Most companies have so many parts in motion that it’s easy to have a lapse in reason and make a business blunder. This is especially true with marketing because there is an inherent need for speed; with the rapidity of marketing, you can easily make mistakes if you’re not paying attention.

Businesses are run by people. People make mistakes. You can either laugh it off and get back in the right direction, or you could let it ride and feel the burn.

Here are some of those common blunders you’ll find (perhaps right now) in business:

1. That Choice of Font

Comic sans, papyrus, Helvetica. These are font choices used by just about all businesses and it’s getting to the point where we’re sick of them. People hate comic sans. This font is probably the worst contender in the mix. There are no instances when a business should use comic sans because it’s simply unprofessional. The secretary may think it makes the message fun? but all you’re really doing is saying I have no graphic design experience so this is the best I can do?, which translates to the customer thinking, If they skimped on this piece of junk, I wonder about the service they’re providing?

While you’re at it put some money toward real photos and stop relying on the clip art you find in PowerPoint or Word. Nothing says unprofessional like images from the 90s.

Seek guidance when it comes to graphic design. Spend the extra money for proper fonts. And learn kerning, tracking, and leading.

2. Frivolous Branding with Merchandise

Let’s say you’re staying at a small hotel chain, you just hopped out of the shower, and you reach for the towel. On that towel is the logo of the hotel. You don’t think about it all too much because it’s common to find, but then you think about it again. What’s the purpose of the logo if you already know you’re at the location?

Isn’t it just a waste of money that could have gone to other aspects of the business?

It’s this type of marketing that probably doesn’t matter. You’re better off just buying economy towels in bulk and letting the patrons use those instead. It gets the job done and you don’t have to worry about constantly mucking about with the branded ones.

Take a look around your business and count up all the frivolous spending you’ve placed into branding items around the place. Now say to yourself, From now on, I’m only using this income toward advertising and marketing campaigns that I can track.”

3. Trying (and failing) to be Hip

You know who was hip? Miles Davis.

You know what isn’t? Your business.

More and more businesses are trying to hop on the bandwagon of being ?hip? in their product design and marketing campaigns. They’re pushing for the edge so much that they’re receiving a backlash. The general, younger public isn’t stupid. They can see through company ploys to come across as being cool and their reaction is to ditch the brand because it’s being condescending and exploitative.

If you really want to make your business come across as cool to younger generations, you have to encourage the customers not beat them over the head with a marketing message. It’s about finding those customers that are vocal and actively promoting the product. You give them the tools and resources–like freebies and swag–and you can bet they’re going to spread the message via word-of-mouth. Their peers will listen to what they have to say. In time, the product becomes part of the culture and that’s when it’s cool not when you try to be ?urban? or ?edgy? when everyone knows you’re anything but.