avoiding brand confusion

Last night parliament couldn’t decide what to do about Brexit.

Are we in, are we out? Do we have a deal? Don’t we? Who knows! But what I do know from my Facebook feed and from popping over to Twitter is that people are sick of there not being a decision of some sort. Even if it’s not what they want, they want something concrete.


I am going to compare your business to Brexit. Well, more specifically to the confusion over what on earth is going to happen and when.

You can draw comfort from the fact that regardless of how you’re doing by the time you’ve finished reading, no matter how confusing your brand may be, it can’t be as confusing as Brexit which makes Excel, potty training, trying to find an open campsite with ehu out of season and javascript look like a walk in the park. Maybe.

This isn’t about how you voted, whether you abstained or only just reached voting age. This is about YOUR business avoiding confusion for YOUR audience.



Have you made up your mind? 

Have you?

A disjointed image does nothing for your brand. It just confuses people. It sends out mixed messages, it means that you can be confused more easily with another business, that you’re not communicating your message effectively.

This confusion isn’t going to make people sign petitions and go on walks and marches, buy all the tinned goods or make memes about how awful your brand is – but it will damage your brand if you’re not being clear enough through your imagery, messaging and experience just what it is that you’re all about.

Creating a brand that is less confusing than Brexit isn’t hard. (almost like asking you to be more alive than a dinosaur. You breathed, we’re good.) but if you don’t know where to start then this is a good place.

Do you know what your colours are? Have you memorised those hex codes? (#361b40, that’s one of mine, It’s a dark purple colour and the only one I know without looking it up! Write them down somewhere accessible.)

Do you know what your fonts are?

Do you have a consistent image for your business? A main logo and sub marks? A collection of images and elements that actually work well together to portray what you’re all about?

Do you know what sort of photographs you need, the style, the colours, the filters, the way it should look?

Do you know how your business should sound?

Do you have a collection of templates and images and inspiration that you can draw on?

More importantly, before you made these key decisions, did you work out what you’re all about?



A disjointed image does nothing for your brand. It just confuses people. It sends out mixed messages, it means that you can be confused more easily with another business, that you’re not communicating your message effectively.


Do you know what you stand for?

This is about knowing what your business is. Knowing how you help people. Knowing what it is that makes the difference for people.

For me this thing is confidence. 

Creating confidence in YOU for your business. Creating an image for your business that makes you sing and shout and tell everyone what your thing is. That makes your heart sing, that fills you with an excitement for your business that propels you forwards towards your goals. That doesn’t make you feel embarrassed. That has you handing out your url and your business cards with pride. All of which will help you actually spread the word, connect with more people and find more of your ideal clients.

Confidence for your clients and prospects. In you. Because what you’re all about is now clear as day and they like what they see. Because they can see that you’re not flying by the seat of your pants and that you’re a professional business. Because what they see is believable. And also true. I’m not going to design something that fits a vision that isn’t real. That’s pretty hard to keep up. There’s that phrase isn’t there? Know, like and trust. All of these things can be achieved through well thought through branding. People will recognise your brand, like it, and spend some time getting to know you, because of this they’ll like what they see, and as they find out more, delve into your website, connect over and over again at different touch points, trust will happen.

Confidence is so important. It’s the difference between success and failure. You can be quietly confident but if you don’t believe in yourself, if you don’t believe in what you do and if people don’t believe in you then you’re going to find building your business much harder going. 

So what’s your thing? What is it that you stand for? What is it that you believe in? What are you all about? This doesn’t have to be one word. You can have a phrase (strong and stable?). Bullet points. Scribbles on a sheet of paper that make sense to you. You can have a whole book if you like, as long as it’s clear, you can explain it and you can deliver on it.

Once you know what you’re all about then you can make decisions more easily.

Once you know your values then you can communicate them through your visual brand.

Once you understand who your ideal client is then you can speak more directly to them. In the right places.

And this means that you can make up your mind about how your business looks more easily and avoid “The Brexit Effect”. Indecision and confusion doesn’t look good on you. It just makes people fed up. Pick how you’re going to show up and then stick to it.



Indecision and confusion doesn’t look good on you. It just makes people fed up. Pick how you’re going to show up and then stick to it.




Choose the colours and fonts and imagery and logo. Don’t have three different logos because you couldn’t decide which one to use or because in your business you never bothered with it so your logo has become your business name in three different fonts, each one depending on who is creating the thing that this goes on. Nothing working together.

A non-Brexit example of this mess would be the nursery my son goes to. We picked this nursery for my daughter nine years ago because it was within walking distance, it has a huge garden and it just felt good when we walked around. BUT the logo was different on the invoice to how it looked on the leaflet and different again to how it looked on the roundabout advert. Not just the logo either. The invoice was plain with a swirly font, the leaflet was purple and the roundabout sign was primary colours. All totally different. No consideration given to how the brand looked. They could have represented three different nurseries, but they all represented one.

In the past year, the nursery has changed hands and is now part of a chain. A chain that has invested in strong branding. Everything matches now. The same logo, the same colours, the same uniform, the same style on everything. There is no mistaking which nursery these all belong to and since this happened I’ve noticed that the numbers of children have risen. More staff have been taken on. There’s plans for an extension. I’m sure this isn’t wholly down to the branding, this must work alongside everything else after all, but I don’t think it’s coincidence.

Making these choices isn’t always easy of course, but once you know what’s what, it’s one heck of a lot easier. Branding needs to eek out into all of your touch points, so spend some time working on those too to ensure that you’re communicating your brand strongly through visual AND non-visual means.

Mismatched, disjointed, indecisive branding isn’t effective. And I want your brand to be effective. I want people to recognise your brand because they see it everywhere and they know who you are. I want you to feel confident in your business so you’ll put it everywhere in the first place, and I want your clients and prospects to see your business, like how it looks and “get you”. No second guessing. I want them to feel confidence in you and spend with you because of that.



Brexit begins with C.

So it’s time to avoid confusion, make choices, make the changes you need to make. Capture attention. Communicate what you stand for clearly and consistently. Compel people to take action and convert those people into customers..

When you’ve finished creating all of that clarity around your brand you should reward yourself with cookies. Or cake. Or chocolate… because rewards are motivating and if I hadn’t written that sentence this video wouldn’t have tied in so well and we’re all a bit sick of the B word and need a distraction right? Enjoy 🙂



If you would like any help creating a brand identity that works for your business or getting to the root of what your’e all about, please email me and we can have a chat about how I can help you.




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