Is your Branding Harming or Helping your Business?
There's no denying consumers crave a deeper connection with companies they do business with.
This is why a beautiful website and a logo isn’t enough to define your brand. Uploading a good looking logo and writing a few lines on social media platforms are never enough. Curating a personal brand that genuinely shares who you are and what you stand for are pivotal for your hair business brand. Your brand should show who you are and what you stand for to create a more profound connection with your consumers. More importantly, if your brand isn’t appealing to your intended audience or not genuine, it can repel your future customers. So how do you avoid hair branding blunders when it comes to helping your brand
instead of harming it? Here are five branding mistakes that are harming your business.
1. Failing to Research the Competition
Researching your competitors is especially crucial if you are a newer business. Researching your competition helps you understand what other established companies in the hair business have done. Without knowing how to differentiate your hair business from your competition you run the risk of creating something identical. Knowing your competition helps you:
- Understand what your competitive advantages are.
- Get clarity on who your competitors are.
- Clarity of the pricing market in your area. You don't want to low ball yourself, but you also don't want to overprice your products as well.
- Allows you to create marketing strategies that take advantage of your competitor's weaknesses, and improve your business performance.
- Allows you the upper hand in making your products, services, and marketing campaigns stand out.
Who Are your Competitors?
All businesses face competition, even if there is no one locally with your same business model in this day and age with the increased use of the internet to purchase goods and services you are competing worldwide. Your competitors also do not have to offer the same products or services as you; they can provide a substitute or similar products. To find out about your competition existence, you can check with:
- Local business directories.
- Local Chamber of Commerce
- Press reports
- Exhibitions and trade fairs
- Searching the internet
- Word of mouth
- Flyers and marketing literature
- What do you need to know about your competition?
Also, research the products or services they provide and how they are marketing it to their customers and clients. For example:
- How they distribute and deliver.
- How they enhance customer loyalty to their brand and what backup services they offer. (Back-up services are services that require a continued return to do business).
- Their brand values.
- Are they innovating their business methods and products?
- Are they technology aware? A website, social media savvy, etc.
- Who’s the owner, are they personable?
- Their media activities.
- What type of customers are they targeting?
- How they treat their customers and who their customers are?
- Who are they?
- What products or services different customers buy from them?
- What customers see as your competitor's strengths and weaknesses?
- Do they have long standing customers?
- What is there an ideal customer?
How to Act on the Information you Have?
Okay, so you have all this information, now what? Evaluate the information that you have collected about your competition. Draw up a list of everything that you have found out about your competitors. Place the information into three categories:
1. What can you learn from them and how it can be better?
If you realize that they are doing something better
, respond accordingly. It could be anything from improving a seamless transaction from initial contact of a potential client, assessing prices and updating products, to designing some marketing material, to developing customer service. Remember to try to innovate your business, do not imitate. Now that you see some mishaps ask yourself how to add more value to your company, and do even better than your competition.
2. What are they doing the same as you?
Analyse your common areas and see if there's room for improvement.
3. What are they doing worse than you?
Use and exploit the gaps you’ve identified. This can range from products, marketing, or distribution. Renew your efforts to cover the deficiencies you’ve discovered. The information collected should inform you whether there are gaps in the market that your hair business can exploit. Also, figure out whether there is saturation of suppliers in certain areas of the hair business industry
, which will lead you to focus on the lesser competitive areas and become the go-to hair business.
2. Failure to Understand your Target Audience
Before you start selling
or even pitching an idea, you must understand what kind of audience and individual you are speaking to through your branding. No one can afford to target everyone; small businesses can effectively compete with larger companies with little fine tuning and targeting a niche market. Targeting anyone interested in your services is too general. Targeting a specific market does not mean you are excluding individuals who do not fit your criteria. Instead, it allows you to focus your marketing dollars and branding messages on a market that will likely buy from you vs., other markets. Understanding their demands, their expectations, what they identify with and what kind of brands they favor makes branding and messaging a lot easier. This is why failing to understand your target audience is number two of 5 branding mistakes that are harming your business.
How to Find your Target Audience
Write out a list of each of your products and services. Next, to each thing you listed, list the benefit it provides. Once you have your benefits listed, make a list of people who need that your benefits fulfill like these for example:
Wig making (benefit) protective hairstyling
- Clip-Ins (benefit) adds volume and length to hair for fuller hair
People Who Benefit
- Someone who suffers from alopecia
- Brides seeking an updo and require more hair
- Someone with short
Choose a Specific Demographic
Digging more in-depth than who needs your product or service, analyze who is most likely to buy it. Think about their:
- Income level
- Education level
- Marital or family status
- Ethnic background
Also, consider their psychographics:
Create a visual of your target market. Determine how your product or services will fit into their lifestyle. How and when will they use your products and services? What are features appealing to them? What media do they get most of their information and influence? Do they read the newspaper, search online, on social media platforms? What type of events are they generally apart of? What kind of places do they frequent?
Evaluate your Target Audience
Once you’ve decided on who your target market will be, ensure you consider these questions:
- Are there enough people who fit my criteria?
- Will my target audience benefit from my product or service? Will they see a need for it?
- Do I understand what drives my target audience to decide on purchasing a product or paying for a service?
- Can they afford my products and services?
- Is my branding message relatable?
Try not to break down your target audience to far! Having more than one niche market is okay. See if your marketing message could be different for each niche. Defining your target market is the hard part, once you know who you’re targeting it is easier figuring out which media you can use to reach them and what messages resonate with them. Figuring out your target market will save money and allows a better return on investment.
3. Not Realizing it's Not Just about a Logo
Most small business owners do not realize their brand is not just about a logo or a tagline. Without a doubt your logo is essential. They are the most recognized element of your hair business and printed on everything you will use for your advertisement. This is why not realizing it's not just about a logo is number three of 5 branding mistake that is harming your business. Your branding reflects everything you represent, even your companies voice and the content you create. Your hair business brand is an experience; it contains your business’s values, missions, and goals. The visual side of branding helps convey all the nonvisual components, so your customers have a clear understanding of your vision. You should think ahead about the message your logo is showing to potential clients. Having a pretty logo is not enough to help your target audience get to know you and your brand. If there's no brand identity, your website design and other marketing material are likely to be all over the place. Your logo is a guide for creating other elements like sub marks, alternative logos, color pallets, etc. Not having a brand identity or a cohesive brand design will hinder your first impression and scare away potential clients. Your branding visuals need to send a clear message to your target audience. Consistent branding creates a sense of trust with your target audience, and conveys your message professionally and establishes you as an expert in your niche.
What Do you Need Aside from a Logo Design?
Different variations of your main logo
Having more than one logo is significant because if your main logo does not work well with certain printed material/visuals, you will have options.
Choose between 5 to 8 colors, that you will use over and over again for your brand. This is your business's color scheme. When creating your color scheme have your target audience in mind, along with web design and graphics.
Font combinations and fonts
Choose between 2 to 3 fonts and use them throughout your website and graphics you create for social media and marketing material. Be sure to use brand fonts and if you like script/handwritten fonts use them as accents.
This includes textures and patterns, icons, illustrations, dividers, signatures, image holders, buttons, etc. You can use texture and pattern on your site
and graphics, remember less is more and consistency is key!
Be sure to have clear photos. Be sure they are in similar style and edited with the same filter. 4. Being Inconsistent Being consistent has a significant impact on your business and brand. Consistency builds familiarity, loyalty and eventually credibility. Being consistent with your promotions, brand language, personality, communications, and every interaction you make with your target client will create a well-rounded brand. This is why being inconsistent is number four of 5 branding mistakes that are harming your business. If you are unsure of how to be consistent with your brand, here's how: - Develop brand guidelines - Create a brand style and usage guideline to ensure all messaging is consistent. They should help as a guideline that aligns with your company's vision and mission. Make it clear and straightforward, for instance, if someone you’ve never spoken to were to read over the guidelines they would have a clear understanding of how all visuals and wording should be for all marketing material
. - Keep your brands' tone and personality consistent across all channels - rather offline or via your website, social media, or other online platforms its important to create a consistent tone and personality. Look at it this way there's an at work you, and there's an at home or with your friends you. Your personality is the same. However, your mannerisms adjust. The same should go for your brands' personality across all platforms.
5. Not Focusing on your Packaging
There’s no logic in trying to build an audience before you’ve established what your brand is about. The first impression is always your products packaging design and the first point of contact between your brand and the customer. Your packaging plays an essential role in the consumer's decision to purchase the product or not. This is why not focusing on your packaging is number five in 5 branding mistakes that are harming your business.
Your packaging differentiates your brand
There are thousands of products on the market grasping your customer's attention. To succeed, your packaging should stand out and look different from your competitors. Try finding something innovative and eye-catching, yet subtle and not overbearing.
Packaging colors sway purchase habits
The colors you decide to use plays a vital role in the consumer's decision to buy your product. Everyone's brain reacts to colors in different ways, so choose your packaging accordingly. For example, white packaging conveys simplicity, safety, and purity. The more colors added to packaging the less sophisticated the product is seen to be. It’s important to study your brands target demographic before deciding on your color scheme for your product package
Packaging is a marketing tool
Your product's packaging is a helpful marketing tool for advertising. Branded products are easily recognized and help with brand recognition. Creating packaging where your logo is front and center helps consumer remember your product and brand.
Have you Created Some Branding Mistakes?
Creating and managing a brand is not an easy task at hand. But understanding your business is more than products and services helps generate and shape the memorable experience for your customers. Creating an experience from start to finish by staying consistent and true is what defines a brands identity. Starting on the road to establishing trust in your brand may seem long but using the tips above you're taking a step in the right direction. Have any question ask us below in the comments! Have any suggestions or a branding mistake you fixed that you’d like to share, and we’d love to hear them as well! May your best hair days be ahead of you!!!