5 signs your brand looks unprofessional

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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.

 Brand Identity: 5 signs it looks unprofessional

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 strategyMost 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:

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  • Launching new business
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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

 

Brand Identity for MOTD Cosmetics

From our portfolio: MOTD Cosmetics

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.

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  • Launching new business
  • Building personal brand

Brand Identity design with Adored Designs

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).

READ ALSO:  5 steps to elevate a brand with our signature A.D.O.R.E.™ formula

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.

 

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Brand Identity: 5 signs it looks unprofessional

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.

 

Brand Identity design for Skin Emporium London - medical aesthetic clinic

From our portfolio: Skin Emporium London

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.

 

READ ALSO:  What REALLY happens when you lower your prices (and how to avoid that)

 

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.

Let me know in the comments: which point resonated with you the most?

24 COMMENTS

24 Comments

  1. jeurs

    awesome!
    very informative! 🙂

    Reply
    • Alex

      I’m so glad you like it!

  2. Larissa

    Thank you, very informative!!!

    Reply
    • Alex

      Thanks!

    • Anna

      Super helpful and streight to the point. Thank You for sharing this ❤️

  3. Kyndall Bennett

    I know that I want my brand to represent personal and professional development for beginners through storytelling. So far, the only thing I’ve been able to commit to is just “Kyrabe Stories” in the Origins font because I love how it looks like it’s been written with a quill, but it looks bland to me. I’m not sure whether to leave it simple as just the text or if I should add other graphics to it later. My blog is still small, so luckily I think I still have time to experiment.

    Reply
    • Alex

      Hi, Kyndall! Thanks for leaving a comment. We LOVE the content on your blog, it’s so good you encourage people to self-development and show them they can go out of their comfort zone and reach their goals.

      Before you commit to any font or visual, ask yourself: how do I want my brand to be perceived?
      You will surely find this resource useful: http://adoreddesigns.com/bcw

      Visuals like colors, fonts, logos and images on your blog should all aid your brand awareness and help you connect with your ideal readers. So before you’re clear on who you want to attract to your blog and how you’d like them to view your brand hold on with choosing any fonts.

      Pro tip: we may often love the way a font or graphic looks, but it might not be the best representation for our brand.

      Hope that helps!

    • Kyndall Bennett

      Thank you, Alex! I guess the best thing I can do while I’m still new is experiment until something feels right. I plan on updating my website later to a better template, so hopefully with that change will come some inspiration for a consistent brand!

  4. Sandy

    Hi Alex,
    Love this post! It’s sometimes difficult to tell clients that their favourite colour just won’t cut it.
    I have a client who’s been online for 3 years and changed her beauty therapy branding from pink and brown to green and white.
    What advice would you give to clients who want to change their branding just for the sake of it?

    P.S. My website is in my favourite colour. 🙂 It works!

    Reply
    • Alex

      Hi, Sandy! I’d say explain that colors have impact on how the brand is perceived and if they want their brand to succeed and be professional they should take that into consideration. If they don’t understand it however, I wouldn’t work with them, because they wouldn’t be open to my advice and they wouldn’t get results I create because they wouldn’t be consistent, so we wouldn’t be a good fit. Hope that helps!

  5. Dorian at The Undiscovered Blogger

    That last one is SO crucial, and the one I forget the most! Ha! Thanks for the reminder💕

    Reply
    • Alex

      You’re welcome!

  6. Mel

    Thanks for this post! I wish you had added some examples for us to see on #4.

    Reply
    • Alex

      Hi, Mel! Thanks for your feedback, we will add it in!

  7. Sandy

    Hi Alex!

    Great tips on branding your business! I definitely made these mistakes in the beginning and wish I had knew these tips before starting my blog.

    It has come along way and definitely improved since. I continue to find myself searching and learning different ways to improve my blogging strategies.

    Will be sharing this on Twitter, more people need to know about this. Thank you for sharing this post with us!

    Sandy | Beauty, Bliss and Chaos

    Reply
    • Alex

      Hi, Sandy! Glad you liked it! It’s awesome you’re committed to learn and improve: what is the one thing that you’d like to learn more about right now?

  8. Samantha

    This was one of the most helpful posts I’ve read in a while and I just happened to run across it on pinterest. I’m now a follower, thanks!

    Reply
    • Alex

      We love to hear that, thanks Samantha! Which part of the post was the most helpful?

  9. Aleida

    Thank you, Alex! This is amazing, I’m going to make many changes to my brand 🙂

    Reply
    • Alex

      Yay! So happy to hear that!

    • Alex

      I’m happy you found it helpful, Samantha!

  10. Margaret

    Very informative post Alex! Consistency is the key for brand awareness 👌🏻👌🏻

    Reply
    • Alex

      Thanks, Margaret! I’m glad you find it useful! How do you make sure your brand is consistent?

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I’ve combined my 10+ years experience as a graphic designer for brands like Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld, River Island, and Childrensalon in my early career + many top influencers and brands during my work at Adored Designs with my passion for psychology and the way humans form relationships.

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