Wondering if your brand looks professional enough? If you are, chances are it doesn’t perform the way you want it to.
You might’ve done your brand identity yourself when you started your business. Or purchased a pre-made theme and now wondering if it was a good fit at all. Or you’ve worked with a designer but wasn’t sure they captured your brand’s essence in their designs.
Whichever it is, in this post we’re going to talk about 5 things that affect the way people perceive your brand. Getting them wrong and you may find yourself being stuck on a hamster wheel. Trying to grow your business with not much to show for it.
Get them right, and you can attract your ideal audience. Make a connection with them and stay on top of their minds for the exact thing you offer.
5 things that make your brand look (a.k.a. perceived) unprofessional
1. No brand consistency
Are you feeling like your brand is not there yet? So you keep tweaking and changing colours, fonts, and graphics? Purchased a pre-made brand and have been piecing other elements together yourself? Tried creating a cohesive branding only to find yourself completely lost?
You’ve spent countless hours on Pinterest and Creative Market to find inspiration. But even though you found some amazing designs, how do you know which one is best for you? Do you follow your own personal style? Or do you chose colours your audience will love? If the latter, how do you know what colours your audience WILL love?
The problem with consistency always comes from one simple thing: no clear strategy. Most likely, you have not gone through the process of creating a strong brand foundation. Your visuals are simply a reflection of that.
To create a strong brand you need to do your homework first:
- Get clear on your brand values, mission, and vision
- Create your brand story
- Discover your brand personality and vibe
- Figure out your ideal client
Define your ideal buyer persona
The secret to building an irresistible brand
Once you do that, you then are able to create a brand identity (the visuals) to reflect that strategy. Right visuals can:
- Subconsciously send your brand message to your ideal customers within a fraction of a second to make the BEST first impression,
- Help you build the like and trust factor that you absolutely NEED to sell anything,
- Make building a relationship with your target market super easy and natural,
- Make selling a breeze, because you’re simply the perfect choice for your audience
2. No brand clarity
Feeling like your walking around in circles, not knowing how to present your brand perfectly? Wondering how to appeal to your ideal audience? Who your audience actually is apart from their sex and age group? Then…it probably shows.
It will show in your marketing too. You will have trouble connecting with your ideal clients, or even attracting them in the first place.
If you’re not sure who exactly do you want to attract and WHY, your message is going to end up being too vague for anyone to resonate with.
You can’t create a strong brand or even brand identity (the visuals) without this clarity. Even the most beautiful design will NOT fix this for you.
Define your Brand Voice, vocabulary and messaging style
3. Unprofessional brand identity and web design (no strategy)
Said yes to the first two points? This means you probably didn’t have a chance to work with a professional brand identity designer who understands how important strategy is.
What we’ll say here might be a bit controversial, but actually, design is a commodity. It means it’s cheap and easy to buy beautiful designs.
You can find beautiful brand identity designs all over the place. Browse Creative Market or Etsy and you’ll find countless beautiful logos just waiting for you to take them home.
The problem with that is – these logos and websites were created to look beautiful, not to work with YOUR brand.
They were NOT created to reflect your unique brand personality and values.
They were NOT created taking into account who your ideal client and customer are and what they respond to.
Although beautiful, they leave you in a place where you eventually struggle with the first 2 points of this blog post and end up being here again – the unprofessional design problem. So you need to throw even more money at it to fix it (yet again).
A strategic brand identity designer will not jump to design right away, or will not ask you to create your inspirational Pinterest board for them. It’s their job.
The branding process should go like this:
- Deep discovery process to figure out your brand mission, vision, values, vibe and ideal customer,
- Diagnosing any problems that need fixing (especially important when you’re re-branding existing business),
- Creating visual solutions to represent the strategy of your brand (choosing perfect colours, fonts, photography, etc)
- Creating a cohesive, consistent design to all brand touch-points (where your customers get in contact with your brand)
Brand identity designers who understand strategy is key, will not start designing anything before they go through this process with you. You also will not be asked to choose your brand colours and create your mood board.
There’s an entire science behind colours and you should pick the perfect shades to send the right message to the subconscious mind of your customers.
If you didn’t have a chance to go to that process, consider it before spending any more money on design alone.
4. A disjoint between your brand voice and personality and your visuals
Have you ever been on a sales call with someone and you thought to yourself: “This person is completely different than I expected them to be”?
Or do you struggle with attracting the wrong type of audience? People, who are not ready nor willing to buy any of your products?
This could be because of all the points we talked about above.
No strategy leads to no consistency.
No clarity and no connection with your ideal audience.
Your logo and website may be beautiful, but they do not represent your brand well.
Our clients often come to us saying this:
“My website and branding don’t represent me at all. It’s so disjointed from what I am trying to put out there!”
If it happens, it’s a huge problem. They are losing customers, trust and like factor. They are losing sales. It’s a very dangerous place to be.
5. Undelivered brand promises
What happens when there’s a conflict between how people perceive your brand and what your brand is all about?
There’s an undelivered promise.
People are straight-up confused and disappointed.
If your brand promises cruelty-free products and says it cares for the environment but then it makes decisions that compromise it, people are disappointed.
If your brand promises it’s premium and luxe, but the user experience is poor, people are disappointed.
If your brand promises high-quality products but your pricing is low, people are confused (and disappointed).
If your products are beautiful and you’re talking about how premium your services are but your website offers a really bad user experience…people are disappointed. Premium products and services and bad experiences do not go together.
When you’re promoting luxe beauty treatments, but your branding comes from Creative Market and makes it look like you haven’t invested in your own brand – people will not trust you with their money.
Your brand is so much more than professional design, or even simply a logo.
Do always start with a strong foundation. If you do your homework and invest your time, energy and money into creating a great experience for your audience, you’ll be able to finally do your awesome work justice. You’ll create a brand that’s memorable, professional and makes people fall in love in it and invite their friends over too.