This is a topic that gets our heckles up. (Or at least we think so, but we’re not entirely sure what a heckle is).
Basically, clichés about branding are what hold organisations back. They also make us really angry when they lead to money spent on vapid, ill-conceived or ineffective brand identities.
Let’s get straight to it, while we are still relatively calm.
My logo is my brand
Too late, we’re already cross! Because this awful brand misconception even gets perpetuated by dubious design agencies, sadly.
Of course, your logo is vitally important. It’s a visual reference point that you can sprinkle liberally around to get your customers attention.
The cliché comes from assuming a logo comes to life in a creative bubble, and once done it ticks all your branding boxes. No, and no! Your logo must sit in the context of rich and powerful branding, which is then applied consistently
Oh… and just having your name in a bold and striking logo works for Apple, Amazon, Coca-Cola and other instantly recognised brands. If that’s not you, please get a logo that explains who the hell you are!
Cheese and corn sell
Cheesy, corny, sentimental, mawkish; whatever you want to call it, branding that aims to pull at heartstrings often twangs your customers’ last nerves instead!
You surely know what we mean. It’s that grandad smiling proudly with his hand on a child’s shoulder, the airport greeting, people jumping with joy or hands shaking, interlocked or otherwise front and centre. Emotional imagery and utter cheese that has been badly overcooked! Your customers want substance and enough information to make decisions.
Go big or go home
Awards, strong customer recommendations and success stories should figure in brand messaging. (It’s the stuff we do, so it’s got to be cool, right?)
However, that’s not the same as overinflated egos and singing your own praises loudly.
Here’s something about branding boastful organisations need to revisit. Your brand identity and statements must engage and influence your customers. What do they want to know? “What’s in it for me?”
So, if you don’t lead with the benefits to them, trumpeting your own success falls on deaf ears!
Don’t fix what isn’t broken
Are you still hanging on to branding that’s ‘served you well’ over the years? Have you decided your customers love the familiarity of your brand identity and value your roots in tradition?
Hmmm… but have you actually checked that out recently?
It’s amazing how much branding is based on assumptions. Or, a touch of fear to try something new.
The only way to confidently build branding is to drill down on your customers’ perceptions, preferences and behaviours. Don’t just include current customers in research! Find branding relevant to a whole new generation of customers.
No one knows my brand better than me
This is the branding cliché that has CEOs scribbling down logo sketches to pass to their design team, and which fuels marketing ‘brainstorming’ sessions that are all kinds of chaotic and sometimes frankly bizarre. (Seriously, just what the hell were Pringles and Patreon thinking with their new logos?!)
Let’s put this simply. You bring in accountants, professional cleaners and contractors for building repairs, to get a proper job done even though you could DIY some of this.
So, why not bring in the experts, for something that can literally make or break your organisation?
Engaging branding experts is a wise investment and provides expert help to make you stand out. How do we know? Because many Creative Jam clients have killed the cliches and benefited from working with us. Get in touch with us and see for yourself!