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You probably know that branding started in farms thousands of years ago to distinguish one farmer’s cattle from another’s. In business, it’s one of the most important things to set you apart from your sea of competitors. Nobody’s born with this knowledge and you don’t know what you don’t know. I mean look at this ad from a cigarette maker.  Here are a few things to avoid when it comes to picking your own brand:

1. Choosing a bad name:
– It’s difficult or confusing to pronounce.
Restaurant chain, Au Bon Pain, or the shoe company, Saucony.
– It’s embarrassing to say.
Even diehard Apple fans rolled their eyes and laughed uncomfortably when the company launched the iPad, a product whose name sounded to many like that of a feminine-hygiene product.
– It’s impossible to remember.
Long names and those containing ambiguous descriptors, like “solutions” and “partners,” are generic and difficult to remember.
2. Imposing outlandish services, products or terms:
Qwikster was a sloppy attempt to gloss over a huge price increase in Netflix’s service offerings. The experiment went so badly that Netflix quickly reversed itself and reverted to a single brand, albeit one with separate streaming and DVD pricing plans.

3. Offending users:
Bic’s pastel-colored pens created to meet the “unique” writing needs of the  female gender sparked outrage and derision across the internet and represented a  major branding blunder for the pen manufacturer.via Brandings Cardinal Sins: 3 Common Mistakes to Avoid.
How sad is it that one of the offenders of bad branding mistakes is my alma mater (BIC) but it’s a great lesson about how important branding is to even a giant, let alone a small business like me.
Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

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