We all work so hard to build up the reputation of our brand, and we all want that reputation to continue to progress in a positive way over time. Sometimes though, as the brand grows and our days get busier, our attention to detail could potentially take a bit of a hit. In this article, we’re talking about the small mistakes you might not be noticing that can really damage your brand reputation over time.
1. Sloppy design
No matter how useful and professional the rest of the content is, a mistake in the graphic design can hog the viewer’s attention. Remember that in a lot of cases, that piece of content might be the very first thing a potential customer sees of your brand. So make sure that every piece of marketing collateral associated with your brand reflects the quality of your service or product. Common mistakes we notice in design include:
Text that isn’t aligned correctly
Stretched or pixelated images
Inconsistent spacing between body copy
To avoid this mistake, make sure to have a thorough check of content before it is published. It always helps to have a few eyes on a design, so look at a way to build this into your design workflow so that the piece has been properly reviewed before your audience gets to see it. Another way to avoid this mistake is to keep a really close eye on how much capacity your team actually has. If your internal creative team is already snowed under, it's likely that rushed work to meet deadlines will result in these small design mistakes. If you're leaving this all-important aspect of your brand's identity to a non-designer, then you also run the risk of work being less than professional and failing to make the impact it could.
To build up trust, you’ll need proof that your service can live up to what you’re telling your audience it can do. Nowadays, the majority of brands understand the importance of user-generated content and will be building it into their content strategy. Things like case studies and testimonials are really commonly used by brands both small and large. Think about the last time you booked a hotel - did you read the reviews? Before getting an Uber you’ll likely check on the review score of your driver, and leave your own for others to see after the trip too. Reviews are a way of sifting through the noise of a million different choices, and it’s a way we’re all really used to researching a brand before deciding to choose them.
If your brand isn’t proactively trying to encourage user-generated content and displaying case studies or testimonials, you could be killing trust in your brand simply through the lack of this content. Try to reach out to existing champions of your brand to leave reviews or ask for feedback that you can use to communicate with the rest of your audience. This doesn't need to be anything too complex - simply identifying clients who have been happy with your service and reaching out with an email to ask for this content can be enough.
3. Not communicating what makes your brand special
If you don’t understand what makes your brand stand out, how can you expect your audience to? In order to make sure that your content is as effective as possible, you need to know what makes your brand special.
When you know that, you can tailor your content and messaging in a way that highlights it to your audience best. Make your offering and content clear by knowing exactly what makes your brand the best choice, and using all of your content as an opportunity to make that abundantly obvious.
To understand what actually makes your brand special, it's great practice to ask for feedback from your existing clients on why they decided to choose you. Whilst we all feel that we know the black-and-white value in our brands i.e low cost or high-quality results - the reality could be quite different for the real-life people who are using it to solve their issue. You might find your USP is more on the smooth communication you offer, the diversity of the team you employ, the hours you're available to work or a whole host of other things. Instead of presuming what makes your service attractive to clients, just ask!
4. Not delivering on your promise
Potentially one of the easiest ways to kill your brand’s reputation is this - failing to live up to what you promised. This goes for everything from the actual service down to how easy it is to communicate with your team. You can avoid this mistake by working hard to set realistic expectations. That starts with the messaging on the landing page, and will need to be kept in mind during the introductory phone call or demo by your sales team too. Be honest when you feel your service isn’t a great fit for the client, because then you can avoid signing up clients that won’t stay for long and potentially leave with a pretty sour taste in their mouth too.
Choose your messaging wisely, and keep an eye on overpromising to improve conversion rates.