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5 Critical Branding Mistakes Costing You Leads

5 Reasons your Competiors are stealing your leads

Let’s imagine for a moment. Your dream client or customer is in need of someone (or something) to help them with [insert their problem here]. They Google search a term that fits what you sell and they come across you and your competitors as viable options, so they proceed to open the first 4-5 search results in new tabs (you being one of them), they check you and the others’ out; Websites, social profiles and reviews. But, they end up choosing one of your competitors over you. Why? Was it the price? Well, you’re pretty competitive on price! Was it your experience or quality? Unlikely, you take pride in knowing your quality and experience is some of the best out! What is your logo? Probably not! So why didn’t they choose you? And why do your competitors win the work? In today’s fiercely competitive market, your brand is not just a logo, colour palette or a tagline; it’s the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers. In 2024 it’s more about building a resonant brand. Subtle branding mistakes can significantly impede your ability to generate leads and miss out on quality leads and customers. Let’s explore the key ways your branding might be costing you valuable opportunities.

1. They have better Targeting and Positioning

Your competitors have a clearer understanding of their target market (your target market) and have positioned their products or services more effectively to meet the specific needs and preferences of that audience. By comparison, they are better equipped to communicate their Unique Value Proposition (UVP). If your branding fails to communicate this clearly, potential leads might not see the value in choosing your business.

Solution: Clearly define what makes your business unique and ensure that this is front and center in all your branding and marketing materials. Your UVP should be concise, compelling, and easily understood at a glance.

2. You have boring or vague values

In an overly crowded and competitive world, you can’t afford to be vague or fluffy about what you stand for. People today aren’t just buying products or services; they’re investing in what a brand represents; A way of life if you will. If your brand values seem predictable, buzzwordy, unclear, inconsistent, or just plain uninspiring, you’re likely to miss out on connecting with potential leads who prioritize authenticity and alignment with their own values.

Solution: You need to deep dive into what your brand truly stands for and refine your core values. These values should be specific, meaningful, and resonate deeply with your target audience. Once you’ve defined these core values, weave them into every aspect of your branding—from your marketing materials to your customer service practices. Remember, clarity and consistency in your brand values not only attract like-minded customers but also build loyalty and trust over time.

If you’re not sure where to start consider purchasing my Brand Strategy Planner.

3. You’re sending mixed messages

One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is sending mixed messages to its audience. If your social media channels, website, and promotional materials all tell a different story, it’s confusing and means they have to think too hard. Consistency in your brand’s voice, tone, and visuals across all platforms is crucial. Without it, potential customers or clients will struggle to understand what you offer and what sets you apart from the rest, leading them to choose you over your competitor.

Solution: Develop brand guidelines that outlines your brand’s target audience, voice, tone, visuals, and core messages. Ensure that you understands and adheres to these guidelines in every piece of content they create.

4. They have a better brand experience than you

Brand experience encompasses every touchpoint and interaction a customer has with your brand, from initial awareness through post-purchase engagement. It’s the sum total of the sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related ‘stimuli’ (yes there’s a lot of psychology in branding). These stimuli include your brand’s identity, packaging, communications, environments, and even the product or service itself. A well-crafted brand experience is deliberate and cohesive, designed to convey your brand’s essence and values at every possible opportunity.

Solution: Your competitors understand their audience better and have their ear close to the ground, to tailor experiences that resonate on an emotional level. Fundamentally, working on your own brand experience is about crafting a journey for the customer that feels personal, engaging, and consistent. If this sounds like a daunting and mammoth task working with a creative strategist will be able to help you navigate this.

Ultimately, people want to feel seen, heard and understood, and according to Maslow’s Law people are motivated to achieve certain needs and desires, that’s where product or service comes in. But before they get there how do they know they can trust you? Your competitors make them feel reassured by tapping into their pain points (using the exact words they use to describe their problems) and then letting them know that it doesn’t have to be this way by painting a dream scenario and showing them what life is really like.

Solution: This is where good brand storytelling comes in. You need to take them on a compelling journey that makes them say ‘That’s what I feel!’, ‘That’s happened to me!’ and ‘They get me.’. This is why people feel loyalty to brands as they feel part of something bigger that’s fighting for their cause.

Kate Male Brand Designer & Creative Director based in London

About Kate

Kate is a brand designer and creative director based in London. She works with wellness, lifestyle, and beauty brands who want to tell their story with depth, and style.

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