Real-World Branding Mistakes to Avoid

Real-World Branding Mistakes to Avoid

Your brand is the essence of your business, and it’s crucial to get it right. Effective branding can help you stand out from the competition and build a strong connection with your customers. However, bad branding can be disastrous, leading to confusion, mistrust, and lost sales. In this blog post, we’ll explore the difference between good and bad branding, provide examples of branding mistakes to avoid, and offer tips on how to improve your branding strategy. 

Good Branding vs. Bad Branding 

Good branding creates a strong, consistent identity that reflects your business’s values, purpose, and messaging. It resonates with your target audience and builds trust and loyalty over time. Bad branding, on the other hand, is vague, inconsistent, and fails to connect with customers. It can lead to confusion, mistrust, and lost sales. 

Some Branding Mistakes and How to Avoid Them 

  • Vague Brand Identity: A prime example of this is Pepsi’s 2017 “Live for Now” campaign. The campaign failed to define Pepsi’s brand identity and purpose, resulting in confusion and criticism. To avoid this, Pepsi needed to establish clear brand guidelines and clearly defined brand purpose, values focus, and messaging.
  • Indifference to Your Audience: McDonald’s 2013 “Mighty Wings” campaign tried to attract a more health-conscious audience with chicken wings. However, the campaign failed to resonate with customers who viewed McDonald’s as a fast-food restaurant and not a place for chicken wings. Additionally, they didn’t view chicken wings as a viable “health food”. To avoid this, McDonalds’s marketers needed to conduct more thorough research to understand the target audience and their preferences and tested the market well before rolling out the change. 
  • Insensitivity or Exclusion: In 2013, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries made controversial comments in an interview stating that the brand was meant for “cool” and “attractive” people.  He added that they did not carry XL or XXL sizes in their women’s clothing because they did not want “uncool” or “fat” people wearing their clothes. These comments sparked widespread backlash and accusations of body shaming and discrimination. To avoid this, the company should have been thoughtful in its approach and worked toward a more inclusive and diverse definition of what is cool and attractive. 
  • Brandy Inconsistency: Uber – Uber has faced criticism for inconsistency in its branding and messaging. In particular, the company has struggled to maintain a consistent tone when communicating with customers and the public. This has led to confusion and mistrust among some customers. To address this issue, Uber could invest more in its branding and messaging strategy, and work to develop a more consistent and cohesive brand image across all its platforms.
  • Poor Design: In 2010, the GAP unveiled a new logo design on its website, which was met with widespread criticism and backlash. The new design featured a plain blue square with the word “GAP” in a different font than the original logo. The design was seen as boring and uncreative, leading the company to quickly revert to its original logo. The GAP could have consulted with a professional designer to come up with a more innovative and creative design. They could have also tested the new design with a small group of customers before unveiling it publicly.

 Effective branding is crucial for businesses to succeed. By avoiding branding mistakes and implementing effective branding strategies, businesses can build a strong brand identity that resonates with customers and drives success. At Klik Digital, we specialize in creating effective branding strategies that help businesses stand out from the competition. Contact us today to learn how we can help you take your branding to the next level. 

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