5 Branding Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid

5 Branding Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid

Mistakes happen in every aspect of our lives and business. In this pressured business world, it is even easy to see startups make mistakes in their early stages. The gurus say, making mistakes is good since it can help us learn and grow and become better versions of ourselves.

However, the consequences that come with some mistakes cannot be compared to others. The repercussions of a startups mistake cannot be compared to that of a big enterprise with large loyal customers.

Many small and medium companies have collapsed due to branding errors that they made because they didn’t understand the importance of branding when it comes to building a startup.

When a startup makes a mistake, they don’t have anything else to fall back to, the only option is to exit and what people remember about the startup is the mistakes they made. Every startup needs to try as much as possible to avoid errors as much as possible.

Branding is one aspect of a startup that when it is not well planned and managed, can affect the growth of the startup or even collapse it.

Many startups have the potential to remain in the market for a very long time, but mistakes like branding errors damage their chances of survival. We want to help solve this challenge that many startups face, that is why we have come up with this article, to help startups avoid branding mistakes that can harm their success in the business world.

Let’s get started…

Branding Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid and How to Do It

  • Failing to identify a target audience
  • Failing to acknowledge employee value
  • Blending in with your competitors
  • Making mistakes on social media
  • Not following your brand guidelines


Branding Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid #1. Failing to Identify A Target Audience

Having a defined target audience for your product before launching out can be a great push for your startup. Nevertheless, others also argue that waiting to see how customers react to your products before proceeding with your startup journey can also be an advantage for your startup growth. Even though there is truth in this approach, it doesn’t always work for most startups, and I won’t advise any startup to choose this path.

A startup without a well-defined target audience is on a path to destruction. You can’t build a startup that is everything to everybody.

Identifying your target audience is part of your branding process.

To build a successful startup, you should identify your target audience. Make known your brand identity and culture to them. This approach makes it easy to introduce new products to your audience and also make them fall in love with your brand.


Branding Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid #2. Failing to Acknowledge Employee Value

Employees of a startup mostly use social media to talk about their startup products and services. Mostly, they tweet about new products coming out to the market, talk about their beautiful office, how excellent their employer is, and a lot more. This approach is a form of marketing that works more than paid advertising.

As a startup, you shouldn’t ignore the little effort that your employees put into giving recognition to your startup on social media. By talking about your startup on their social media pages, they tend to connect their audience to your startup on a person-to-person marketing level.

You should acknowledge their value and encourage them to do more.


Branding Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid #3. Blending in With Your Competitors

Most startups tend to copy the branding strategy of other successful brands with the intention of getting the same success. This “copy-cat” attitude will only set you up for destruction.

The reason for branding is for your startup to stand out among the competition and to copy the branding strategies of other brands will only make you be seen as part of them but not different from them. Your audience wants to see that they are following a brand that is unique, different from the other brands in the business world.

Your target audience will be able to engage with you more when you show them that you are unique and different from your competition. You can only compete with brands if you are different from them.

Related: 5 Top Benefits of Branding for Startups

Branding Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid #4. Making Mistakes on Social Media

Social media platforms are a blessing to startups and as well a curse to startups. It has the potential to give your business the attention that it needs and also the possibility to destroy a brand overnight.

As a startup, you should know how to handle your activities on social media. One mistake on social media can lead to your destruction.

First of all, don’t ever argue with a customer on your social media page; it can quickly trend. When a mistake like this, goes public, then you have a lot of work to do as a startup.

Secondly, don’t be creating content on social media that is not related to your brand. Unrelated posts can backfire and cause harm to your startup. Your audience is following you on social media because they want to see more stuff about your brand but not content from other brands or unrelated topics.


Branding Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid #5. Not Following Your Brand Guidelines

Establishing a brand guideline for your startup is to provide guidance in messaging and decision making. While these guidelines don’t strictly restrict you, they have to influence your choices. Drifting from your brand guidelines as a startup in your early stages can be detrimental.

Brand guidelines include your brand colours, voice, tagline, culture, and anything that builds your brand and makes it stand out among the competition.

For instance, if your brand colours are red, yellow, and blue – you don’t just decide to change them when setting up an advertising campaign for your brand. The same colours need to be used. Changing your brand colours for advertisement purposes can confuse your audience and may lead to branding problems.

This minor mistake can be detrimental to the growth of your startup. You are building a unique brand so; this little mistake can be a big blow to the brand.



Branding in business can go a long way to increase your success in the business world. It requires some form of risk, but when done well can benefit your startup in the long run. Read the article well, to avoid the mistakes that many startups go through when it comes to branding.


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