4 Key Branding Tips for Small Businesses

small business branding

Brand. Everybody’s got one. Whether you run a small business, large company, or a solopreneur venture, we all have our own personal vibe or personality that makes people gravitate to us. 

Possibly the biggest misconception about brands is that they’re all about logos and design. People often think it’s what you see that makes up your brand, when in fact, it’s more about how you make people feel. 

Think about some of your favorite brands. , for example. When you close your eyes and think of , you might see the logo or remember the latest ad you heard on your favorite podcast. But what do you feel? Creative? Empowered? These feelings are part of ’s brand. 

So what’s the secret to developing a brand that people love and keep coming back to? It takes time, thought, and a keen understanding of your customer. Below, we’ll walk through some branding tips for small businesses and some of the high-level questions to ask yourself when developing your brand. 

1 | Determine what problem you’re solving for your customers.

Maybe your target customer wants to get fit but doesn’t have an hour to spare. That’s why your fitness classes are 40 minutes from start to finish. Maybe your customer needs a safe space to talk, but doesn’t want to leave the comfort of their home for a counseling session. That’s why you offer online therapy.  

Building a desirable service starts with understanding your customers’ needs and pain points—and then solving those issues.  Building a desirable brand that resonates with your customers starts with empathy.

2 | Ask yourself: How do your customers feel—and how do you want them to feel?

It’s important to understand how your customers feel before they come into contact with your brand. It’s just as important to know how you want them to feel once they interact with your brand. 

Are they in physical or emotional pain? Do they feel rushed, stressed, insecure?  Will your service help them feel more confident? More relaxed? More in control?  Answering these questions will help you understand the essence of your brand, and what you’re offering your customers emotionally—beyond the service. 

3 | Strike the right tone and keep it consistent.

Now that you know what problem you’re solving and how you want people to feel, you can tailor your brand to strike the right tone. 

In order to etch yourself in the hearts and minds of your customers, it’s important to stick to the same look, feel, voice, and messaging across all communication channels. From your website to your business cards to the language in your automated emails, it’s important to represent your brand consistently.  This builds recognition among your customers and—even more importantly—trust. 

To maintain a consistent voice, ask yourself: What is your brand’s personality? 

Choose 3-5 adjectives that represent who your brand is as a person. Maybe your business deals with serious stuff, so your brand personality might be level-headed, straightforward, and trustworthy. Or maybe you run a more playful business, so your brand personality might be spirited, witty, and vivacious. 

From there, decide how a brand with this personality would sound. Maybe your playful brand sounds enthusiastic or funny—these adjectives describe your voice. And that playful voice should stay consistent across everything that you write or say.

To maintain a consistent look, consider these business branding ideas:
We’ve all seen brands that have a very distinct look. A look that seems to scream “them” anywhere you see them: on social feeds, in emails, on their website. Chances are, this brand has done its due diligence with a designer to create a strong visual identity. 

Your visual identity is like a design bible. It holds the core truths of your visual brand, like your brand’s colors, typeface, art direction for photos, how your logo is used, etc. A brand with a strong visual identity helps maintain a level of consistency that, over time, people come to recognize as “their brand.”

How do voice and look play together?
Let’s say you run a therapeutic massage business. You likely want to make your customers feel a sense of calm or relief. A website filled with zany copy, loud colors, and a bunch of exclamations points would be off-brand. But a simple, clean color palette and calm language might be more on-brand for your small business. 

4 | Check out resources to help bring your brand to life.

Brand is often something that businesses or individuals think about as they launch their businesses, but then put on a shelf because it can often be time-consuming, expensive, and daunting to revisit. 

Luckily, there are many affordable resources out there that can help you build your brand from scratch, or give your existing brand a lil “zhuzh.” Below are a few more small business branding tips and ideas to help you solidify your brand:

  1. Start with to build your website: makes it easy to customize your website to match your brand’s visual identity. 

  2. If your business is appointment-based, : Our customized scheduling page and email notifications ensure that you’re always speaking in your brand’s voice.

  3. Do a quick search online for top sites that offer things like an affordable freelance designer, custom printing services, and more ways to bring your brand to life.

Whether you’re just starting out and need to figure out your company’s mission, or you’ve been in business for a few years and want to do a complete overhaul, it’s never too early—or too late—to build your brand.

small business strategy, small business