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Breaking down branding myths – 5 common misconceptions

Jan 12, 2023 | Branding

We’re exploring the top five most common brand myths and misconceptions that may be holding you back from reaching your next level in business.


Just like every industry, there are a lot of misconceptions swirling around the interwebs when it comes to branding. 

And, just like the definition of brand, you can ask ten different brand professionals and get ten different answers as to which ones they most want to dispel. 

Well, here’s Witt and Company’s take on the five most common brand myths that we see and what you need to know instead.

 

In This Article

> I have a logo, color palette and website, so I have a brand
>> Branding is only for the big companies with big budgets and lots of resources
>> My brand can never change – once it’s created, it stays that way forever
>> My brand has to be on-trend, so it’s constantly changing
>> I need to figure out my marketing first before I can invest in branding

 

I have a logo, color palette and website, so I have a brand

 

This is hands down, the number one misconception I hear, see, read, etc. on a regular basis. 
Here at WCO, we define brand as how people think, feel and act (the perception) about your business.
We define branding as the elements that influence how people think, feel and act. Think message, logo, website, fonts, colors, collateral, etc.

So if you have a logo, color palette and website, you have branding elements. But those don’t equal your brand. More so a sliver of the entire brand pie.

 

Think of your brand like the iceberg graphic – what you see above the water are the external elements that are traditionally thought of as brand (i.e., logo and colors). But the real meat of your brand is below the surface (internal) and consists of a variety of elements like your differentiator, personality, purpose, mission, vision and ideal client persona.

 

Branding is only for the big companies with big budgets and lots of resources

 

Guess what? You don’t need a million dollars to create a brand. As we’ve already established, your brand consists of a variety of elements that together create a specific perception. 

While it’s helpful to have support when creating that perception, the level of support that you get is up to you – perks of being the business owner.

This begs the question – when do you hire help and when can you DIY?

Generally, clients work with us for one of two reasons. They want to A) create a certain perception and want support in getting there, or B) need to change their current perception… and need support in getting there.

Sometimes you just need to work on your internal brand. Sometimes it’s the external elements that need an update. That’s why it’s extremely helpful to talk with a trusted brand partner to help you determine what’s working well and what can be improved.

All that being said, there are instances when you can get away with DIY’ing your brand building – new solopreneurs, I’m looking at you. There are so many free or inexpensive resources available (in fact, you can start here)  that all it takes is a little (or a lot) of time and brain power to craft a brand that’ll get you up and running and booking clients.

Because again, as we shared above. Brand clarity comes from action. So the best way to understand what’s working and what’s not for your brand is to get out there and put it to use.

 

My brand can never change – once it’s created, it stays that way forever

 

Let’s start with the purpose of having a brand in the first place. 

Your brand is the vehicle for building a specific connection, with a specific target audience, through a specific message.

Which means that if the brand’s color palette, website layout, social media graphic, purpose, values, mission, vision, [insert whatever branding element here] isn’t supporting the specific connection, the specific audience or the specific message that you’re after… Well, then change it. 

The whole point of having brand standards and guidelines is so that you have a starting point, a foundational system to work from. But if that system isn’t supporting your business and instead is making it more challenging for you or your team to do their work, then it’s really not supportive, amiright?

One of our favorite sayings around here is ‘brand clarity comes from action’‘.

What often gets overlooked is what happens after you get more clarity – and that means change.

 

 

Which is the catch-22 of brand building. Although it shouldn’t be because it says ‘building’ right in the name – as in the process of constructing something that isn’t yet complete.

We need to shift the mindset that your brand is a set-it-and-forget-it part of your business. And instead, think about it as an ever-evolving entity that grows right alongside you.

 

My brand has to be on-trend, so it’s constantly changing

 

A trendy brand is kind of an oxymoron, if I do say so myself. Again, this goes back to the purpose of having a brand in the first place. 

If the goal is to help support a specific perception, then it has nothing to do with what’s on-trend.

Evolving? Yes, absolutely. Your brand will grow right alongside your business. 

But trendy? Not so much. Because trends come and go, and hopefully, your brand will be everlasting. 

When I think about trends and brand, it has more to do with the external visual aesthetics than the internal brand essence and core. 

Which, okay. Let’s say you like changing up the colors or trying out the new font that seems to be everywhere. 

If you must try something trendy or new, do so without much investment. Social media or email are great platforms to test what’s trendy. Their shelf-life is quick so you can test and move on without too much effort.

But remember, when it comes to the core of who you are as a brand, it’s always better to stay in alignment rather than jump onto what’s having a spotlight moment..

 

I need to figure out my marketing first before I can invest in my brand

 

Because we’re all about getting on the same page before we dive in deeper, let’s define marketing (taken from a marketing hero, Seth Godin): Marketing is persuading someone to take action.

How do you make it easier to persuade someone? Well, you build that know, like and trust factor with them. 

And what builds the know, like, trust when you’re a brand? 

Consistency and authentic connection. 

Let’s first talk about consistency. Because for branding and marketing, they can mean two separate things. 

 

If you’re Team Marketing, you’re often more concerned with making sure you hit that posting schedule than in sharing something that’s aligned and rooted in your overarching brand. Unfortunately, this often leads to lackluster results and uninspiring content. Because yes, posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday is important but if what you’re actually sharing isn’t consistent with what you’re all about as a brand, it really doesn’t matter the cadence. Because there’s nothing there for an audience to connect with – there’s no substance or core. 

One purpose-driven blog post or video or podcast interview can make an audience feel way more connected to your brand than five half-assed content pieces. 

But high quality marketing doesn’t just happen. It’s created by having a solid understanding of what your brand is all about in the first place. 

 

 

Here at the studio, our Brand Authority Method is a five-part framework that helps you build a solid internal and external brand foundation that’s rooted in connection and intention. This then allows you to effectively market your services to your right audience using aligned language and visuals.

Good news! You don’t have to go through our framework to get the most out of your marketing (although, we’d love it if you did!) – the goal here is to have at least a basic understanding of what you’re about as a brand (who you serve, what makes you different, why your work matters and how your brand is experienced) before you get out there and get marketing. 

 

A few last not-so-unbiased thoughts to wrap up

 

No matter the size of your business or the amount of resources available, branding is absolutely crucial to reaching your version of success. Whether you DIY or hire a brand partner, devoting time, energy and resources into building your brand is a worthwhile investment with a substantial ROI.

As always, we’d love to be your brand partner – you can get the conversation started by filling out this application.

With that, happy branding 🙂 

All my best,

 

Additional brand resources

Explore the differences between branding and marketing in this blog post.

See why brand consistency is the key to effective marketing.

Explore the four phases of the customer journey so that you can create a consistent brand experience tailored to your customer.

Learn the importance of leveraging feelings and emotion in building your brand so you can effectively connect with your right audience.

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