How to create a brand identity for your small business startup

What is a brand identity and what path is right for you?
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Creating a brand identity and starting a small business can be one of the most exciting times. It’s a time full of adventure, possibility, hope, inspiration and big ideas. It can also be a pretty tough time too as you are pulled in so many directions with a dizzying amount of brand identity and small business advice out there. You may feel slightly lost at sea – bobbing around with no clear idea of what exactly is best for your new startup business.

when to think about your brand identity

There will be many opportunistic sales people all too ready to tell you exactly what your business needs. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to create a successful business! It takes hard work, talent, a great idea, a bit of luck and resilience. What works for one business definitely won’t work the same for another new small business.

Once you’ve formed your big idea, your product has been created, service defined or shop plans put in motion, the next step is usually forming your small business brand identity




the diy startup brand identity option (and why this often goes wrong)

Often small independent businesses jump onto a website to find the cheapest logo design possible (I won’t name any names here but you know what I’m taking about!), ask a friend to do it or find one on Canva. If you are serious about growing your startup and forming a business that will last then all of these options will fail to create a lasting impact and will often create an unprofessional, unmemorable business brand identity experience.



how much should you invest in your small business brand identity?

If you have money saved, an investment source or a business loan, then a proportion of your budget should be dedicated to brand identity and website design as this will be the face of your business. If you haven’t then you may find business support grants available. You may have to resort to make-do options for now, with a view that if you your small business startup grows you can look at revisiting your branding properly.


If you don’t have an initial amount saved to invest then you will often need to wait until you have proven your small business is going to be successful. Once you’ve tested out your start-up business idea, and confirmed that it is profitable, then you can plan to invest in your branding and brand identity in a year or two later.

Brand identity is a bigger investment than getting just a logo designed and you can read more on how much you should pay for your brand identity here.


How do you know if you should invest in your small business brand identity from the start?

In the real world not everyone has the budget to invest in a full branding and brand identity package and this is where you need to work out what is essential for your business. If you need to invest in products and test the market then a ‘make do’ DIY approach as described above can perhaps give you enough for now. You will probably find that in a year or so you have out-grown this DIY branding and are itching to invest in a full brand identity for your small business.


are you a brand-led start-up new business?

There are many many successful small businesses who have pretty awful branding, but because they have other strengths then they can focus on those. If they are amazing at selling, producing content and PR then these things may help their business to grow at the start. 

Some business have grown without any branding. These are businesses that aren’t ‘brand-led’ A good example would be tradespeople, as word of mouth is strong for them and their business area isn’t known for branding, people aren’t making an emotional connection they merely want a job done. However this is a rare example and often bad or non-existent branding can let a startup new business down and halt their growth.


If you are more of a brand led business, one where people will be coming to you for your brand organically, then your brand identity will be important in creating that instant striking first impression.

If you are an e-commerce startup business selling online then branding will be extremely important in making that impactful first impression. This is the type of business that will be ‘brand-led’. If you want a business that is going to grow and be around for more than a few years then getting your branding right will ensure you have strong roots and a powerful presence to carry on growing your brand.

It’s so much easier to market something that completely reflects your business, product or service and you feel proud to present it to the world.



what are your startup small business goals and dreams?


When considering how important branding and brand identity design is for your startup business, you need to step back and see your bigger business picture and your market.


If you want to be stocked in wholesalers, featured in the press and approached organically, then your branding will need to be professional, original and striking. Your new business brand identity will have a big impact on how successful you will be at reaching all of those business goals and dreams.
People mostly buy into brands not just products.

If you are in a competitive area then your start-up business branding will help you to stand out, become unique and memorable.



When getting started, if you aren’t at a stage to invest in a full brand identity then you can explore branding courses and workshops (you may like to take a look at a few of my offerings here) before you are ready to invest in a full brand identity. Finally, I have a range of pre-made Brand Kits, Website Templates and Brand Builder course to help support you in the branding of your new business start-up.




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