Small Business Branding – What You Really Need

Gone are the days when all that most businesses need in terms of branding was a logo, and store signs, and an advertisement in the phone book.

What most business owners are experiencing are the growing pains associated with the democratization of marketing. No longer is design and advertising only a tool for big businesses.

Forbes has a great article: The New Era of Democratized Business by Michael Wolf if you are interested to learn more about how culture and technology are disrupting business in significant ways. It was written in 2012 and has a prophetic glance in today’s economy.

We have branding and marketing help at the tips of our fingers, many available for free or low-cost, and yet there is so much frustration because we desire a purposeful, unique, and compelling brand, that’s organized so we can use it.

With today’s digital-driven marketing, our business brand is being seen from so many different angles and contexts (Facebook profile picture to LinkedIn banner), what does the average service-based business need in terms of branding?

It’s easy to feel disorganized and stressed about how your brand looks. Here is what you need to market yourself both in your community and online.

Responsive Logo

Gone are the days where you can get away with one logo. Your brand is seen in different areas, and you need at least three logos that work together as a cohesive set.

Full Logo–Business name, graphic elements, and the tagline (optional)

Type-based logo or Word Mark–Business Name in type

Icon –Simple graphic that is easy to see when it’s tiny

Brand Style Guide

When you work on marketing your business, or hand your brand over to an assistant, they need to keep ‘on brand’ by using the same colors, fonts, and design elements. Using a lot of different styles creates confusion in the observer, and like the famous marketing maxim states: “The confused mind says NO.”

Social Media Profile Graphics

What social media platforms are you going to use and have a presence? Your brand design should include the right file sizes for your profiles.

Note: Social media platforms such as Facebook change what dimension of the image will work. Here’s a great resource for getting the right sizing.

Profile image: You can use your business portrait, or logo. My recommendation is that if your client’s interaction is mostly with you, use your headshot. Your image will familiarize clients to the interaction of working with you, aka, putting a face to the name.

If your client’s interaction is with a team, or you’re moving in that direction, use your square logo or icon.

Business Cards

In most businesses (even those that operate solely online) you’ll need a business card. Why? Because when we interact and share our ideas, it’s nice to have a place to reconnect with information, business cards are still the “norm.” Plus, it looks a bit amateur to be caught without a business card when someone asks for one.

Email Signature

Our email communication has the opportunity to send along a waste-free business card every time, why not use this space to promote brand awareness and even bring traffic to social media profiles or an online scheduling page.

Ready to Brand Your Business

Highly Anticipated offers everything you need to brand your small business.