Did you know there are 28 million small businesses in the U.S.? To put that in perspective, there are only about 19 thousand large companies.

With competition like that right in your back yard, how do you stand out? When it comes to competing locally with businesses similar to your own, it’s all about your brand. What you don’t want to do is try to brand your small business like the big guys. You need a different approach.

Here are the top small business branding mistakes to avoid.

Being inconsistent.

Your business should have brand guidelines that define the core elements of your brand, like:

  • Your business name and vision
  • Your logo, and its usage
  • A color palette

If you don’t have brand guidelines, create them or hire a designer to help. Use these every time you create branded materials, to keep everything consistent.

Using too many colors.

When you build branded materials like…

  • Your website
  • Signage
  • Vehicle wraps
  • Company shirts

…it can be tempting to choose the brightest, loudest colors to get noticed!

Using too many colors can be distracting and confusing to consumers. Stick to 2-3 core colors to build brand recognition.

Evolving too quickly.

Large companies like Coca-Cola, Target and Starbucks refresh their logos every few years. While these companies have large footprints and well-established brands, most small businesses don’t.

Changing elements like your logo or business name too early (or often) will erase any recognition you’ve built.

Building a brand is hard. Don’t let these common mistakes get in your way.