Even a 5 year old can recognize the world’s most popular logos: Starbucks’ iconic green mermaid, McDonalds’ golden arches, and the Nike swoosh to name a few. But branding elements like logos aren’t something only big corporations should invest in.

It’s hard to prioritize something like your branding when you’re on your own: managing everything from back office admin to finding new business, but your brand has a bigger impact on your business than meets the eye.

We’ve teamed up with 99designs, the online platform that makes it easy to find and work with graphic designers, to dig into why small businesses should care about their brand, and the how it can help improve the bottom line.

Illustration courtesy of 99designs designer Fe Melo.

 

Your brand touches every single part of your business

Think of your brand as the sum of every experience your customers have with your company. It spans your website, your logo design, your work environment, signage, how you deal with your customers, how you bill them, how you behave on social media, and even perceptions from the world at large.

The process of creating a brand, and integrating it into every aspect of your business can give off a perception of consistency, confidence and strength. And consistency is absolutely critical when it comes to building trust, and turning prospects into lifelong customers.

A strong brand builds trust

You cannot underestimate the value of trust building for your business. People are most comfortable with what they know and can recognize easily. A strong brand plays a big role here as visual elements like your logo are what your customers see and recognize first.

A recent survey of over 1000 US entrepreneurs from 99designs found 42% of business owners see design as a necessity in order to accomplish their goals.

Your visual brand has the power to say a thousands words about you and your business. It signals to customers the kind of business you are, and the type of experience they’ll have with your company.

Your brand helps you rise above the competition

What makes you different in the eyes of your customers? Your brand gives you an incredibly strong way to establish your difference right off the bat. By having a clear, consistent image, you’ll be able to make a human connection with potential customers, and signal to them that your business is unique, and worth a spot in their consideration set.

A consistent brand can boost your bottom line

While some may be skeptical about the importance of branding elements like logos, the reality is, they can have a meaningful impact on your bottom line.

Here at Invoice2go, we’ve noticed recent trends that suggest the most successful business owners understand the value of communicating their brand consistently, all the way through to their invoices.

    • Can a logo lead to more business? On average, small business owners who incorporate their logo on their invoices do more business, collecting more payments on average –  83% more in fact! (Aggregate data showed business owners with logos processed $2,847 on average, whereas those without logos only collected $1,544 across the same period).
    • The highest earners seem to think so: Of the top 1000 highest earning small business owners using Invoice2go, 66% reflect their branding on their invoices by incorporating their logo.

Example of branded invoice template using Invoice2go

 

Now, we’re not saying a logo is the end-all of doing good business, but there certainly does seem to be a link between putting yourself out there as a professional brand, and succeeding as a small business owner.

10 great places to incorporate your brand

We talked a lot about the importance of integrating your brand throughout everything you do. Your logo is one of the best opportunities to do this, as it’s essentially the ‘face’ and the most likely to signal familiarity. Here are some ways you can think bigger with your logo to make a real impact with customers.

Add your logo to:

  1. Your job estimates – often one of the first pieces of formal communication, and a great chance to make a strong first impression. Invoice2go makes it easy to create a professional estimate that reflects your brand. 
  2. Your Google business listing – If your business is in a shared space, you can submit images you like to your business profile.
  3. Your invoices – The job may be done, but your invoice gives you a way to leave a final impression about the quality of your business, to keep them coming back for more.
  4. Your clothing – It’s easier (and more affordable) than you think to get quality company swag made.  
  5. Your email signature – Wisestamp will generate a professional email signature template for you. 
  6. Brochures, or any type of presentation you give to prospective customers.
  7. Your job ads – add a logo to all your job ads for consistency.
  8. Your website title bar (called a favicon) – Quora has some tips on how to do this.
  9. On the wall in your office – have a decal made you can use where you work.
  10. Your car – Get yourself a quality logo wrap. For local businesses on the road all day, your car can be one of your most cost effective ways of advertising. 99designs is a good place to find the right designer for the job.

Car wrap by 99designs designer Prim

 

The bottom line

Your challenge as a business owner is to not only to provide a quality service, but to communicate effectively about that quality service. Putting some time, thought and effort into your brand, and all the visual elements of that brand, can really help you up your game as a small business owner. And once you have it established, the very best thing you can do is use it every chance you get.