In 2010, the clothing brand Gap lost an estimated $100 million after revealing a new logo that their audience hated (they changed it back 6 days later due to widespread complaints from fans).
There’s a lot of money in good (and bad) branding, and even a small design faux pas or misguided logo could equal disaster for your business’s reputation and credibility.
A brand is so much more than just a logo or a letterhead (although those are important components). Your business’s brand is its identity, values, mission, and its relationship to customers. Graphic designers are experts at helping business owners develop their brand identity — then they communicate it with logos, website design elements, business cards, letterheads, and other marketing collateral.
Without a graphic designer, Port Macquarie businesses run the risk of committing the following branding atrocities:
- No market research
- Poor design decisions
Investing the time and money into your business’s brand leads to a host of benefits — including increased customer loyalty, an improved reputation, and a relatable image.
We’ve broken down what these 4 branding mistakes look like, and how a graphic designer can make sure your business has a powerful brand that attracts loyal customers and sets you apart from the competition.
Avoid these 4 branding faux pas with a graphic designer from Port Macquarie:
Inconsistency across your brand
You wouldn’t be mates with someone who changed their personality each week, right? It’s the same for businesses, except it literally pays to have a clear and constant identity — a consistent brand personality can create a revenue increase of 33%.
But without the support of a graphic designer, Port Macquarie businesses fail to keep their brand consistent — because there is no expert leading the strategy behind every infographic, slogan and social media post.
The devil is in the details, so here’s what brand inconsistency looks like:
Changing tone of voice:
Every bit of content your business puts out there, from website content to Facebook posts, must have the same tone of voice to achieve brand consistency. Without a graphic designer to point you in the right direction with social media guidance, Port Macquarie businesses might have different staff members writing online content — using whatever words and phrases sound right at the time, and not following a consistent process.
Jumping on every trend:
While it pays to keep up with what’s popular, jumping on every bandwagon makes your business look like a sell-out, and your target audience might not be keen on TikTok even though it’s trending right now. A graphic designer will research exactly what your customers are into, and integrate that into your branding to make sure you’re consistently marketing to your target audience.
Failing to use brand guidelines:
Although almost all businesses have brand guidelines, only a quarter of organisations actually enforce them. You might have paid a graphic designer to design your logo way back, but the brand guidelines telling you what fonts, colours, and words to use might be collecting dust in a forgotten folder. Keeping a graphic designer on-board means that all marketing material aligns with one solid branding strategy, so you never stray from the plan.
At Phiranno Designs, our team of dedicated graphic designers can bring your vision to life with branding that inspires your customers and takes your business further. Check out our graphic design services to find out more.
Inauthentic brand identity
What are your business’s values? What’s your point of difference? Is this reflected in your branding — and, most importantly, does your target audience recognise and resonate with it? Think of your brand as your business’s personality, as if it were a human being with a unique character — likes, dislikes, talents, and even a particular way of talking. You might dismiss the importance of brand identity as marketing fluff, but a graphic designer in Port Macquarie will show you how a strong brand personality builds customer loyalty — and that’s something to tap into for ongoing revenue.
What’s the number 1 rule for brand identity? Authenticity.
With the amount of competition that’s out there, customers are getting really good at spotting fake brands — and 86% say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what businesses to support.
An expert graphic designer in Port Macquarie will guide you through the following steps to create an authentic brand identity:
- Know your values and stick to them
- Be transparent with your messaging
- Create personal interactions with your audience
Being authentic in your branding means demonstrating to your customers that you walk the talk, and ultimately leads to more meaningful connections with your audience and sets you apart from the competition.
Zero market research
Without doing some research into industry trends and customer behaviour, how do you know your brand is effective?
Big dog companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, and Starbucks regularly use market research to improve their brand. In 2015, Starbucks tapped into the growing demand for dairy-free milk alternatives from health and allergy-conscious coffee drinkers. They introduced soy, coconut, and oat milk options — demonstrating that they care about their customers whilst maximising potential revenue by making their products accessible for everyone.
Your graphic designer isn’t just a digital artist creating snazzy logos — they’re able to extract and analyse online data to help you make informed decisions about:
Your customers’ preferences Let’s say you’re an accountant. It pays to know who your primary customer is, and what kind of accountancy service they’re most interested in. You might be focused on helping tradesmen, so leveraging your bookkeeping and tax return services using layman’s terms will build your brand for this audience.
Gaps and opportunities in the market Let’s stick with the accountant example. A graphic designer in Port Macquarie might see that very few accountancy firms in your town use colloquial language and ‘tradie’ terminology to connect with this audience. This highlights an opportunity to develop your brand personality to communicate more personally and authentically.
Too many business owners build their brand from assumptions about the market. Without the expertise of a graphic designer, Port Macquarie businesses like yours could be missing out on nuggets of information that could make your brand more successful.
Poor design decisions
Graphic design is a creative process that requires a little bit of flair and a lot of thinking outside the box — but not everyone understands the value of a graphic designer. Businesses that fail to recognise the power of graphic design find themselves with a logo and branded collateral that looks unprofessional and unoriginal.
Here are some examples of what can happen without a graphic designer’s expertise:
- Cringe-worthy cliches. Originality is often thrown out the window when businesses cut corners with their branding — or the owner does it themselves. Generic design icons such as the lightbulb, the handshake, the tree, and the rooftop are commonly used by cheap designers or rushed business owners — and customers are turned off immediately!
- Designing for yourself. There’s nothing worse than a business owner making branding decisions from their own preferences. A graphic designer will challenge these dodgy decisions and create something that will both inspire your target audience and make the boss happy.
- Unnecessary (or inappropriate) collateral. If you’re a local business with a new logo, try not to go over-the-top with branding collateral. Reusable mugs, t-shirts, and pens can be clever ways to market your business and demonstrate customer loyalty — but only if the products themselves are relevant and useful.
- Rushed design process. When you rush critical branding elements, such as the designing of a logo or setting the tone of voice used by your business, you end up with something you’re not truly proud of - and you’ll end up spending the money to fix it in the future.
- Recycling outdated business cards. When distributing 2000 business cards increases sales by 2.5%, it’s worth calling a Port Macquarie graphic designer to create something memorable for future customers. Call Phiranno Designs to find out more about our graphic design services.
A brand is the essence of your business, and a Port Macquarie graphic designer can capture it perfectly
Port Macquarie businesses run the risk of committing major faux pas when important design decisions are made without expert assistance. Graphic design is an essential part of your business, so working with a team of graphic designers in Port Macquarie will ensure you get everything right the first time (because mistakes are costly).
Whether you’re seeking a full-scale business rebrand or a modernised logo that reflects your business’s identity — work with a graphic designer who takes the time to understand what you’re about and creates something you’ll be proud to share with your customers.
Need some posters, business cards, menus, or signage for your business? We’ve got the entire process covered to make it easy for you. Call Phiranno Designs to find out how our graphic designers can support your business.