Top 3 Advertising Mistakes That Could Kill Your Brand

Branding is important. Sadly, most brands and their agencies forget this fact and make some big mistakes, especially when it comes to advertising.

We have seen all kinds of ads before whether it’s on TV or social media. While some ads are easy to follow and convincing enough, others are complex and make you struggle to understand what the ad is all about.

This post focuses on the major mistakes that brands make when it comes to advertising. It’s baffling to see how companies spend huge budgets on campaigns that do nothing to their brands. We’ll look at three common advertising mistakes, why they occur, and what can be done to avoid them.

Forgotten brand strategy

Typically, brands of all sizes fail to let their communication reflect their brand strategies. You can easily tell this from the advertising ideas the company uses.

At times, this may result from a badly-defined branding strategy that may look good on paper but not in practice. But most of the time, it happens when a company places more emphasis on using a creative advertising idea rather than relaying the brand’s message. In other words, the company fails to analyze how it can implement a brand strategy in the advertising campaign.

Why this happens

Typically, no one intends to ignore the brand. It’s not easy to translate brand strategy into a communication strategy and ultimately into a creative idea. It can take the extensive experience to tell which concept helps to build a brand’s equity and which one doesn’t.

The other cause of this mistake is to focus on looking for a robust communication platform. It ends up overshadowing the brand strategy.

How to avoid it

Always start with the brand strategy, whether you would like to run a social media campaign, big image campaign, or a tactical sales promotion. Use every chance to strengthen your brand in the minds and hearts of your customers.

Usually, brands devise an advertising strategy and then give it to the creatives to implement, but they don’t follow up to let creatives know that the brand strategy should be maintained. 

So, always, let your social media manager, marketer, and graphic designer know the importance of maintaining the brand strategy even as they try to execute their creative techniques.

Poor Branding

Running an advertising campaign that’s poorly branded makes customers remember the ad rather than your brand. This is one of the biggest mistakes marketers and other creatives make. It might cause your campaign to benefit your competitors rather than your product.

Companies forget that distinctiveness (offered through strong branding) is more significant than differentiation (offered through unique positioning). Instead of focusing on perceived differentiation, marketers should focus on distinctiveness. Branding lasts but differentiation doesn’t.

Why it happens

First off, many brands don’t have many other distinct brand assets apart from the logo. Second, some brands have a wide range of such assets but haven’t applied them in their advertising campaigns. Again we believe that poor branding occurs because of an overemphasis on creativity. 

How to avoid it

Ensure you’ve got a broad variety of branding assets. The assets should be both mechanical and emotional. Mechanical assets include a logo, unique color scheme, brand words, a jingle, a characteristic typeface, a tagline, and more. On the other hand, emotional branding assets include things like a distinct tone of voice, slogan, emojis, and more.

Once you have these branding assets, be sure to apply them.

Sophisticated advertising

Have you seen an ad that requires you to watch it several times to figure out what it’s all about? If the target audience is struggling to get the message from the advert, then the company is in real trouble.

An advertising message should be simple enough such that an elderly person or child can understand it. So, instead of keeping the idea complicated or clever, keep it simple.

Why it happens

Both creatives and marketers usually assume that consumers analyze ads the way they do, and should thus not be served with straightforward. This reasoning is premised on the belief that once consumers find a brand or ad interesting, they’ll search for additional details about it elsewhere. That’s wrong. 

The truth is people don’t have the time to carry out such analysis, which is why you should keep your message simple so it doesn’t get lost.

How to avoid it

Always test an ad on a group of respondents. Instead of asking them whether they like the idea in the advert, ask them whether they can understand what your ad says.

If you don’t get the consumers’ opinion, make the ad well-branded such that even if your audience doesn’t get what the ad is trying to say, they will remain with positive associations in the mind.

Varun Mundra
Varun Mundra
Building Brands and Digital Business. 12+ year experienced Marketing and Advertising Professional with experience in London, United Kingdom and Mumbai, India.