Your brand is the most valuable aspect of your business—and the most fragile. You are online, so the whole world is watching you and your business. From my experience as a CEO of a digital marketing agency, I’ve noticed major branding mistakes that can easily be avoided. Years of hard work on a brand can be wiped out in a single day, so be cautious of these top branding mistakes that can result in major setbacks or even brand death.
Not Getting a Trademark
Countless brand owners never register their trademark. And, many who do fail to defend their trademarked brand. As soon as you create a brand, file a record of the trademark itself under your name with the right government offices.
Deal with every single infraction of your brand use guidelines and any possible violation of your trademark. If you don’t, you may lose the chance to take any action at all. The point of your trademark is to protect your brand reputation and keep the competition from copying your work or diluting your brand value. Make sure it does that by addressing infractions.
Not Vigorously Searching Google
Careful research helps you choose the kind of name, look, voice, logo, and website that will appeal to your ideal customer. It also offers you the best protection against infringing on the intellectual property rights of others, such as choosing a logo that infringes on an existing trademark or copyright. Use Google for your research, and when it comes to choosing names, domains, and other branding elements, also search visitcopyright.gov before you make permanent branding decisions.
Not Coming Up With a Good Domain Name
Coming up with a good domain name is really half the battle of running an online company. I’ve spent hundreds of hours picking domain names for my companies and clients. First, make sure you get a good domain name extension. The most popular right now are .com and .co for general business, but there are many new options out there. There is nothing wrong with picking industry-specific or even country-specific domains. In general, avoid dashes or numbers in your domain name, and make sure it’s easy to spell. You can also check for similar social media profile URLs.
John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility and author of “Digital Influencer, A Guide to Achieving Influencer Status Online.”
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