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“The biggest mistakes that tech startups make is trying to reinvent the wheel.”  (Andrew Bosworth, Global Director of Engineering, Facebook)

Ever spent time building a product or tool only to find it already exists? Was it because you didn’t seek out, or have access to guidance and advice? Reinventing the wheel in this way is a waste of your most precious resource – time.

This is particularly true when it comes to building a new brand, an area where your peers have decade’s worth of experience, and have made many mistakes you can learn from.

If we’re not able to learn from the mistakes of others, we’re bound to repeat them. With that in mind, here are five mistakes to circumvent as you build your brand.

Don’t seek advice or professional help

There is a wealth of resource out there to help entrepreneurs build a brand. For example, Adii Pienar shares a slew of entrepreneurial wisdom on his blog and General Assembly run courses on startup brand building.

Even with an array of resources on hand you may find you need a professional eye, particularly when it comes to design. If money is a problem (as it inevitably is), sites such as Upwork or Fiverr can help you source a freelance design that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Jump right into logo design

Your logo is important. Some even say it’s the most important part of a brand but there is much to be done before you begin the design process.

Before we jumped into designing Spotcap’s logo we built a logo database. We included good ones, bad ones and even the logos of our competitors. We also decided what we wanted our logo to represent, an abstract depiction of money. These tools served as important points of reference when we began the design process.

Copy other brands

While there isn’t any shame in drawing inspiration from brands you admire, the goal is to create something unique and remarkable which tells your brand story.

Remember people value individuality, and you want your startup to stand out not fall in with the crowd.

Break promises

As brands, we make promises to our customers. Your business may promise high quality products, value for money or efficient service. Whatever you promise, you need to be sure that you can deliver.

Become stagnant

Brands don’t last a lifetime. As your business and the industry evolve your brand needs to keep pace. Refresh the look and feel as often as is necessary but don’t make changes for the sake of change – this is costly and could also put your customers off side.

About the author:

Lachlan Heussler is the Managing Director of Spotcap Australia and has more than 15 years experience in financial services, both in Sydney and New York. With his experience and expertise, Lachlan understands what it means to grow a business with effective branding strategies.

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