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Branding Myths (and How to Avoid Them)

Branding Myths (and How to Avoid Them)

Starr Hall, Entrepreneur

Do you remember the story of Chicken Little? If one person tells you the sky is falling, you laugh at him. But if you’re told the same story over and over, pretty soon you believe it. This also rings true with branding – just because everyone else is saying or doing something doesn’t mean that it works.

Time and again I see entrepreneurs throw thousands of dollars away trying to grow their businesses with traditional branding techniques because everyone else is doing it. These branding myths can break a company before it even gets off the ground. Times have changed – technology has created new ways to build and brand your company; traditional techniques don’t always work anymore. Being aware of the following five myths will help you avoid these mistakes and save countless hours of frustration.

Myth 1: Offering a consistent and great product will produce a successful business.

Is the quality of your product or service important? Of course it is, but it has very little to do with how successful your new or established business will become. The truth is that some very profitable, successful brands offer a marginal product while some failing businesses offer amazing products. The success of your brand venture is dependent on much more than just the quality of your product. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that creating the perfect product or service will have the world beating a path to your door. Your superior product or service will make you proud, but it won’t make you money by itself.

Solution: You can always launch a beta test for your product or service to start getting exposure. Post on social networking sites and ask readers for their opinions and feedback. A great way to start to build your e-mail list is to post on a social network and link back to your site with e-mail capture and a survey readers can download and participate in. Make the survey about them, not about you or your product or service.

Myth 2: The more you spend on advertising, the more profitable you will become.

You’ll hear this mantra from every advertising salesperson out there. Unfortunately, constant repetition gives this myth credibility. If you do anything in business just because it’s what everyone else is doing, you’re in big trouble. Many current brands spend huge amounts of money on their monthly advertising budget; most of this money is wasted on ineffective ads. There are much smarter ways to build a brand. Don’t get me wrong; there is a place for advertising in branding-but it’s brand maintenance, not brand building. Advertising lacks the credibility that building a brand requires.

Solution: The best way to build credibility is to utilize the media. Online, print and broadcast media outlets are looking for quality content and contributors daily. Offer valuable tips tied into current events for readers, viewers and listeners. You’ll gain massive exposure and credibility if your campaign is planned and executed properly.