Clearly Creative: Budget-Friendly Tips for Branding Your Small Business

Owning a small business is tough. There are lots of resources out there, but many of them focus on the regulatory side of getting started and not so much on the branding and marketing. And, when you do come across marketing advice, it almost feels like it was meant for companies larger than yours. Here are four budget-friendly tips that will get you off the ground and help you establish yourself.

Create a Simple Logo That Stands Out

It all starts with a logo. Logos are sort of like your unique name in graphical format. Think of the most iconic businesses in existence. The one thing you never forget about them is their logo. Even when they have a bazillion products, and you can’t remember them all, you’ll always remember Amazon’s logo.

Even if you hated Crystal Pepsi, you still remember the logo that’s still used today. And, when you need new pens, there are a lot of office supply stores out there, but only one with the huge red “easy” button.

Your logo needs to be just as memorable. Now, to be honest, these big brands spent millions defining and refining their image. But, you don’t have to spend millions to get started. Websites like and oDesk give you direct access to designers who can create a clever and memorable logo for you for between $5 and $25. Then, all you have to do is plaster it everywhere.

Make it impossible to forget you.

Have a Slogan

Slogans are a way to emotionalize your company, and give people a feeling they can connect to your brand. It’s something you can put on a business card, your website, or in written communication anywhere you have your business name. If you’re an ice cream shop, you could even customize this ice cream packaging so that your customers are exposed to your slogan with each and every bite, associating the amazing taste with your ice cream.

A good slogan might be something like Harley Davidson’s “American by Birth, Rebel By Choice.” Or, do you remember Volkswagen’s “Think Small”?

Walmart’s slogan has resonated with millions of its customers: “Save Money. Live Better.” And, Nike has one of the most memorable slogans of all time, “Just Do It.” And who could forget Burger King’s, “Have it your way” or McDonald’s, “I’m lovin’ it”?

Have a “War Cry”

While having a “war cry” isn’t always necessary, it can be fun, and it’s an easy way to add dimension to your branding. A “war cry” is a value proposition you can rattle off to anyone that tells them what you do. For example, if you’re a jeweler, you might have a war cry that goes something like, “We hand-make every piece of jewelry” or “Our jewelry is so perfect, you won’t believe it’s made by hand.”

Have an Elevator Speech

The elevator speech is similar to a slogan, but it’s a more “down to earth” statement of purpose or value. It’s usually an action statement that you can rattle off in 30 seconds. It’s called an elevator speech because it should be something you could tell someone while you’re in the elevator waiting to get to the next floor.

For example, if you’re a baker, you might say, “We make birthdays, weddings, and social events, delicious.”

Jessie Richards is a small business marketer of many years. Now semi-retired, she likes to spend time blogging online. Look for her posts on a number of small business and marketing websites and blogs.

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