5 Mistakes You Can Make To Kill Your Brand

Do you want to kill your brand? It’s really surprisingly easy, once you know how to do it. Here are five tried-and-true ways to destroy the brand you’ve worked so hard to build.


If you make a mistake, you need to own it. Everyone makes mistakes, and most people will be forgiving of reasonable mistakes. But it’s possible to go overboard and offer too much remorse. The more you revisit an issue, the more desperate (and guilty) you look. Also, coming back to your mistake over and over simply draws attention to a negative situation. If you blow it, simply say so, state you’re sorry, make it right and move on.

Being Inconsistent

People need to know what to expect from you. Inconsistency will kill your brand.

Consider the case of a retail store. If you visit one location and find it offers affordable fruits and vegetables from a local co-op farm, you might feel that you’ve found an excellent source for your produce. Yet, what happens when you visit another branch on the other side of town and find moldy, spoiled fruit shipped in from overseas? Your perception of that brand will be tarnished.

You may not be running a brick-and-mortar business, but you’re still maintaining a brand. You have to be consistent across all marketing campaigns. Know what your message is, and present it consistently every time.

Over Promoting

Promoting your blog is a good thing. Over-promoting will make it appear spammy. If you’re pleading for people to read your content, then you’re working too hard. Over-promoting is going to drive people away from your content, rather than towards it. Instead, provide consistent, quality content, promote it a reasonable amount, and you’ll get the traffic you want.

Failing to Communicate

Today’s consumer is Internet-driven. He knows he can find you and communicate with you online, and he expects a reasonable measure of communication back. If you fail to provide that, you’ll lose that customer.

Don't need no stinking help
Don’t need no stinking help

Imagine this scenario: a disgruntled customer comes to your Facebook page and sounds off about his poor experience. Your followers all see that post, and while some will write it off as a disgruntled customer (you can’t please everyone all the time, after all), some will take it more seriously, and may even walk away from your brand.

Open communication can defuse this, though. By communicating with the customer, posting your resolution to his problem in a public place where all can see it, you might be able to solve his problem and keep your customers, even the disgruntled one, satisfied.

But what happens if you ignore his post? While it might seem like the right idea, because it doesn’t “fuel the fire”, your other followers will notice your silence. If they see you ignoring an unhappy customer, they’re going to wonder when you’ll do the same thing to them.

Customer satisfaction issues, when ignored, only grow in one direction – they get worse. Address the problem openly and fairly, own up to mistakes, and go a little beyond in making things right. Your other followers aren’t stupid… they’ll see what you’ve done, and if the disgruntled customer continues to complain, they’ll ignore him. I’ve even seen many instances in which other followers told a whiner to shut up… he’d been treated more than fairly. You can’t buy better loyalty than that.

In short, it’s better if you’re the one telling the world what you’re all about, not someone who’s unhappy with you.

Not Being “You”

Your competitor may have a fantastic branding idea and it may be working really well for him. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Mimicking someone else’s brand is going to make you look shoddy, and nobody likes a copycat.

brandingFind a way to make your brand unique so that it will stand out on its own. Create an authentic brand that is entirely yours, rather than a cheap copy of someone else’s. Every business should have its own USP (unique selling proposition) that places it above others. Find yours and build upon it.

Want to know what could harm your marketing goals more than anything else? Take a look in the mirror. Making spur of the moment marketing decisions can put you in a position you can’t get out of. The best way to avoid that is to lay out your standards on paper and live by them. Define your message, stress your USP, and avoid the 5 traps above.

Today's Author

This account is where everyone involved with Level343’s content marketing efforts shows up. You can say there is no “I” in this team. Sometimes we will chat about a certain topic with a variation of ideas, suggestions, even opinions. Then one of us will start writing the post, hand it over to someone else who will continue the diatribe. Eventually it ends up on our editor’s desk who either chops the hell out of it, or you’re reading it right now.


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15 Responses

  1. I agree with you especially with “Over Promoting”. When you promote or advertise your brand, you want to persuade people not to annoy them. Promoting or pushing too hard a brand to people will only make them feel harassed and aggravated; when this happens they may report you as a spam. Causing it to kill your brand.

  2. I really like the last tip about not copying another competitor’s branding strategy. Just like people like to copy eachother’s links, I see brand mimicry far too often. It’s a doomed strategy and often times that branding strategy only works for the original company because they are truly unique and can follow through with the branding message. If you can’t back up the branding like the original company, you truly are just going to look terrible.

  3. Yes, I completely agree with all the points you have made. I especially like the point you made about inconsistency and I have often seen that with many popular brands. Also, over promoting is something, which can really kill a brand as it can really irritate people and I agree that the same logic can be applied to a blog or a website.

  4. A well-written article. I’m glad I came across this page since I’ve been struggling to keep up with responses and comments from my users but I know responding to them – at least to the majority of them – is an important step towards building my brand. Thank you for sharing these, Gabriella.

  5. Great tips here I think. One thing I always try to do is log into all my social accounts every day as a few months ago I forgot to do this and probably missed out on a couple of sales due to not replying to queries quickly enough.

  6. I agree that over promoting can be a reason. It’s a same case for promoting your business through social media. Yes, it’s true that the business has to be on social media. But there are many people and brands generating such horrible mistakes that may be it literally killing his or her business because of this mistake. And this results usually to lose your customers.

  7. These 5 points really makes a lot of sense to me. It seems that I might have been trying to write my blog as if it was written by someone else. When I took a look at it from that angle it was obvious that I wrote too much as an academic (which I kinda am – grad school graduate) but thats not all I am. Thx for the tips

    1. Rene, thanks for taking the time to comment. Keep in mind when writing a post you want to capture your audience. Whether, it’s the title that bring them in, or something that speaks to their emotions. More often than not, most online business don’t get it. Hopefully when you’re done with your graduate work, you can join the rest of us in order to educate the masses. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. All good points that make perfect sense to me. I personally just can say that brand building takes a lot of time and consistency, personally doubt that there are any shortcuts. On the other hand it is very important to build your brand with good planning the right team of professionals.

    1. Hey Carl, nice to see you again. As you may already know, one thing online marketing and SEO providers don’t usually tell their clients is good planningtakes time“.

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