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A company must develop a strong branding strategy if it wants to succeed in the marketplace and win over customers. But mental traps might be hard to avoid if you tend to overthink things. Mental traps can be a significant roadblock to success. To assist you in avoiding these pitfalls and developing a branding plan you can be proud of, I’ve listed some real-world tips to help you in your branding journey.

  1. Be wary of falling prey to the “not invented here” mentality, in which novel concepts and methods are quickly written off because they were not developed in-house. For instance, if a coworker offers a new social media platform for communicating with customers, you shouldn’t automatically discount the suggestion since it wasn’t thought of in-house. As an alternative, you should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the recommendation and make a judgment based on what is best for your company.
  2. Don’t fall into the “follow the leader” mentality of thinking that because something was successful for one company; it will be for another. What benefits one company or business might not benefit another. An effective marketing effort for a rival company is no guarantee of success for your own. It’s crucial to deeply analyze your business circumstances thoroughly and craft a meaningful branding plan that fits your demands, demographics, and objectives.
  3. Remember that branding entails much more than simply making a logo and adding a tagline with some catchy words. Everything from your message and tone of voice to your visual identity and consumer experience should be accounted for in your branding plan. The company’s website, marketing materials, customer service, and social media accounts, just to name a few, should all reflect this. For example, let’s say you are a luxury brand. Your website, messaging, product packaging, and in-store experience should all convey the same high-end vibe across all materials, including even the experience someone has when called into your customer service department; every touchpoint should covey the feeling of luxury in this example or whatever the desired feel is for your brand.
  4. In addition to the above statement, always maintain brand cohesion. Your brand’s appearance and tone should be consistent across all mediums and promotional materials. This makes you stand out from the crowd and helps establish your credibility and name recognition among your target audience. If you use a particular color scheme and typeface in your advertising materials, carry that over to your website and social media pages. This may seem like elementary advice, but you would be amazed how many well-known brands actually miss the mark in addition to lesser-known brands.
  5. For many businesses, it can be challenging to ask for help. The issue could come down to cost, or sometimes even pride gets in the way. Brand leaders can be reluctant to ask for assistance because they may feel that asking for help could be seen as them not to being knowledgeable. No one knows everything, and it is entirely acceptable to seek help from someone in the know, a branding firm or consultant who may bring valuable insights, a different perspective, and knowledge that can be hugely helpful in developing a successful branding strategy. Sometimes just being asked the right questions can result in breakthroughs within the brand-building process. Ultimately, it can also help you save time and effort and increase the likelihood that your branding efforts will be successful. And it’s a great way to put your brand and its plans to the test. For instance, a branding firm or branding specialist may be able to help you develop a strategy that reaches your intended demographic at the best and most efficient method possible.
  6. Another major mental trap is the Sunk Cost Fallacy, a common cognitive bias we have all encountered at some point: the tendency to keep pouring resources into an unsuccessful project or strategy out of a sense of obligation. For instance, if a marketing campaign has been ongoing but isn’t yielding results, it’s necessary to admit defeat and move on to something different. You can avoid this mental trap by looking ahead rather than back, thinking about the larger picture and whether the project or approach fits in with your overall branding strategy and goals, getting feedback from others, and accepting that you will make some mistakes along the way to developing a successful brand that resonates with your audience.

If you follow these core tips, you should be able to put together a baseline of mental trap avoidance for building your branding strategy that you can be proud of, which will help your company stand out from the competition and win the loyalty of new and returning customers. The advice provided here could dramatically enhance the ability to recognize and avoid mental traps during the branding process. When planning just make sure to be realistic with the current state of your business, set practical goals and honest with yourself regarding the effort you are willing to put into your brands overall growth. Nothing stings more than setting aspirational brand goals and never achieving them. It is essential to be open to new ideas, tailor your branding strategy to your business’s needs, emphasize consistency, be bold and ask for help if you get stuck, and trust your defined process. Brand building takes time, effort and shouldn’t be rushed. It’s also vital to let go of methods that aren’t producing results and not fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy.

Please feel free to leave your comments below. I’d enjoy to reading your comments and opinions on avoiding mental traps and any insights you may have gained from your own experiences. How have you steered clear of common pitfalls when planning your company’s, organization’s, or client’s brand identity? What other mental traps did I miss that you would like to share? Let’s keep the conversation going and learning from one another.

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