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Apple has been ranked the most valuable brand in the world for eight years straight, worth 214.5 billion dollars in October 2018, having successfully outshone other giants like Google, Amazon and Microsoft (in second, third and fourth places, respectively). “Making it”, however, doesn’t make things easier in today’s fiercely competitive market, especially when you’re big enough to have to compete with yourself. Getting a foot in the door in the first place is indisputably daunting, but at least we can learn from the mistakes others have made before us, which are not few, nor far in between. Here are some of the most common blunders you’ll want to avoid.

A Lack Of Focus

The success of a brand is largely dependent on the associations connected with it. The public eye is ruthless, so be sure to make a good first impression. This means putting work into developing a look (a simple, recognisable logo and colour palette) and attitude (an attractive brand philosophy that is easy to identify with), and making sure they mesh well together. Mixed messages are not the way to go, not only because people like to know what to think, but also because customers value consistency. Consistency breeds familiarity, and familiarity makes us more likely to rate brands positively.

Not Knowing Your Target Audience

You may have witnessed older generation brands attempting to market to millennials via internet humor in the form of memes. These attempts usually crash and burn pretty quickly. Why? Most of them fail to understand the format, ending up with half-baked jokes that miss the point entirely. In fact, studies show that 46% of young people feel that their age isn’t respected by the media. That’s almost half of the 1.1 billion youths in the world. An established market is going to have established expectations, and you won’t be doing very well if you fall below the bar. It pays to research the format you have chosen to utilise and stick the to rules. Of course, breaking the mould isn’t always a bad thing, but it might be best to play it safe at first.

Expecting People To Come To You

They won’t. Especially if they don’t even know your brand exists. You cannot expect any interest if you haven’t put yourself out there. Luckily for you, social media platforms are your golden ticket to an audience – if you know how to use them. It’s all about putting the right kind of content in the right place at the right time. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that having an Instagram account makes you a pro – there is a lot that goes into marketing well, as well as marketing fairly. If you don’t have the skills, find someone who does. The investment will be worth it.

Not Following Through

“Trust in a brand” has been ranked among the top three influences in choosing where to shop. You want people to think happy thoughts when they encounter your products – in order to keep your reputation untarnished, you better make good on your promises. Skeletons in the closet are unlikely to stay there forever, and can end up being rather costly, especially now that there is a growing interest in the environmental impact of the products we consume. Honesty and transparency might just be the new trend, so keep up with the times and make your brand both trustworthy and sustainable.

Courtesy of Lucy Burton.
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