10 Growth Marketing Tactics To Prevent Brand Confusion
New brands are emerging every hour. Ads pop up every minute. Even established brands are catching up with the times through revamped logos and marketing gimmicks. The market is just too loud and crowded now, and that explains why consumers get a lot of brands mixed up.
Surprisingly, even big brands like Nike and Adidas or Colgate and Crest are not spared from brand confusion, according to a Market Facts study. The worst part is that this confusion can lead buyers to switch from one brand to another, whether consciously or not.
The good news is that many ways to avoid brand confusion are available to companies. In fact, this article lists ten marketing strategies you can use to make your brand as distinct and recognizable as possible. But first, let’s take a closer look at what brand confusion is and how it happens.
What is brand confusion?
Contrary to popular belief, branding is more than just logos and color schemes. Branding is better characterized as the customer’s overall experience with your brand, from visual messaging to customer service and product quality.
Other marketing experts prefer to associate a brand with a “story”, including but not limited to how a company and its offerings came to be. Brand confusion happens when customers cannot distinguish between your brand and another.
With the variety of products and services people see every day on social media or TV, the occurrence of brand confusion has spiked.
What causes brand confusion?
Similarities between brands, lack of identity, and the sheer volume of options are three top factors that cause brand confusion. Aside from problems in visual presentation, the lack of strong branding and clear messaging can hurt a company.
In short, if a company does not build its own brand, it will be lost in a sea of brands. If a company is more concerned with getting more clicks and views or distributing giveaways rather than building its brand, then it will lose more customers than it gains. But how exactly does a company cultivate strong branding?
What are ways to prevent brand confusion?
Below is a comprehensive list of ten techniques you can use to ensure that your brand is remembered and patronized.
Tactic #1: Make and use a unique logo
The first rule in logo-making is not to copy directly from successful brands. While getting inspiration from their color scheme is alright, you don’t want to be tagged as unimaginative, or worse, a copycat brand.
Create a unique logo that will strike a chord with your target market. A simple logo usually does the trick. The logos of Nike, Puma, and Adidas come to mind. Simple logos like those will aid brand recall better than taglines or names especially when you are selling to an international audience with different cultures and languages.
Once you design a remarkable logo, make sure to consistently put the logo on your products, advertisements, and web material.
Tactic #2: Use consistent naming conventions
When choosing names for your products, it is important to be systematic. Patterns help people remember complex information, and this fact also applies to brands. Take a look at Samsung and Apple, for instance.
Samsung models’ names begin with an “S” or “Galaxy” while Apple smartphones and devices are named with an “i”. These naming conventions help the average customer recognize that an iPad is an Apple product while a Galaxy S21 is from Samsung.
Tactic #3: Use a unified color scheme
Color matters in advertising. In fact, choosing a signature color can boost brand recognition by up to 80% according to studies. Consider the nature of your industry when choosing your color scheme. The color red, for example, is more closely associated with the food business since it is said to stimulate appetite.
After deciding on a color scheme, make sure to consistently use these colors on your website, publicity materials, product labels, and everything else you produce.
This will not only create an impression of neatness, but will also leave a lasting impression on your customers. Just think about how Pepsi has successfully associated itself with the color blue.
Tactic #4: Maintain brand standards and messaging
Brand standards encompass all the other facets that have been discussed in the previous sections. More specifically, brand standards include your mission statement, company values, logos and icons, colors, fonts, media style, and even the tone of your messaging.
After the brand guide has been established, circulate it to all workers and departments. You may conduct workshops and distribute manuals to ensure that everyone in your team understands and applies your brand standards.
A good example of maintaining brand standards and messaging would be in building your online presence. A great call-to-action should incorporate your brand’s values and tone. Additionally, align your CTA with your brand theme across your socials and landing pages to solidify your message.
Tactic #5: Encourage brand loyalty
Making customers loyal to your brand will ensure that they keep buying your products no matter how many options there are, and no matter how similar the alternatives are.
Some tips to increase brand loyalty include giving customers the best quality of products and services, letting them test your product through samples, and gaining their trust by providing warranties. Relatable content, loyalty cards, and coupons are good, too. Just don’t forget that advertisements have no value if they are not supported by excellent product quality.
Tactic #6: Invest in customer service
Now that more and more shoppers would rather conduct their purchases online, the value of customer service cannot be stressed enough. Online shoppers, especially first-time customers, will most probably judge you by the quality of your customer service representatives before they can judge you by the quality of your goods.
Convenience and availability are only two of the things you must consider. Beyond that, customers appreciate the “human element” of customer service, so make sure to pay attention to their wants and needs.
Personalize and humanize your engagement with customers. That way, they will have an extra incentive to remember your brand, buy from you again, and even recommend you to their loved ones.
Tactic #7: Engage with customers
The internet and social media have made companies more approachable and transparent. Customers can easily find their favorite brands’ websites and social media pages. That’s why it is crucial to have excellent content for your audience’s consumption. Images, videos, reviews, and comments on these sites are usually factored in by customers when making purchase decisions. So make sure that you have high quality content.
Additionally, the consumers of today love seeing brands take a stand on important social issues. While this requires careful deliberation and research on your end, the rewards are clear. In fact, as much as 64% of customers are ready to patronize or boycott a brand solely based on the company’s political stand.
Tactic #8: Audit your brand
Have you rebranded or changed your logo recently? If so, are all your existing materials updated? Even if you have not implemented any recent changes, auditing your brand materials to ensure consistency is a must.
Include an audit in your yearly schedule so that you can check your website and social media content, brochures, business cards, videos, and other materials for possible inconsistencies. This is where your brand guide comes in very handy.
When auditing your website, also see to it that you are building industry backlinks coming from the same line of business because that can help search engines to identify your brand and present the best information. In a hyperconnected world, it is vital to check on your website and social media pages; the quality of your backlinks is only one aspect.
Tactic #9: Watch your competitors
You could lose several customers because of unclear messaging coupled with too many commonalities shared with opponents. Anticipate potential confusion by keeping an eye on your competitors. Ask yourself if their visuals or messaging are difficult to distinguish from yours and adjust accordingly. Along with your audit, integrate this in your plans and schedules.
Tactic #10: Discover the root of brand confusion
As discussed earlier, there are many reasons why customers might interchange brands. But the causes of brand confusion are not the same for every company. Focus groups and stakeholder surveys can help you determine the specific strengths and weaknesses of your brand identity.
The findings from these studies will help you identify and correct the inconsistencies that may lead to brand confusion. This will save you lots of time and resources because your responses and adaptations will be more targetive.
Cohesive branding is crucial to your growth as a company. Brand confusion can lead to dips in sales and customer loyalty. The following are simple things that can make your brand distinct and memorable:
- Unique logo
- Clear naming system
- Unified color scheme
- Brand standards and consistent messaging
- Brand loyalty
- Excellent customer service
- Customer engagement
- Brand audit
- Competition watching
- Research on the causes of brand confusion
Overall, preventing brand confusion requires consistency, effort, and elaborate planning and research. But it’s a worthwhile effort if your ultimate goal is growth. If you want to learn more about growing your brand, you can read more here: 7 Serious Marketing Dilemmas Holding Your Brand From Growth.