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The Top 6 Worst Branding Mistakes You Should Avoid

The Top 6 Worst Branding Mistakes You Should Avoid

The top 6 worst branding mistakes you should avoid

By: Hadyn Oliver

4 Minute Read

Your brand is the face of your company. 

It tells the brand story and shows customers who you really are. 

Consumers choose the brands they like because of their reputation, friendliness, customer service and quality products. 

 Making sure your brand image is good, is imperative. The tiniest of mistakes can lead to a disaster for your business. 

Let’s take a look at some common mistakes brands make:

1. Targeting The Wrong Audience

You may think this is stupid, and say “I’ll never do that” but it’s actually one of the biggest mistakes any company can make. 

To be able to sell your products, you need to target the people who are actually going to use them. There’s no point marketing to a people age 50+ if you make and sell kids catapults, because the likelihood of them buying one is very slim. 

And the mistake has been made countless times by some very well known brands, let’s take a look:

  • Colgates Lasagne

Yes, you read that right, lasagne! In the year of 1980, Colgate launched a new product line, frozen lasagne.Colgate Fail Marketing Branding From their original product, oral care, this was a very different product. What was the result? 


The audience couldn’t find the connection between lasagne and toothpase!

What’s the lesson? – Make sure you identify the people who are likely to purchase your products and tailor your packaging and branding to suit them. 

Check out who your competitors are selling to, do some market research and narrow down on a specific audience. Once you’ve identified that, you can work on your branding material and centre everything around that audience. 

2. Consistent Brand Identity

A huge mistake made by many brands. If you’ve a business with inconsistent identity, customers are going to be confused and your brand name will eventually become unknown. They need to know what colours belong to what brand and be able to recognise it immediately. 

An example – If you see a red can of fizz on the side, what brand do you think it is? Coca-Cola obviously. 

Having consistent colours, fonts, and imagery will help build an audience, create awareness, and in turn lead to higher conversion rates. 

Let’s take a look at a well-known brand that got this wrong:

  • Monopoly 2008

Monopoly is arguably the most well-known board game of all time, worldwide. In 2008, they decided to release a new urban type box to suit young adult customers, the design was very different to the original and it failed. 

Moral of the story?Monopoly fail marketing

Stick to the same brand identity wherever and whenever possible. In turn you’ll generate better customer loyalty, along with a easily recognisable brand. Obvious right?

3. Ignoring Customer Experience

Customer experience is huge. Ensuring your customers enjoy your products and the service you provide is a must. 

Their experience will affect how they perceive your brand name. It’ll help gain trust and perhaps even become a repeat customer. 

If poor service and products are given, it’s very likely they’ll turn to a competitor. 

What are the top points that create a negative experience? 
  • Sloppy packaging
  • Slow website speed
  • Text heavy, unorganised website
  • Long sign-up process
  • Slow email response
  • Unhelpful and rude customer support

Make sure none of the above is happening and it’ll help you improve your customer experience. 

The important thing is to be more than a business. Put yourself in your customers shoes and think what they think, see what they see. If you don’t like it, fix it. 

4. Irrelevant Brand Visuals

Colour, text, and visuals need to be relevant to your brand. Colour theory is probably the biggest thing about your brand.

It wouldn’t make sense if you were selling bike parts and had an image of a banana on your marketing collateral. If you want to incorporate additional imagery into your marketing, it has to be relevant. 

Take Coca-Cola again. They nailed this. There famous Santa Claus on their marketing during Christmas Coca Cola Branding Christmasdoesn’t show the product, but shows the time of year, the festive season – Christmas.

It helped them to stand out from the crowd, be different from Pepsi, Dr Pepper and the others, yet still keep their brand visuals relevant to the time of year and the colours of their branding. 

But take note, with the Christmas Coca-Cola, everything is the same, red can, Coca-Cola logo; the only difference is the added Santa Claus imagery. 

5. Not Training Your Team

If you won the business, you most likely have some set guidelines. These are important, however, if not shared with the rest of the team, things can get out of hand very quickly. 

The best thing to do would be to organise a meeting with your graphic artists, marketing team, copywriters, video editors and anyone who uses the branding of your business. 

Here are some tips and tricks to help get your team all on one page:

  • Create a brand persona – this helps your team to see who you’re targeting, and help them grasp how to approach customers. 
  • Provide the exact colours, down to the pantone/hex number. Because computer monitors are calibrated differently, colours look different on each device. However, hex codes ensure that no matter the computer, the colour will come out as it should. 
  • Provide sample materials for your team. From a branded letterhead, to branded packaging. Showing your colleagues will help them really grasp the branding. 

6. Using Out-Of-Date Marketing Materials

This just wastes money and will hurt your company’s image. 

What is out of date marketing collateral?

  • Unactionable details – old phone numbers, old website links, old addresses etc
  • Out of date elements or logos
  • Expired promo codes/sales or QR codes. 
  • Inefficient ads that are still running. 

This type of marketing material should be closed down as soon as possible or updated with new ones. 

Concluding words …

Branding has to be treated with care. It means more than you might think, and a mistake can lead to a huge problem for your business and may end up even losing customers. 

Make sure you take note of the mistakes we mentioned above so you don’t make them in your business when launching marketing campaigns. 

Take care of your brand and it will show results.


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