The Basics of Branding Every Small Business Should Follow

The competition is tough and survival means standing out from the crowd. Branding your business doesn’t only mean designing a logo or choosing a name. It means creating business opportunities. The better you do it, the more opportunities you create. If you’re a small business owner, here are some basic branding tips you should follow to fight against the competition out there!

  • Take Inspiration From Your Competition

Keep an eye on how your competitors are running their marketing campaigns. Take note of what they’re doing, whether it’s right, wrong, and different. Keeping a track of your competitor’s campaigns and branding will inspire you to improve your branding in certain areas.

Keep a check on how they sound and appear as a brand, the features, quality, and benefits of their products or service, their website UI and UX, the content they post, their social media engagement, and their advertising methods. Use competitor research to analyze your business branding. We recommend conducting an in-depth SWOT analysis to help your brand do better.

Note down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to understand things your brand does better and things your competitors do better.

Your SWOT analysis should look like this:


  • Things your brand does well
  • Features, qualities, and benefits you offer that distinguish you from your competitor
  • Resources and staff
  • Capital, technologies, intellectual property, etc


  • Things your competitors do better
  • Limited resources
  • Vague unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Low quality, compromised features, etc.


  • Expansion in different markets
  • Less competition in your industry/area
  • New demand for your products or services
  • Social media marketing and coverage of your brand


  • New competitors in your area
  • Negative media coverage
  • Unclear customer attitude
  • Changing environment

Learn from your competitor’s mistakes. Maybe they don’t deliver ‘quality’, or their message isn’t very clear, or the image they used doesn’t align with the customer’s interests. There is a lot to notice and learn from others, and as a brand, you should take it as inspiration to do better. Give customers a reason why they should choose you over others.

However, don’t copy other’s identities. Stick to your own brand story and identity. It’s easy to confuse inspiration with plagiarism, regardless of the industry your competition is in. Do not copy other brands.

  • Understand Your Target Audience

If you don’t know who your customer is, you won’t know who to create content for. Commit to a specific audience and build your brand. Visualize from your customer’s perspective and collect data from competitor research and educated assumptions. As a small business, you must understand buyer persona. This means, think from their point of view and note down the things you’d like to experience as a customer.

Creating a buyer persona means listing down the customer’s goals, needs, motivations, pain points, interests, demographics, most-used social media platforms, and behavior. You can do so by conducting market research, conducting surveys, checking out reviews and feedbacks for your competitors, or interviewing potential customers.

Find a niche, stick to it and develop your brand identity. Your brand can’t serve everyone. You have to be specific. Filter out people who can’t be your audience, survey potential, and existing customers, and use Google Analytics to view metric performances.

  • Create a Professional Logo

Many small businesses underestimate the power of a meaningful logo. No matter how big or small your business is, you deserve a professionally designed logo for your brand identity. Hire a freelance designer if you’re on a budget or go for a branding agency if you can for help with your logo.

Brand development is an important stage. You’re defining your whole business journey the moment you start creating your brand, and the logo you create has the most impact. You want to make sure you get what you’re paying for. Don’t try to overdo overthink your logo. Many small business owners try to associate some kind of vision with their logo, however, it’s best to remain open to creative ideas.

An effective logo design should be

  • Memorable
  • Simple
  • Versatile
  • Appropriate
  • Timeless

Do your research on different logo ideas and create one that sets your brand apart from the rest, but also make sure you don’t overdo and complicate it.

  • Construct a Brand Slogan

A tagline or slogan for your brand defines the essence and personality. It doesn’t really have to reflect the products or services you offer. For instance, Nike’s slogan, ‘Just do it’ has imprinted the brand’s persona and presence in the industry for far too long, for all the right reasons. Just three words were enough to make the brand memorable and recognizable for its true essence, which is motivation.

Make sure the brand slogan you create:

  • Brings positivity
  • Distinguishes the brand from the rest
  • Explains the essence or benefit of the brand
  • Makes it memorable

Avoid over-explaining the slogan with more words. Keep it short and simple, so it’s easier to remember.

  • Trademark Your Brand

Many small businesses and entrepreneurs struggle with this because of the competition nowadays. Trademarking your brand is important to protect your brand from being copied. A trademark is used to protect a logo, design, word, symbol, or slogan that represents the brand. Once you create your brand logo, slogan, and name, get it trademarked as soon as you can. The official trademark will protect you legally from anyone who tries to steal or copy your brand assets in any form.

  • Keep Up With The Trends

Do proper market research and keep track of what’s happening in your industry. Aside from research reports available online, try finding specific real-time information on Google that might help you with your brand. For instance, searching for ‘summer fashion in retail 2021’ will give you relevant information regarding what you’re looking for. Gather data about trends and adjust it to what your brand is about.

With that said, it’s also important to remember why you started your business. Not every trend is meant for you to follow. Don’t jump on the bandwagon because everyone is. Remember your business values and vision, and find trends that align with them. Keeping up with trends in your industry and marketing your products in a specific way is one way to stay relevant.

To Wrap It Up

Running a business isn’t easy, especially for a small business. Besides the idea, motivation, cheap and fast home internet, and the right tools, you need to understand the power of branding to make it big out there. With these tips, make sure you never lose your edge and stay on top of your game.

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