Whether you’re a still incubating start-up, or a fully developed business, it’s never too late to understand the top five pitfalls of weak branding:

1. Logo is a No-Go: The number one element of an effective brand is a strong logo. This is the face of your company, and should adhere to these strengths: visually legible, highly recognizable, clever but not cryptic. Keep your colors the same across the board. We have had clients use different sets of colors on different materials and different logos, it can get confusing.

2. Missing Your Target Market: Before debuting your brand, perform a thorough audit of your consumer base, who they are, and exactly what they want. Don’t sell sneakers to rabbits! After the brainstorming, you might want to do a “focus group” with friends and family. Be prepared to accept critiquing and criticism. Listen fully!

3. Lacks a Unique Value Proposition: Retail brands use an average of 5 social media channels to promote their product. Consumers are inundated with ads for similar services. To succeed, you must draw attention to that which sets you apart from your competition. Getting customers to write reviews can really help you here. Reviews from other customers will speak volumes.

4. Clichés: It’s not illegal to say you’re the “world’s best fill in the blank” or the “number one provider of x” — but that doesn’t mean you should. Easy platitudes don’t enhance your credibility, they undermine it. Everyone can’t be the best or specialize in your field. It’s been overused. Just speak the truth. There’s a concept!

5. Wavering Message: Being able to adapt your brand in an ever-evolving marketplace is crucial; however, make sure the underlying identity remains consistent. It’s the difference between being dynamic versus duplicitious. You want to win clients not confuse them to go to a competitor.