*Or what we refer to as the creative's ten. They just can't conform can they!?

Ok, first this is not to suggest that all small businesses struggle with their marketing; some very large businesses struggle with their marketing too. And there are some small businesses out there who have exceptional brands and approaches to market.

But, lack of big marketing budgets, time and focus can mean that there are some common pitfalls.

1. A brand is not just a logo

‘Hi, I need a brand redesign’. ‘Brilliant, can we come and talk to you about your business strategy, research your market and speak to your internal and external audience’. ‘Why?’ ‘So we can get a better understanding of your uniqueness and communicate that more effectively through the brand redesign’. ‘But I only want a logo’.

And there you have it. Without being well informed about what is happening in the market and what your client wants, at best you will create a nice looking logo. Why is that a problem? Because it runs the risk of being undifferentiated, irrelevant or unappealing (as far as your audience is concerned).

2. Poor quality print

You can have a beautiful waterfront mansion on Sydney Harbour, but if you put cheap 1-ply carpet on the floor and hang wood chip wallpaper (no offence to the 1970s), it will also be a bit low rent. The same goes for print. You get what you pay for. The best design and marketing message is compromised by poor quality paper, a lack luster print job and peeling laminate or a trim that isn’t quite straight.

3. Inconsistent use of your brand

When in the presence of an overtired child or an overexcited dog, you never quite know where you stand. The same goes for a bi-polar brand. Blue one minute, red the next. With an icon. Without an icon. Discounted rates or high quality premium. If you don’t know what or who you are neither will your audience. And then everyone’s confused.

4. Over communicating

We often ask for the 3 things that are unique about you. We almost always get a list back of 10+ things. Being focused, being able to recognise what is just industry standard and being aware of what your competitors are saying is tough. If you can cut through the noise and get to the point, or more importantly your point, then your audience will be able to bond with you far more easliy.

5. Not communicating ‘what you do for me’

We’ve mentioned knowing what’s unique about you. But those unique things can’t be that you can juggle with 5 balls, you once met Prince Charles or your other passion is breeding rare pigs. And it’s not enough to say ‘what’ you do. ‘We clean windows’, ‘We provide car insurance’, ‘We train your staff’. Think about what you do for your audience. What do they gain, personally and professionally. ‘We help you create a sparkling clean home you can be proud of’, ‘we find the best insurance to protect you and your family’’, ‘we create better teams to deliver high value business outcomes’. Do you get me?

Oh that's right, we said there were 11 things. Well we don't want to over do it. Look out for the next installment coming soon...

And if you think you might have unwittingly fallen into any of these tricky marketing traps then give Nimble a call. We would love to have a chat and we might just have a few ideas.


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