Author: Karla Cook / Source: hubspot.com In 1982, Colgate decided to jump on the frozen food craze by releasing a line of Colgate-branded
In 1982, Colgate decided to jump on the frozen food craze by releasing a line of Colgate-branded frozen entrees called Colgate Kitchen Entrees.
At the time, the growing ready-to-eat meals market seemed like a great space for an already-successful company like Colgate to expand their presence. There was just one big problem for Colgate: their brand.
Colgate was already well-known as a toothpaste brand, and the introduction of a ready-to-eat meal product under the same brand name and logo didn’t sit well with consumers. Colgate had spent years branding themselves as a toothpaste company, and the new product just wasn’t consistent with their existing brand image.
They were trying to sell food under a brand that people heavily associated with toothpaste — it just didn’t work.
This now infamous example of branding-gone-wrong illustrates the immense impact branding has on how a company’s actual products are received. Colgate’s frozen entrees might have been absolutely delicious, but without proper branding, the product was a major flop.
To help you navigate the challenging process of building a sustainable brand for your company, we’ve put together a list of common branding blunders to avoid at all costs. Check them out below, and make sure your company isn’t already accidentally making any of these mistakes.
6 Branding Mistakes Undermining Your Image
1) Inconsistency Across Different Platforms and Mediums
The first rule of building a strong brand is consistency. Presenting a consistent identity to your audience fosters a sense of trust and comfort for consumers, and can go a long way in building an easily recognizable image for your company. A company that presents itself inconsistently ends up appearing unprofessional, disjointed, and even untrustworthy.
Consistency starts with coordinating your visual assets across every place your company is represented: your website, social media accounts, ads, print materials, etc. This isn’t to say you should slap your logo on everything and just call it a day — to align your visual identity in an efficient, reproducible way, you need a brand style guide.
What’s a brand style guide? It’s a simple rulebook of your company’s preferred fonts, colors, imagery, logos, and other visual assets. A complete style guide goes beyond design assets, and also includes a set of standards for your brand’s values, voice, and written elements. Having a style guide in place is a handy way to make sure you’re presenting a consistent, cohesive message in all the places your brand appears. Think of it as an insurance policy for your brand.
2) Relying Too Heavily on Design Trends
Keeping up with the latest branding and design trends is a great way to make sure you’re presenting your company in a fresh, contemporary way, but there’s a big difference between modernizing your brand and losing your core identity in pursuit of the hottest new thing.
It can be easy to get swept up in what looks cool at the moment, but remember that your brand will likely need to weather multiple waves of design trends without looking dated. If you commit too heavily to a trend that turns out to be a ephemeral blip in the greater design landscape, you risk making your brand look dated — fast.