3 classic branding pitfalls to avoid

Top tips for tackling three typical hurdles that can arise during a branding project.

Branding and identity design aren't about creating a brand in isolation and handing it over to the client. The process involves close collaboration with the people who live and breathe that brand on a day-to-day basis.

However, even if you have the best collaborative relationship with your client, things can still go wrong. With that in mind, here are three typical problems that can arise during a branding project – with pro advice on how to tackle them…

01. Changing briefs

One of the most common problems on branding projects can be the client changing the brief during the design process. 
To deal with this, designers need to define the clear aims and objectives, and agree these before starting the project, advises Karen Hughes of True North.

"If we don't do this, it can have a knock-on effect on the process. It's important to us to work closely with our clients to define what they want and need to develop, so we're all in agreement before the project begins. It's about working as a team with clients and understanding their business objectives."

02. Multiple decision makers

Dealing with more than one person during a design project can be challenging. But more often than not, there is more than one person calling the shots on a branding project. "So you need to agree from the beginning who will be the core working team who will make final decisions," says Hughes.

"Trying to please everybody is impossible, and often with multiple stakeholders 

pleasing everyone can be a challenge. For this reason, it is important to agree and to prioritise the important key stakeholders and engage with them from the very beginning of the project."

03. Implementing the work

Creating the brand is just the start of the work. Clients need to be aware that it doesn't stop there – once the new brand has been agreed, it needs to be implemented across every part of the business in order for it to be a success.

"Educating clients on the implications of a new brand and getting them excited about the opportunities ahead is important," says Hughes.

Getting the guidance right on how the work should be implemented is also crucial, adds Jon Hewitt, creative director at Moving Brands. "The challenge often lies in how to ensure that design teams don't go too far, or not far enough." Often that means training, and making sure there are best practice examples of how to use the brand available.

Enter the Brand Impact Awards 2015

Enter the 2015 BIAs to join the likes of johnson banks, hat-trick and R/GA – all triple award winners in 2014 – as well as Rose and Coast, who scooped Best of Show awards

If you've created some outstanding branding in the last 18 months, you're eligible to enter the Brand Impact Awards. Judged by an elite panel of designers and client-side creatives from global brands like Coca-Cola, the Awards celebrate the industry's best branding across more than 20 different market sectors.

Beyond a stunning piece of design work, the judges are looking for consistency of application across various touchpoints – and work will be judged according to the market sector for which it was designed.

The deadline for entries is 5:30pm 18th June. You can find out more about the Brand Impact Awards here, and enter your work today though the Brand Impact Awards website. Good luck!

The full version of this article appeared inside Computer Arts issue 239: Love Print/Love Digital, a special collector's item.

Illustration: Jose Miguel Mendez

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