10 Branding Myths Busted | Myths successful entrepreneurs have about their branding

Watch This Episode of MwahTV About Branding Myths Busted

Would you like to play a game?! It’s called branding Myths busted!

Just like a Cosmo quiz, I want you to give yourself a lil score as I work through today's episode which covers the ten misconceptions successful entrepreneurs have about their branding!

Ready to play along with me?

Let’s go!

I’m going to cover 10 misconceptions many entrepreneurs have about branding with you today. If you know that you have this misconception, then you score a point. Keep a tally of your score as we work through them and let’s see what you get at the end. You can tell me here in the comments or on social what score you get, and you should probably subscribe to Mwah TV to stick around and pick up some more tips and pointers on this from me.

Branding Myths 1: Branding is a Tick Box Exercise

It’s a tick box exercise.

This misconception drives me and many of my fellow creative suppliers POTTY! Recently on the show, I shared a story about my attempt to treat my own branding like a tick box exercise. If you didn’t see it, you can check it out at the end of this episode to find out how that didn’t work for me.

Thinking about your brand like this...

  • Oh! Need a logo. Check! Bought one of them...
  • Oh! Need a headshot. Check! Got one of them...
  • Hmmm, probably need to decide on some fonts and colours... Check! Sorted that!
  • Need to send my online traffic to a webpage... Check! Done that!

Is going to result in a mish-mashed poor version of what your brand could become.

Trying to chip away at things like this is never going to work well because you are inadvertently putting each of your creative suppliers into silos. You are making yourself into the creative bottleneck in your business. Even if you are "really creative" this is a problem because everyone is relying on you to remember the same information (on repeat) they need to do a good job that fits into your brand consistently. No one is perfect at this – that’s impossible.

You can get around this by building a living brand guidelines document that you use to debrief and inform each creative supplier you work with. This is a BIG document that needs a lot of attention on a regular basis if it's going to work.

What is your Brand Myths Score So Far?

If you know you are guilty of this give yourself a point.

Branding Myths 2: Measurement isn't Important

Measuring the success of your brand is really unsexy.

But it is CRUCIAL if you want a brand that really works, if you want to back up your intuitive hunches about business decisions with facts and figures and if you want to know where to focus and where to pull back every month in your marketing efforts.

That can result in saving hours of precious time wasted on things that don’t work for you. Far better re-allocate that time doing more of what works.

If you are in a bootstrapping phase at the start of your business, then this is actually one of the best first hires you can make along with a bookkeeper. Having someone else take the same reading of stats at the same time of the month EVERY month quickly accumulates into some really valuable data.

Avoid logging vanity metrics like how many people are on your email list or how many followers you have. Instead, you should go a little bit deeper and look closely at engagement and performance on your website, email list and across social media.

Note Your Branding Myths Score

If you know you don’t measure key data like this, give yourself a point

Branding Myths 3: I AM My Brand

“I am my brand!”

“Living my best life as my brand”

EGO EGO EGO!

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If you’ve watched Mwah TV before, then you should already know that I am a huge advocate of using personal branding techniques to build up any small business.

However!

Where this can fall off the edge of a branding cliff is when key branding decisions are made through ego instead of through real strategy.

Picking a brand colour that is your favourite colour and adding a butterfly because you “just love butterflies” are both decisions grounded in your ego. It’s about what you like. You are NOT your ideal customer or client. Your favourite colour could turn them off, maybe they all find butterflies to be trite?

Another annoying sign of this happens when a personal brand ego goes against the key messaging that they strive to share. An example of this may be talking a lot in messages about how “We’re all in this together” and then the next day posting on social media about their lavish life.

Or having key branding messages about how much the customer is "truly at the heart of the brand". Then their complaints process is hideously terrible.

Note Your Branding Myths Score

If you know you make a bunch of decisions about your brand based on what you like best. Give yourself a point.

Branding Myths 4: Jumping onto Too Many Trends

Trends whether they be behavioural, language-based, or online can be dangerous territory for a brand.

Blindly cancelling your pre-planned work week to get onto Clubhouse for 24hrs every day next week is a good -and current- example of this.

Rushing over to TikTok without thinking through your branding principles could be another.

Using spot colour photography retouching “cos it's trendy”? Well, that might have been the case but back in 2004!

Falling for trends is just like shiny ball syndrome or behaving like a squirrel. Most trends come and go quickly, if you jump on all of them every time you will begin to be perceived as undependable and frivolous. It doesn’t matter what your branding principles are – your behaviour will be overriding all of them.

Note Your Branding Myths Score

If you know you are a sucker for the latest trend in your business – you get a point.

Want To Talk About Overcoming Your Brand Myths With Me?

If you have already identified subscribing to any of these Branding Myths and you are now feeling unsure of the best way to navigate your way away from this. Here is my official invitation to come along and chat with me in a Cyber Cocktail Call. This is a no-obligation opportunity to pick my brain.

Branding Myths 5: "But I'm Pretty Creative" So I know all this stuff innately"

Ok, so it could be perfectly true.

Perhaps the nature of your business is all centred around how you do something incredibly creative. Maybe you paint? Maybe you make something? Maybe your specific creative talents have been honed for the last 25 years? That’s amazing! You are creative and you are a fully-fledged artiste.

This has jack all to do with your branding capabilities! I’m sorry, it doesn’t!

I’m more than confident that you will probably have a really good eye – so this will of course help you when it comes to really assess colours or the look of something.

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The rest of it though?

The science behind really great branding is always backed up by well researched technical data. Letting go of decisions in this realm of branding can feel painful to the more sensitive and intuition led creative business owner. It’s also reaaaaallllly common that the more creative business owners take a really Uncreative and sometimes outdated approach to branding aspects like onboarding, customer service, and the buying experience.

It's weird, but it is very common. I don’t know why?!

Note Your Branding Myths Score

If you have ever let your artiste emotions get the better of a rational branding decision you now get a point.

Branding Myths 6: "Let's do Another Rebrand"

If you’ve rebranded more than three times in the last 5 years, then there is a good chance you are using the excitement of re-branding as procrastination to avoid focussing your attention on something else. Brand boredom is a real thing. But! If it’s not broken, then you do not need to fix it!

If your brand is helping you to grow your business and it resonates with the right people you want to serve, then it is probably working well.

Indecision can also be a factor here. Going back over and over on a branding decision is really more about your self-confidence. Losing progress because of doubt can be so debilitating for a business brand that is filled with potential. Try to find ways to surround yourself with genuine support in your business to grow past this in a personal way and then in a professional way too.

Note Your Branding Myths Score

If you’ve done this, give yourself a point.

Branding Myths 7: "I'm Scared of Haters!" or "I am Totally Whacky and Zaney"

It is a perfectly understandable viewpoint in this day and age to worry about getting haters in your business. Being scared of trolls or people criticizing a more unusual branding decision is normal. But this doesn’t mean you should live your business brand life “playing it safe and vanilla" all the time.

A great brand is divisive. It should be pushing the people you do not want to engage with away and attracting the people that do. Part of this is turning people off.

Another example of this myth is following suit. Copying the order and design that a more successful brand in your marketplace took feels like walking down the more well-trodden path. It feels safe because you know that if it worked for them, then it MUST work for you too. That is rarely true. Your brand should be quite different to serve the different consumers in the same marketplace. It's highly likely that there is a reason why they should choose you instead of that bigger more experienced competitor (and I don't just mean the price). So, whatever you do, make sure that these people get that with your different brand and style.

The flip side of this myth is being too wildly "out there". It is possible to go too far. Doing everything at level 11 results in the same blankness for your brand – it’s just a lot louder and crass than playing it too quietly and safely.

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Note Your Branding Myths Score

If you play it safe too much, then score a point now.

More Signs You Need Some Help With Your Branding Strategy

You may be identifying that you have some issues with the strategic part of your brand. To really confirm this, this episode may help you further.

Branding Myths 8: The logo and Colour part is the whole brand

If I had a pound for every time someone began to tell me all about their branding – then they ended up just talking about a logo and some colours!

Well – I’d be typing this blog from a diamond-encrusted throne!

Your branding does need a well thought out and properly researched colour palette.

Your brand really does need a great logo that encapsulates your whole business message.

And!

Every brand needs so much more than these things to become a fully operational and successful brand!

Note Your Branding Myths Score

If you have made this false assumption about branding, then you score a point now.

Branding Myths 9: "This doesn't apply to me"

Resting on the Laurels!

Just like how pride comes before a fall, this is very true when it comes to your branding too.

Maybe you hit your goal of getting to a million pounds turnover in half the time you had forecasted to? Maybe you even did this on a micro-sized team fuelled by your tenacity? Congratulations if this is you! Seriously, well done for such an incredible achievement!

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After you’ve bought a round of drinks, I want to change the conversation to how you are going to invest a small share of that income into keeping your brand sharp and crystal clear to maintain this turnover and performance for a very long time. Resting on the laurels factor in branding is a great way to return back down from those dizzy heights at a rapid rate. Trusting more people, adapting and doing things differently is going to feel outside of your comfort zone, but it is something you should think seriously about.

Note Your Branding Myths Score

If you know you are guilty of this give yourself a point.

Branding Myths 10: "This is far too Arty Farty for me!"

“That sounds like creative mumbo-jumbo to me Laura”

I’ve heard this a lot in my career. What I see as crystal clear creative is what someone else may see as mumbo-jumbo. The same can be said of how I often feel about a lot of numbers in one go.

This piece of feedback is actually what makes me love working with less creative business owners. Putting together a team made up of a technically amazing business owner with a creative like me is like selecting a really good blocker and a really good jammer in your roller derby team.

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Very different skills but are gorgeous together.

Note Your Branding Myths Score

If you have dismissed creative (because you don’t fully understand it) you now get a point.

Time To Tally Up Your Branding Myths Busted Score

Time to tally up your scores!

What did you get today?

Don’t forget to tell me below in the comments, or if you want to keep your score private please do get in touch with me on a DM over on Instagram.

I have a quick reference guide to help you interpret your scores.

The Under 3's

If you scored under 3 then I think you are either a freak human being, or you are kidding yourself about your own perfection. Maybe you have an amazing brand management team around you. Either way, I want you to reveal yourself so that the rest of us can learn from you.

The 4's - 5's

Between 4 and 5, you’re on the strong side of normal. By this, I mean you are doing a lot of the right things to control your brand. Like most things in life you can always improve, but with a score like this, I think you are probably already on the right path and trajectory toward success.

The 6's - 7's

6-7 You’re on the weaker side of normal. It’s time to take a fresh look at what could be preventing you from consistently delivering a stronger brand message. Revisit where you scored your points, this will give you a really clear indicator of where you need to focus the most. It might be time to call upon some fresh expertise to help you navigate this.

The 8's - 10's

8-10 you have pretty big branding problems. It’s fair to say that you could be being your own worst enemy. It is time to call in some expertise and help put you straight on how to strengthen things back up and help you get to your goals quicker.

Invite A Biz Bestie

If you’ve enjoyed taking part in this quiz today why not invite your biz bestie to come and get involved as well? You guys can see who gets what and make a perfect excuse for you to catch up with each other.

Shall We Seal this With A Kiss? 💋

When you sign up to receive my Sealed With A Branded Kiss emails you can expect to get to know me a lot better, to be on the list for my exclusive offers and bonuses AND you'll never miss another episode either.

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