LSA Global Insights Newsletter: 10 Common Branding Mistakes & 4 Smart Ways to Grow and Live Your Brand Promise

11.30.2014

10 Common Branding Mistakes & 4 Smart Ways to Grow and Live Your Brand Promise


With the speed of social media, it is far too easy to make big and visible branding mistakes these days.

Top 10 Branding Mistakes

The most common branding pitfalls that our clients report include:

  1. Lack of Differentiation: Failing to truly differentiate from the competition in the eyes of your target clients. Differentiation is a critical component of a go-to-market strategy. It allows you to combat pricing pressure and stand out from the pack. True differentiation means that there are no other perceived substitutes of similar value and that you can back up your unique claims.

    For example, on the TV Show, Shark Tank, entrepreneurs are often tripped up by the celebrity investors when their products are not perceived to be appreciably different. From Custom Chef Hats for women that can be replaced with shower caps to selling socks in sets of 3 in case you lose one, smart investors (and customers) know "different" when they see it.

  1. Inconsistent Messaging: Using complicated, jargon-based, inconsistent, contradictory and confusing messaging can alienate consumers and customers.

    For example, we recently took our car to a 10-minute oil change place. Once we gave them our car, it took 20 minutes to change our oil. Now that may be faster than our normal garage, but we left dissatisfied because they did not fulfill their brand promise.
  1. Over-Extending the Brand: Extending the brand too aggressively and not focusing on what you do best.

    For example, in the 1990s, Harley Davidson motorcycles had acquired a cult-like status. The brand stood for toughness, masculinity, freedom and power. In a bid to leverage the brand, Harley introduced wine coolers, aftershave and perfumes. After robust criticism from loyal customers, Harley discontinued many inappropriate products. More products do not always mean more sales.
  1. Failing to Align: Misjudging the importance of aligning marketing, sales and service causes problems and inefficiencies through the entire customer lifecycle.

    For example, Comcast Cable advertised the new Xfinity1 platform in our area. We received weekly fliers and sales calls about the promotion. When we finally picked up the phone. they spent 15 minutes asking questions and running through our account. Then they told us it was not yet available in our area. They wasted our time and their time.
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About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned