The Pitfalls of Bad Branding and How to Avoid Them

Branding involves many moving parts. If one part fails, the perfect veneer of a brand can be ruined and your brand image can be diluted. When Gap rebranded in 2010 – the first after 24 years – they traded their classic, well-loved logo for one that consumers simply, hated. This prompted buyers to take to Twitter and Facebook to show their discontent, making Gap revert to their previous logo after just 6 days. 

How do branding mistakes like these happen? And what can companies do to sidestep them?

What does bad branding look like?

Bad branding could involve a weak brand voice, a lack of a personality, visually unappealing design, logo or colour schemes or confusing messaging. What this creates is a negative overall brand experience and translates into a brand not being able to connect with its target audience. 

Culturally insensitive or tone-deaf statements made in reaction to events or using tragedies to pedal self-serving marketing can also irk consumers. Not evolving to customer’s changing preferences and behaviours or changing in a way that deviates from what customers prefer could affect the user experience – and leave a negative impression on them.

Deep fissures within a brand strategy is the underlying reason for branding going wrong. When first setting up a company, it’s only natural to channel resources into product planning. This is however done at the expense of creating a thorough brand strategy – the creation of a brand’s mission, vision, values, identity and personality – that will guide all marketing efforts for years to come.

What is the cost of bad branding or a lack of branding? 

Bad branding can be detrimental to your business. Bad branding gives your target customers the perception that your product is of poor quality and so fails to create trust or a connection with who you would like to reach. 

Branding is the first chance a brand has to make an impression and if a brand fails to create a positive one early on, they have lost a potential customer before they even try your product. What does this mean? It means even if your product or service may be of superior quality and have several great features, customers may not know as they’re not willing to give your product or service a try. 

Comparing good and bad branding

While bad branding can have a negative impact on customer perception, great branding can inspire, make consumers want to not just purchase its products, but want to be associated with your brand.  Where bad brands put out messaging or visual design that does not resonate with its consumer base, good brands have an intimate understanding of its target audience and use a tone, personality and design that appeals to them. 

Inconsistent copy or colours, incorrect grammar or contradictory personality damages, while perfectly-written copy that intrigues, entertains and pulls its audiences in. It can elevate your brand and impress consumers and make them want to find out more about you and your products. 

How do you brand your product or start rebranding? 

The secret to good branding lies in market research, which then helps to align your business strategy and inform your brand strategy. It allows you to understand your target audiences, their likes, dislikes, habits and behaviours. This then allows you to know what they would respond well to and what they won’t and you can then use these insights to create a sound branding strategy. 

David Ogilvy defines branding as, “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.” All touchpoints your customer interacts with along their customer journey should serve to strengthen brand identity and perception; each Instagram or Facebook post, all website copy or outdoor advertisement perfectly crafted to mould a larger-than-life voice and personality.

BDSA creates strong brands with good branding in a step-by-step brand strategy process. During the Brand Discovery stage, we vet your existing touchpoints to assess what should be changed. We also perform thorough primary and secondary research – allowing us to help you gain a deep understanding of your competitors. Through this, you can start positioning your brand and set it apart from its competitors.

Avoid common branding mistakes with BDSA

Bad branding might be limiting the potential of your business and its products. Start understanding where you might be failing to connect with your target audiences and how you can start building trust and credibility with them. By engaging the services of a renowned digital branding agency in Singapore, you can successfully avoid common branding pitfalls. BDSA offers branding consultancy services and assistance in applying for Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)’s marketing grants that cover a large portion of the costs.

Start creating purpose-driven brands that delight your customers with us!

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