The Ultimate Guide to Branding Your Small Business

The image shows someone branding heir small business. The text reads; The ultimate guide to branding your small business
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    As a small business owner, you might not see the need to brand your business or you might think that branding is best done by big corporations like Microsoft and Apple. The truth is that branding is one of the first things you need to do when you start your business. 

    You don’t need to have a very expensive budget to brand your small business. You just need to have a plan and follow through. There are plenty of branding strategies you can implement if you want to succeed in this.

    In this article, let’s discuss some notable strategies that you should follow if you want to brand your small business.

    Key Takeaways

    • Branding is more than having a logo or a business name. It involves how you make people perceive and interact with your business.
    • Understanding your niche market will help you position yourself well in your business.
    • The more you provide value to your customers, the more they love and trust your brand.

    What is Branding?

    Branding is more than a fancy logo, tagline, and business tag. It is something that affects how prospects and customers perceive your business. This could be your logo, business name, reputation, and quality of products or services. 

    Branding requires consistency. You want to keep providing quality at all times. It also involves change. You want to be willing to change or improve certain business practices.

    If you follow these strategies, you will kick your business off to a good start:

    • Have a brand identity
    • Choose a business name
    • Look for visuals that appeal to your identity
    • Be a content creator
    • Seek partners
    • Give customers value and quality

    Have a Brand Identity

    To many, branding is all about having a logo or a website. While both are very important, branding is more than visuals. Branding is your business identity, its values, and its mission. It is the way you treat customers. It is the quality of your products or services. So, before you design a logo or create a professional website, you must understand what your brand identity is.

    There are several ways you can deduce this. They include:

    • Knowing yourself
    • Knowing your target audience
    • Knowing your competitors
    • Creating a unique selling point

    Knowing yourself

    If you have no clear description of what identity your brand is, it’s time to do some professional soul-searching. You need to ask yourself questions to help you know your brand identity. Some questions you should ask yourself are:

    • What words best describe my company?
    • How do I want my customers to perceive me?
    • What difference do I wish to make in my niche market?

    The more you understand who you are, the better you know what your identity is and how you can reach your target customers.

    Knowing your target audience

    One reason why you started your business in the first place is to make money. You need to have customers to achieve that. Some small business owners make the mistake of focusing too much on their products or services and not on who their target customers are. It is wise to know who your ideal customers are and make plans on how to reach them. 

    You can analyze this by dividing them into buyer personas based on their age range, location, profession, income level, pain points, and needs. When you know your target customers, you are more likely to curate the right branding strategy that connects you with them.

    Knowing your competitors

    If you want your branding to stand out, you need to know what others in your niche market are doing. Check what your competitors are doing. What are they offering and how is it working out for them? 

    There are several ways to check out your competitors and conduct an analysis of their services and branding strategy. Some ways include:

    • Google your service or product and see the competitors that pop up in the search results
    • Check subreddits related to your niche market and see what customers are saying about the products or services you offer
    • Talk to individuals in your target market and ask them about the firms they buy from
    • Go shopping offline or online (depending on your brand presence) and understand what customers face when buying a product

    Creating a unique selling point

    To make your business branding easy, you need to create something that makes your business stand out. Of course, you will always be a competitor in your niche market. This thing that makes your business stand out is often called a unique selling point (USP) or unique value proposition. Your (USP) is the essence of your small business. It is what motivates customers to choose you over your competitors.

    There are several ways to determine what your unique selling point is. Here are some exercises you should carry out when making this choice:

    • Ask yourself what your positioning statement should be
    • Associate your brand with certain emotions and words
    • What concepts or metaphors describe your business?

    Ask yourself what your positioning statement should be

    This statement can be two or more lines that define what value your business offers. You will use the statement to create your brand’s tagline. Your positioning statement can be like this: 

    Associate your brand with certain emotions and words

    What emotions or words do people already associate your brand with? What words would you like them to associate it with? Choosing the right emotion and words can go a long way in creating other important branding strategies, e.g. social media and content creation. 

    For example,

    I offer – (your product or services)(e.g. writing services) for (target market) (small businesses) so they can get (value proposition) (e.g. quality sales copy). Unlike (alternatives) (e.g. other writing services), I (key value differentiator) (e.g. provide multiple revisions until customer satisfaction).

    What concepts or metaphors describe your business?

    Another thing that helps you choose the right USP is knowing what metaphor describes your brand best. It could be an animal, a football team, a vehicle, or anything that has a good reputation and imitates the vibe you want your business to give off. 

    For instance, if your product is targeting the gym industry, you might choose a cheetah and relate how fit and strong the animal is in the jungle and how it runs faster than others with the benefits of ‘gym goers’ using your product.

    After getting the perfect unique selling point, you need to infuse it into every aspect of your branding and marketing strategy. Your USP doesn’t need to be something out of the world. It has to be related to your brand identity, the value of the product you offer, and what your customers stand to gain from it.

    Choose a Business Name

    How important is choosing a name for branding? This depends on what your business niche is because your name can matter little in several niche industries. Branding is much more than having a good and catchy name. Your reputation, actions, and personality will give meaning to the name you choose in the niche market.

    However, as a small business owner, having a name is one of the first things you might need to do. It will affect your logo, website name, marketing, and registering your business trademark. You can use free business name generators to come up with a name that you like. It is also good to ask your friends and family to suggest a name for you. This should be something related to your business, its personality, and the value you provide.

    Look for Visuals that Appeal to your Identity

    Once you know what your identity is, who your competitors are, who your target audience is, and what makes you unique, it’s time to design your brand. This is a very crucial step for small businesses as it is for bigger ones.

    Here are some things you need to create when designing your business:

    • Brand Style Guide
    • Logo
    • Website
    • Business Cards

    Brand Style Guide

    Your brand needs to have a style guide. This guide will contain important design elements like your brand’s color, fonts, and images. Having a style guide helps whoever you hire for your logo and website designs to understand what you want. 

    Here is a breakdown of what should be in your brand style guide and how important they are to your branding:

    • Color: Colors are not just added to your brand style guide for nothing. They must convey the emotions of your business. You want to choose colors that differ from that of your competitors. Your color scheme must be consistent and cut across everything you do.
    • Fonts: Fonts are also important elements in your style guide. You don’t want to choose a font that is hard to read or looks confusing. For simplicity, use two fonts on your website. If possible, use the same font for your logo creation.


    A logo is your company’s face. It is the first impression customers will see when they meet your business for the first time. Your logo must be your first design and it will help create other visuals associated with your business.


    This is one of the most important visuals for your business. You should take your website seriously. You need to hire a professional web developer to assist you with this if you can’t create one yourself. Work closely with this professional to make your dream a reality. When customers visit your website, let them feel your business in it.

    Business Cards

    Business cards are so practical. You can hand them over to people who you wish will try out your products or hire your services. Your card must include your website, your logo, and other important details (your business address, email address, phone number, etc.) about your business.

    Be a Content Creator

    When you start your small business, you might not have enough money for paid ad marketing and other paid marketing strategies. But this doesn’t mean that you should not do any marketing to get customers. Thanks to technology, there is a free way to market your brand. This is called content marketing.

    Content marketing helps you to gain your customer’s trust with the creative, interactive, and informative content you put out on social media. By strengthening your branding and building trust in others, you let your business stand out among competitors.

    You don’t have to pay the social media platform to get your content posted on it. Even with a shoestring budget, you can make content that works. A key to successful content creation is understanding what customers want from you. When you know this, you can create content that fulfills that need.

    Seek for Partners

    Customers are more likely to buy from brands that they trust. If you are a new business, it might take time for you to fully establish trust. A great way to make this faster is to partner with brands that your customers love to work with.

    The key to a successful partnership strategy is to find a business that is like yours and is non-competitive. For instance, if your new brand deals with protein powder for gym rats and athletes, you can partner with gyms or bloggers that own popular fitness blogs. Both companies target your ideal customers but are not your direct competitors, so they will be willing to work with you.

    Give Your Customers Value and Identity

    If you want your business to stand out among competitors, then you need to prove it. Your branding should be more than a professional website, attractive logo, or value proposition. You want your product or services to keep customers. You want to cultivate an excellent reputation among them. 

    If your customers get a positive experience with your brand, they will offer word-of-mouth marketing to your friends and family. Always look for ways to improve your customer’s experience with your business. Do you need a better logo? Does your website need an update? Ensure that you make your customer experience better.


    You don’t need to be rich or have a large budget to brand your business. What you need is to be creative and catch your customer’s attention. When you do your branding right, it becomes easy to market your business to your target customers. Use the right branding and marketing tools where necessary to make things easy for you. In time, your business will grow and you will benefit from following the steps mentioned above in this article.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is involved in branding a business?

    This involves knowing your brand identity, your target audience, your competitors, and your unique selling point. Once you know this, it’s time to create your business visuals and afterward, market your business the right way.

    What is a brand style guide?

    This is also called a brand kit. This contains all the important information about your business. Your brand kit will contain your company’s name, color palette, fonts, and images.