A lot of small businesses and startups tend to forget about the power of good branding. And yet, as an entrepreneur and small business owner, this is probably the biggest mistake you might make.

And like it or not, after only one year, over 20% of small businesses will be more likely to fail than turn into a success story, and this is partly due to bad branding. Because a lot of new business owners don’t understand the importance of branding, they tend to disregard it as something they can “do later”. But without branding, there is no “later”.

And brands are not just giant multinationals such as Coca-Cola or Apple or Amazon; every business, big or small, with a distinct logo symbol, and a recognizable tone is considered a brand. This is why building a credible and strong identity for your small business is just as important, if not more important, than your product, employees, and marketing strategy.

But don’t worry, just because branding is vital to your small company’s health, it doesn’t mean that it has to be scary or overly complicated. And this is exactly why we’re here!

With this guide to the five most common branding mistakes that small businesses make, we ensure that you know the basics and can start your branding journey without fear or worry about your company.

So, what are these five mistakes? Keep on reading to find out!

1.   Choosing the wrong business name

Choosing a bad business name is probably the first mistake most small company owners make. Sure, if you have a coffee shop and your name is Bob, then it makes sense to call it “Bob’s Café”. It makes sense, but it’s not the best idea, because it’s too plain.

Your business name is an essential part of your brand, and this means that just like every other part, it can’t be generic.

It has to be original, recognizable, and easy to remember. It gives a name and feel to your identity, so make sure it’s a good one. After all, your business name will reflect everything about your brand and company, from your values to your purpose and your promise.

2.   Being cheap

We know, you’re a small business, and thus, don’t have the budget of a multinational conglomerate. Still, don’t be cheap with your most important investment: your branding efforts. For example, if you’re a brick and mortar business, make sure to invest in good offices, because they are the first thing your clients and future customers will see.

Not being cheap doesn’t apply just to customers though, make sure to be generous with your employees as well. Happy employees will work better and harder for your business than unhappy ones. After all, they are your brand’s first ambassadors, and if they don’t have good things to say about your business, then you’re already losing.

3.   Not hiring professionals

Thinking that you can do all the branding by yourself is a big, big mistake. Hiring professionals to work on your branding strategy, create your logo, your slogan, and everything that has to do with your brand is important.

And don’t go for cheap labor either, it might not be expensive, but it will show on your marketing and your image, and customers are smart enough to recognize the difference between good and bad branding.

4.   Not keeping it simple

Don’t complicate your brand. Keep your branding efforts constant and have a consistent voice and image, or your audience will get confused. Most iconic brands are simple ones, think Apple or Nike, their names are short, and their logos are so simple anyone could recognize them anywhere.

So, take a page from their book, and keep it simple!

And if you don’t like it, you can always rebrand, there is no shame in it.

5.   Being unoriginal

Finally, be unique. Study your competition, and try to make yourself, your products, and your brand different from your competitors’. This is because copying anything else on the market will be fatal to your small business, like it or not.

Make sure you’re offering something new and refreshing, this will make your selling point convincing enough and your customers will buy your products because they’re intrigued by you.


Creating a good branding strategy for your small business will not be an easy journey, but it will definitely be a rewarding one if you do it the right way. So follow our tips and if you have your own, let us know in the comments!


Author Bio

Olivia Harris is a freelance writer who loves coffee, cats and churros, not in any particular order. She travels to write, writes to travel. Connect with her here.