These big-picture marketing mistakes cost more revenue, growth, and loss of loyalty than most others combined.

According to more than a decade spent building brands.

Thus these are also the areas where smartly made changes will usually produce the biggest impact on brand growth, revenue, and retention.

1. Not sweating the small stuff.

Ship when it’s as perfect as you can possibly produce, and keep perfecting. The biggest difference between where most brands are now and where they want to get to is the sum of a huge number of small changes that would collectively create a massive increase in loyalty, response, or revenue.

2. Branding for everyone.

Branding is the art of segmenting and capitalizing on the specific psychographic and demographic differences of your ideal consumer. Brand for everyone and you brand for no one. Identify the smallest viable marketplace for your product and speak to and service the people within that market personally. And to the exclusion of all others.

3. Not stretching segmentation.

Many marketers not only start by addressing too large a swath of people, but they then fail or forget to further segment their lists and their efforts within that market.

4. Inconsistency.

Inconsistency in brand marketing includes overly noticeable variations in your ads, offerings, messaging, and tone of voice. Usually due to a lack of a very clearly defined audience. Inconsistency also occurs where the internal processes and communications of a brand don’t match what it is putting out publicly.

5. Identity confusion; lack of internal clarity.

Brands can suffer from a lack of clarity: The what-you-do, how, and for-who-exactly is often never nailed down or perfected. The truly brand-new product, service, or company are rare: So what exactly distinguishes and differentiates you from all others in your market segment or vertical.

6. Not constantly mining for data, and not treating that data like gold.

Superior creative distinguishes great brands. Behind that creative is data worth gold. Analyzed data determines what your creatives look, sound, and feel like; what your price point is, and to whom you’re selling it exactly. Most brands act strongly on data initially. But many forget to mine more of it continually, and to then make small changes based on it. Small changes.

7. Neglecting content marketing.

Content marketing covers all forms of the stories you tell about who you are, what you do, and who you do it for. Good content marketing is your first free service to a future potential client. How-to’s, simple solutions to complex problems, helpful guides, articles, vlogs, videos, social media content. These stories focus on service to your audience, with self-promotion being secondary.

8. Poor storytelling.

Stories are how and why your brand came to be; who you’ve grown to become, and what you do or have done. They’re also the true tales of how and when you did what you said you would do. Tell enough of them and your clients and potential clients start telling themselves and others. To tell better stories, we have to do better. We have to “sweat the small stuff.” But most brands are already sitting on great stories—great results. Tell them. Take the time to record the results your product or service created for people and tell us about them.

9. Not recognizing the birth or rebirth of your brand.

Very few brands ship in their final form. And that’s fine. Fantastic even. Just don’t fail to recognize when you’ve become a brand in the eyes of consumers. Most of us start by selling anything to anyone who will buy it and at whatever price point. Perfect! Now sweat the small stuff, mine that data, share your stories and successes. For months. Years even. And don’t fail or forget to recognize when you’ve reached the next level as a brand. When you’ve moved from generic to specific, from business to brand. It might be time to segment your market, perfect your positioning, and improve your product offering.

We love a great brand.

And love helping build them even more.

If we can help you craft and tell a better story, please, let us know.

(With credit to Seth Godin for the concept of “smallest viable market,” in point 2 above.)

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