.
  • A lapse in social responsibility.
  • A lapse in corporate behaviour.
  • A lapse in the personal behaviour of an executive, spokesperson or brand representative.
  • The sudden departure or death of a senior leader.
  • Product failures, malfunctions or dangers.
  • Crises resulting from natural or human-made disasters or accidents.

Excuses for not branding

  • It’s hard (it is).
  • We’re not different from our competitors (then we must become so).
  • We don’t want to limit ourselves to one thing because we do many things well (then we will be known for nothing).
  • We can’t agree on one position (again, then we will be known for nothing).
  • We don’t know what consumers are thinking (then we must ask them).