Episode 103 – The 4 Most Common Branding Mistakes + How to Avoid Them

January 9, 2019

The 4 most common branding mistakes and how to avoid them | The Brand Strategy Podcast #brandstrategy #branding

Hi, friend! Today, on the Brand Strategy Podcast, I want to take some time to talk through some common branding mistakes I see so many incredibly talented creatives just like you making.

And here’s the thing, these are common mistakes for a reason. They somehow find a way to work their way into our processes and into the way we are building brands without us even noticing them.

Which is why I think it’s so important that we just have an honest and open conversation about what these common mistakes are, how we can avoid them and how you can move forward and conquer them.

In my years as a brand designer and strategist, I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of creatives who have fallen into one or more of these common branding mistakes and trust me, it doesn’t do them any favors.

It causes you to not connect with your ideal client and allows you to get in your own way of conquering those big bold dreams of yours.

So let’s dive into the four most common pitfalls to avoid in your own business.


2:50 – The first common branding mistake is one that I have the most experience with when working with branding clients and that is the mix and match brand.

3:00 – This pitfall occurs when you see someone else’s successful brand and you think, I really like how they do that one thing or man, their website is real good looking. And as a result you reach out and grasp onto that one element you like because it’s so tempting and you try to tuck it into your own brand.

3:35 – Why do we do this? Because we see a certain level of success that we aspire to see in our own business. But guess what, you can’t pick and choose a little of this and a little of that.

4:20 – In this episode, I’m talking you through what the mix and match brand looks like and how it makes you feel about your brand and business.

4:50 – I dive into the solution how to look inward instead of outward in order to build a strong brand that is founded on a heartfelt core.


5:38 – Pitfall two is one that I see often with my Illume Retreat attendees when they leave Waco and return home to their business is the post-conference rebrand. The most common thing I see so many attendees wanting to do after an inspiration and life-changing conference is to make some big changes in their brand. But I encourage you to sit on it.

6:25 – I’ve been tempted to make some big moves and crazy changes in my own business after attending conferences. But think of it this way. You’ve just left a conference on an emotional high with a notebook that is packed full of ideas and all of the new things to try. Often times, the thing you want to nix is your old visual brand. But is that really necessary?

7:05 – Don’t be in such a hurry to change everything about your brand and business that you accidentally change everything that you’ve built up until that point.

7:15 – These are my best tips and the questions to ask yourself before hiring a brand strategist or making any big, crazy moves in your brand.


8:00 – Pitfall three that I see so many creatives fall into is the trendy brand. I know it’s so easy to see what others are doing in the industry and wanting to create something that really fits in with what they are putting out there.

8:50 – Here’s the thing, it’s helpful as a designer to know what speaks to you and what aesthetic you’re drawn too. It’s dangerous to focus solely on other people’s work and what others are doing. So here’s my question for you, is that really the best way to reflect your heart, your experience and your offerings to your ideal client through your visuals? Or are you just drawn to that specific branding trend because it’s what you see other people doing?

10:25 – If you are just creating a brand based on visuals that others use, then you are unintentionally robbing yourself of the opportunity to create something that is 100% custom, genuine and unique to you, your story, your people and your work.

10:50 – Here’s how to avoid this mistake: Before you start that endless scroll on Instagram or Pinterest to get all of your ideas, I encourage you to first focus on what would be the most genuine representation of you, the heart behind your work, and what would truly resonate with your ideal client the most.


11:25 – The fourth most common pitfall I see so many entrepreneurs make is the quick fix brand. This happens when you are in a season where you are looking for something that is big on impact, but you yourself are short on time.

12:00 – This is the hardest mistake as a designer to see others fall into because it means that you’re not walking through the branding process in a way that will serve you best in the years to come. In this episode, I talk about the different scenarios of business owners that fall into this pitfall the most and how to avoid it.

13:30 – I would highly encourage you to remember the kind of branding that will serve you best in the years to come and that there’s no such thing as a quick fix or short cut. In order to build a brand that is worthy of your investment of time, energy and resources, you have to do the work and answer the tough questions.

14:15 – Ask yourself these questions: what lies at the very heart of your brand? What are the values you stand for? What are the beliefs that lie at the core of your work?

Are you nodding along to these common mistakes, friend?

14:45 – I want to encourage you that just because you made or currently are making one of these branding mistakes doesn’t mean it has to look like this forever.

There is so much hope and possibility when it comes to your brand. And the beautiful thing about this is you’re the author of your story. You get to flip the script and move forward in a different direction.

Give yourself the gift of starting fresh and become aware of what’s held you back in the past.

If you’re ready to move forward with a new approach to branding, it’s totally doable and now is as good a time as any to do the work and make it happen.

I’m currently accepting custom branding clients for 2019 start dates so if you’re wanting to partner together to craft an elevated visual brand that really reflects the heart of your life’s work and will kick any of these common pitfalls to the curb, then I’d love to chat with you here.

You can learn more about my approach to branding and brand strategy at brandstrategypodcast.com.

Until next time friend, I’ll be right here in Waco cheering you on every step of the way!

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My name is Bonnie – I’m a brand designer, strategist, and writer which all adds up to one eclectic conglomeration of qualities that enables me to serve you well! Past clients have dubbed me "the Joanna Gaines of brand design," and I've had more than a few call me a dream maker, a game changer, and a design wizard (my Harry Potter-loving heart didn't hate that one, let me tell you!). At the end of the day, I'm a big-hearted creative who will get teary-eyed as you share the heart behind your business; who will lose sleep over the perfect font pairings and color selections to bring your brand to life visually; and who will work tirelessly to empower, encourage, and equip you to share your work with the world intentionally. 

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