10 branding ideas for small businesses

November 23, 2013 • By

As any business owner knows, one of the best ways to create a ‘buzz’ about your company, products, or services is by putting your brand in the public eye.  This can be done through television and radio advertising, sponsoring large events in your local community, offering appealing rewards to first-time customers, or distributing promotional items at trade shows, conventions, and conferences.  Promoting a business, however, also comes with a price tag attached, and it’s one that many small businesses simply don’t have the capacity to budget for.

Getting visibility for your brand does not have to empty the coffers, and there are quite a few ways you can promote your brand that are relatively inexpensive.  This type of brand promotion is ideal for small businesses without large marketing budgets, and it gives you widespread exposure and brand visibility without the exorbitant cost.

Here are ten branding ideas that will help you promote your small business:

  1. Include your brand on all your stationery and paper products.

  2. Put your brand on pens and use opportunities to hand them out as often as possible.  Pens are especially useful because everyone finds themselves in need of a writing utensil at some point.

  3. Create a buzz internally by awarding your employees with different bonuses and perks.

  4. Make sure your brand is prominently displayed on all custom boxes and packaging that contains your products.

  5. Get candies or candy bags printed with your brand and distribute them to the children of potential customers, or offer them to family-friendly locations and events in your area so they can be handed out to visitors.

  6. Have branded bookmarks printed and offer them for distribution at school and public libraries, as well as book fairs and local bookstores.

  7. Provide air fresheners for vehicles that are designed to match your brand or logo.

  8. Have inexpensive mouse pads created that include your brand and distribute them to local offices and businesses.

  9. At local fairs, carnivals, and other events, offer to provide disposable plastic cups to beverage vendors (and make sure your brand is prominently displayed on the cup).

  10. If you offer cash awards, incentives, rebates, or other monetary compensation to customers or potential customers, work with a financial institution to have your brand printed on a prepaid debit card.  You can provide the prepaid debit card to customers instead of cash, and many financial institutions will work with you in creating the design of the prepaid debit card to match your logo.

While you can employ any or all of the branding ideas listed above to generate more interest and visibility for your company, you first need to make sure you have a brand logo that is original, memorable, and can easily be associated with your company, products, or services.  If people see your brand and your company doesn’t come to mind, you won’t be able to succeed with your promotional ideas.

The central concept behind promotional branding is to ensure that your company comes to mind first when people find themselves in need of a product or service that you can provide.  In addition to an appealing and memorable logo, you can also develop a slogan or tag-line that works in the same way.  The more ‘catchy’ a slogan is, the easier it will be for consumers to recall it when looking for something you are offering.

Getting big brand exposure does not need to require a big budget.  You can use a wide variety of ideas and tools to promote your company and brand, and the more tools you use to gain visibility, the more interest you will see in what you have to offer.

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