What Are Brand Identity Traps?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - brand identity

Who is your brand? What does your logo say about it? How about the colours you chose when first establishing your brand’s online presence? A company’s brand has become a serious make-or-break factor in its marketplace success. Brands that do not succeed in capturing the attention, as well as hearts of target audiences, are doomed to coasting by instead of growing exponentially. Very often, there are factors at play that business owners are completely unaware of. One of these factors is the existence of identity traps, which we discuss below:

Identity Trap Defined

The ultimate goal is to build an air of positivity around your brand, where anyone who encounters the brand has a positive experience at every touchpoint. This being said, sometimes brand elements are perceived incorrectly – or not in the way the brand hopes for – which could alter the meaning completely and might even end up causing a negative reaction among target audiences. In a nutshell, brand identity traps occur when target audiences attribute the wrong meaning to certain brand elements; which are often not possible to change overnight.

Examples Of Brand Identity Traps

  • Unfortunate Naming

What makes sense to people living in your country of origin might not make sense to people in foreign countries you’re hoping to target. For example, a French cool drink company wanted to tap into the English-speaking nations. What the brand failed to realise was that their name, Pschitt, when pronounced in English, sounds the same as a particular profanity which means the same as faecal matter.

  • Laughable Logo

A brand name trap is a serious one, but even more dangerous is an identity trap involving your logo. Many brands fall into the trap of generating cryptic logos with countless elements representing an array of hidden meanings. Simple is better, and there’s a reason for this. For example, a logo featuring a rocket ship or tower can very easily appear phallic at first glance.

  • Colour Confusion

When building a new brand, owners should be made aware of colour theory. Too often there is a disconnection between the brand personality and the colours the brand has chosen. For example, brands that want to come across as fun and trendy wouldn’t use blacks, greys, and whites. Likewise, legal entities wouldn’t use bright pinks and oranges in their branding.

Brand management is one of the most satisfying jobs in the marketing field. Not just because you get to shape the look and feel of an entire organisation, but because you get to engage with customers directly, getting their input on ways you can better appeal to them and their peers.

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