BrightBox is known for its simple yet effective brand analysis. Three of the first questions we ask our clients are

-Who are you?

-What do you do?

-Who do you do it for?

Some of our clients have no answer to those questions, or worse, have long, winding, watered down answers:

“Well, we do lighting at parties but we also do acoustic sound for large arena shows, fix toilets for the city and deliver pizzas out of a cosmetics shop. Oh, and we do oil changes.”

Your brand should be something easily described in only a few words.

Brands are the reputation of your brand. Characteristics associated with your brand should work together rather than conflict. When the public has mixed signals about who you are and what you represent, it doesn’t know what to think.

Diluted brands are like diluted drinks. They’ve got no kick. In the current business environment, lacking a personality is walking on thin ice.

Presented here are the five most common methods of brand dilution.

Yummy.

#1 LINE EXTENSIONS

Stretching the line of your product as far as possible is a guaranteed way of confusing your audience and ruining your chance of ever specializing in specific language in the mind of your audience.

#2 “CLEVER” AD CAMPAIGNS

Some companies think that cracking a few jokes or using an eye-catching slogan is always good for business. The problem is that these gimmicky concepts have to accomplish something for the brand.

The only people who get paid solely for being clever are comedians.

#3 NAME DISEASE

If your name

-doesn’t fit what you do,

-confuses the public,

-is hard to spell, or

-sounds like a fake company, you’ve probably made a terrible mistake.

Over time, you will need your name to stand out as a preferable brand to the public. Calling your convenience store “The General Store” might have worked in 1850, but times have changed. There are enough brands on the market that far more will fail than succeed.

You want to be in the group that succeeds. Names matter.

#4 COUPONS

There’s nothing like handing out free stuff to tell people you’re worthless. There’s also nothing fundamentally wrong with coupons, as they have helped build many a business. However, slashing prices to the point where revenues suffer is never as good as improving service or throwing in add-ons to increase purchase.

#5 COMPETITION

Companies in the modern era don’t have the luxury of merely establishing a brand and letting it grow naturally. Markets change, and every day the way to success and the number of people trying to prevent you from dominance grows, morphs and learns even more information about you. The most strident competition to your brand is… your competitors.

IMAGES: Roadside Pictures, via Flickr; Doctor Paradox, via Flickr, hotcouponworld.com, via Flickr, Orobi, via Flickr, ScarlettRose9891, via Flickr, CC 2.0