Do you want your business to stand out from the crowd? Having a strong brand image is just what you need.
But how does a small business with limited resources go about building its brand? Here, we’ll give you a list of budget-friendly tools to help you get started, even if you have $0 to your budget.
What is branding for businesses?
Branding isn’t just about making a nice logo. It’s about how your business looks and feels to your customers.
It could be expressed through a consistent look on your website and social media channels. It could also be expressed through the language you use – your web copy, social media captions, and even the way you respond to messages.
Branding is the business equivalent of having a “personality”. It’s what makes some businesses more memorable than others. That’s why MNCs spend big bucks on branding. And it’s what small businesses need to tap on in order to stand out from the competition.
Why does your small business need branding?
Branding isn’t just for large corporations. It’s for small businesses too.
Branding is everywhere. And “no branding” is a form of branding whether it’s intentional or not. The way your brand “behaves” conveys how seriously you treat your business and it signals the quality of your products.
Since branding is apparent in every business, it’s important even for small businesses to start branding intentionally. Does that sound like a monumental task? Fret not – we’re here to show you how you can use cheap, effective tools to start branding your business!
How to brand your business from scratch
So – you don’t have a professional team, nor do you have a big budget. How can you brand your business yourself?
Branding is both an art and a science. And we don’t want to undervalue the work of professionals. But if you’re a self-starter who’s eager to start branding your business, here are the steps you need to take:
1. Find your target audience
Figure out your target market. It’s tempting to target a generic group but having a clear idea of your audience niche, makes you stand out.
To build a stronger brand, you want to specialize and niche down, not be a generalist. Businesses that cater to everyone don’t stand out from the crowd.
2. Find out who your competitors are
Now that you know your audience better, it’s time to think about the competitors in your space. Look at how they’ve branded themselves and observe how they engage with your target audience.
Are there areas for improvement? Are there gaps that need to be filled? What is the average price point of your competitors?
These are some great questions to consider so that your brand has a strong positioning.
3. Choose a memorable business name and slogan
Branding is all about being memorable in the right way. And having a catchy business name and slogan can help to do just that.
We recommend choosing a name that rolls off the tongue, so customers can talk about you to their friends easily!
As for your slogan, think about the value your brand brings to customers. Do you envision your home baked goods to be a source of everyday delight? Or are you creating memorable artisanal cakes for special occasions? Let your audience know through your slogan!
Here are some great examples used by brands around the world:
- The Mosaic Company – “We help the world grow the food it needs”
- Dollar Shave Club – “Shave time. Shave money”
- M&M – “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”
- Lay’s – “Betcha can’t eat just one”
4. Design the look of your brand
Here’s the fun part! Now that you’ve got a clear idea of your brand persona, it’s time to give your brand a new look.
Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%. Whether it's your brand colors, fonts, or copy, having a consistent look to your brand helps to make your brand recognizable.
Budget-friendly tools to brand your business
Finding the right color scheme can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a background in graphic design. That’s why we love the Coolors tool!
This awesome tool helps you come up with great color schemes that are perfect for your brand. You can input a few colors you have in mind to see if those colors go well together. Alternatively, Coolors has a random color generator that comes up with amazing palettes you can use.
Simply tap your spacebar to find a new color combination. If you’d like to keep one of the colors, hover over it and click on the lock button:
Want to make your brand stand out further? Consider downloading unique fonts from DaFont. There’s a wide variety of fonts to choose from and the best part is that it’s completely free!
Choose from a wide range of categories, depending on your brand vision. Once you’ve found the font you like, simply click download on the right.
We recommend that you stick to simple, easy-to-read fonts for longer copies because branding isn’t just about style – it’s about clarity too. However, if you’re looking to design a logo with a funky font, feel free to go wild and download an unforgettable typeface!
Canva is perfect for small business owners who want to give their online presence a consistent look and feel. The tools are easy to use and ready-made templates make it easy for anyone to come up with great designs.
You can choose from a wide range of ready-made templates or create your own. There are also decorative elements you can use you personalize your posts!
You don’t need a big budget to get started with Canva. They have a free plan which is perfect for small business owners who are just starting, as well as a paid plan. Canva Pro costs just $119.99 annually (or $12.99 monthly) and gives you full access to tools and designer templates!
Canva allows users to save brand colors so it’s easy to stay consistent every time you end up designing something new. Whether you need a carousel post or a new Facebook banner, you can hop on Canva and design it straight away.
Sending emails is a great way to connect with your audience. MailerLite is an awesome email service that lets you design your emails and create campaigns for free!
MailerLite’s free plan gives you access to a wide range of features. The drag and drop templates make designing emails feel effortless. What’s more, you can even automate emails and create custom email sequences.
The only catch is that its free plan limits you to 1000 subscribers. If you exceed the subscriber count, you’ll need to upgrade to premium plans. Prices depend on the number of subscribers you have and the types of features you wish to gain access to.
Start brand building with your own website
The best way to brand your business is to have your own website, where you have full control of your brand image. Social media is great for exposure but you’re susceptible to constant changes on the platform.
And you know what? There’s a budget-friendly way to build your website! Cococart lets business owners build their websites for free. Sign up now and start building your brand online in minutes!
How much does it cost to brand a small business?
If you approach an agency, branding projects can range between 5k to 20k! But with the right tools and skills, you can brand your own business even with little to no capital. Read this guide to find out how you can start a business even with $0 working capital.
Must I register my company before I start my business?
Before you start your home based business, make sure to meet governmental requirements. In this guide, we run through everything you need to know—from company registration to setting up your home office—to start running your own business from home.