Authenticity is the most critical aspect of branding. The most critical aspect of branding is authenticity. I wrote this twice because you can not afford to get this wrong. Below are a few of the most common pitfalls to avoid.

Marketing ≠ Brand

One of the most costly mistakes companies make routinely, is treating their brand like a marketing campaign. If an organization is going through brand identifiers like socks—regularly trying different aesthetics, colors, logos, patterns, fonts, voice & tone, motifs, etc.—not only are they destroying their brand equity, but they are also sending a scattered signal to their target audience.

Constantly changing how you express yourself severely hampers your ability to resonate with your tribe, or build brand trust, affinity and loyalty.

Brand & Crafting

Some of the most cringe-inducing sentences we hear are ones that combine the words ‘craft’ and ‘brand.’ This way of thinking is problematic when trying to express a brand authentically.

Your brand identity is not something to be crafted. Your brand identity is something to be uncovered.

When you think about developing your brand identity from the frame of ‘crafting,’ this becomes an act of fabrication, of making something up that isn’t necessarily tied to your actual brand identity. Defining and expressing your brand identity must be a revelation of the truth already present. It’s a process of mining, of discovery, not creation.

Pandering

Your audience is a significant part of your brand. Where branding goes wrong is when the arrow between the two is pointed the wrong way. Often times, branding efforts are being informed by the target audience.

It may seem counterintuitive, but your audience should not inform your brand. Your brand should inform your audience.

Too often, brands get caught up reacting, and pretending to be whatever they think people want them to be. When humans behave this way, we have a term for it; It’s called a psychopath. Don’t be a psychopath. Do the work to accurately uncover your true identity, and express that faithfully. The right people will come.

Lack of Systemization

The most tragic pitfall brands run into is having an intuitive understanding that brand authenticity is important, but having few or ineffective tools to properly manage and uphold their brand identity. What organizations often lack is two-fold:

  1. Clear, accurate, and actionable articulation and documentation of their brand identity.
  2. Systems to empower and facilitate accurate and consistent expression of the brand across various media.

This can seem like a daunting task, especially without the knowledge, expertise, and tools to develop these documents and systems. Prismonde spent over two years in R&D to develop our frameworks and methodologies to help companies successfully do this. It wouldn’t be realistic to expect to execute on this at the highest levels, with a smaller or less experienced team (or by yourself).

That said, knowing just enough about how to do this creates a huge opportunity to do much better than the average competitor. So here is our gift to you:

Prismonde Brand Identity Framework

This is our secret sauce. After decades of knowledge-building, years of R&D, testing, iterations, and refinement, this is the framework we’ve engineered to discover brand identities. Founded on principles from identity science, psychology, linguistics, anthropology, neuroscience and philosophy (and employing some powerful military intelligence collection tactics), our approach lives on the bleeding edge of brand innovation. And now the canvas we created can be yours. 🙂