As a small business, it sometimes feels like you’re the little fish in the big pond. You want to stand out and make a splash, but you’re not sure how.

Branding your small business is one such means. You don’t want to be just any company, after all, but the company customers can go to when they need whatever product or service you sell. With business branding, you position yourself as that company.

If you’re only beginning to build your own brand, you’re in luck. In this article, we’ll go over 14 examples of how small businesses just like yours have successfully created a voice and image that customers love. These examples are all classics for a reason: they work and they work well.

Of course, sometimes looking at examples isn’t enough to make them happen for your own company. That’s why we’re including pointers on how to replicate the success of each example personally.

#1. AND UNION Redesigns the Average Beer Can

Ah, the humble beer can. It’s been done to death, right? From cold-activated cans to seasonally or promotionally decorated ones, it’s a tired schtick. Not according to AND UNION, a German beer brand that takes all the typical rules of what a beer can should look like and throws them out the window.

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Image courtesy of AND UNION

Resembling soda cans more than beer, this trendy can design is the backbone of their branding. Just look at their Instagram to see what we mean. Across all the posts, you see people holding fashionable AND UNION beer interspersed with bright images of the colors of the cans.

This isn’t your dad’s beer brand, and it shows.

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: Want to take your branding to the next level like AND UNION? Make sure whatever you do has cohesion. If you brand with brightly colored products ala AND UNION, then make sure those colors appear on your website and especially visual social media like Facebook and Instagram.

#2. Prodjuice Keeps It Clean

When you think of a cold-pressed juice company, what kind of branding do you think they’d employ? If you said a clean, fresh design, then you’re correct. That’s exactly what Australian juice brand Prodjuice does.

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Image courtesy of Prodjuice

The above image comes from their homepage. It’s appealing, bright, yet very clean. There’s a mostly white background offset from some pale blue dishware. Their social media carries the same message, that Prodjuice makes clean, natural products.

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Image courtesy of Prodjuice

The above picture from their Facebook again has a white background. There’s also the fruit that goes into the making of a Prodjuice bottle. In this instance, it’s watermelon, limes, and raspberries.

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: If your startup sells healthy products, then branding your business should look a lot like Prodjuice. Keep it clean, use a stark and blank(ish) background, and include natural ingredients whenever possible.

#3. Tenth Muse Makes Their Product Look Like a Million Bucks

Sometimes, to become the big fish in the pond, you have to act like the big fish. Take a page out of the book of Tenth Muse, a smaller fragrance brand that looks like a much more known name. Why? Because of how they brand themselves.

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Image courtesy of Tenth Muse

Just take a gander at the image above. It looks like something you’d see in a big-budget fragrance commercial, but it’s a small business doing it.

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: In some cases, you have to fake it until you make it…within your small business’ budget, of course.

#4. Tentsile Makes the Great Outdoors Look Even Greater

Thousands upon thousands of companies sell hammocks and tents, right? That’s nothing new. Every one of these businesses make their tents look like bundles of fun, too. That’s why Tentsile takes a somewhat different approach. You only have to click on their website and you’ll see what we mean. They’re all about showcasing their products amongst the most beautiful backdrop there is: Mother Nature.

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Image courtesy of Tentsile

From their homepage to their blog (where we found the above image) to their social media, Tentsile proves it’s not just about the type of tent you use, but where you use it.

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Image courtesy of Tentsile

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: If you’re a small business that specializes in outdoorsy products like Tentsile, then don’t just use your nature to showcase your products. Use your products to showcase nature.

#5. Sneaky Veg Takes Clean Eating Literally

In the second example, we introduced you to a small business known as Prodjuice. Sneaky Veg does things in a similar vein. This food blog seeks to introduce more vegetables and fruits into the diets of children via easy, fun recipes. The site founder, Mandy Mazliah, even has vegetarian and vegan options on her site.

Despite that it’s for kids, the Sneaky Veg website has a very adult feel. Here’s a few images to show what we mean.

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Image courtesy of Sneaky Veg

There’s no bright fonts, cutesy kids stuff, or anything like that.

Even the Sneaky Veg logos aren’t colorful to the point of being saccharine.

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Image courtesy of Sneaky Veg

That’s mostly because Mazliah markets more towards the parents of children than the kids themselves. While the kiddos can certainly help out with making some of these recipes, it’ll mostly be mom and dad doing the cooking. The site’s bright, appealing images capture the attention of parents, but the simplicity and deliciousness of the food works for kids.

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: Know your audience. Mandy Mazliah easily could have made her site nauseatingly cartoony to reach out to kids, but since they’re not making the food, that doesn’t make much sense. Instead, her clean, neutral color palettes and design are aimed at parents, who will read the blog. If you have a dichotomous audience yourself, carefully ponder over every element of your branding design.

#6. Notel Puts the No in “Not a Hotel”

It may sound risky to use the word “no” in any of your small business advertising and branding. Won’t you turn away your customers that way? You can, but it all depends on how you do it.

Take, for instance, Notel, an Australian lodging option that very firmly asserts it’s not a hotel. Sure, they let you sleep somewhere, but not in a hotel room. Instead, you’ll stay in an Airstream that’s up to 31 feet. Each Airstream has its own organic bamboo sheets, pillows, premium linens, and a queen-sized bed. You also get a bathroom with a toilet and shower.

To tell the world about its existence, Notel decided to use its name to play up the fact that it’s…well, not a hotel.

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Image courtesy of Notel

The ads Notel used, shown above, would definitely catch your attention. The name of their lodging features prominently on everything from business cards to their handy app, keeping their branding consistent.

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: If your startup or small business has a name that you can use as part of a pun or advertising slogan, then you’d be foolish not to. You can certainly make an impact and get your name stuck in people’s heads this way.

#7. Elo Soap Promotes with the Gods, Literally

Elo Soap makes soap with olive oil and is already based in Greece, so it makes sense for them to rely on the starpower of the gods when it came to their branding. Mike Karolos, the graphic designer, says he featured Hermes, Poseidon, Demeter, Aphrodite, Athena, Zeus, and several other Greek gods people find almost instantly recognizable.

When combined with what Karolos calls a “geometric pop art style,” you get a one-of-a-kind product.

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Image courtesy of the Greek Foundation

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: Having a generic product like soap doesn’t mean you have to package and brand it generically, too. Whether you base your branding around an ingredient or even your hometown, know that people care a lot about packaging. Sometimes it matters to them more than the product inside.

#8. Finfolk Productions Keeps It Appropriately Tropical

If you couldn’t guess by the name what Finfolk Productions makes, we’ll tell you. Mermaid gear! That includes mermaid tails, flip-flops, and mermaid scale leggings for children and adults.

Although you’d expect it, they don’t go crazy in the design department. Their website has a delicate pink hue throughout.

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Image courtesy of Finfolk Productions

Then their social media mostly showcases their products but maintains a tropical style.

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Image courtesy of Finfolk Productions

There’s nothing wrong with Finfolk’s approach at all. When you have such an off-kilter product, you don’t need a kitted-out website.

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: Do you sell something unique that most other companies don’t? Keep your social media and website branding approach simple and understated. Your product is the star of the show and it deserves to shine.

#9. Bombay Electric Embraces All Things Eclectic

According to its about page, Bombay Electric “is a distinctly Indian platform for fashion and design known as the pulse point for interchange and dissemination of design ideas.” They’re a store that’s about a whole lot of things, including music, art, fashion, and design. As such, their branding is a mishmash of all things colorful and eclectic.

Early on, they paired with Michael Thorsby, a designer in Paris, to make a mark on the world. We’d say it worked.

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Image courtesy of Bombay Electric

These days, Bombay Electric has carved out its identity more fiercely than ever, even if that identity never remains static. Here’s a sampling of some of their most recent Instagram posts.

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How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: If you have a wild identity, especially one that’s based in fashion, then have fun! Get quirky, eccentric, and a little weird if it resonates with your audience and matches the products you sell.

#10. Marte Estudio Is Stylish in More Areas Than Just Hair

We have to talk about Mariana Abraham and her salon in Mexico called Marte Estudio. There’s a reason this salon has ended up on so many marketer’s radars. Abraham worked with design studio Bienal to bring life and color to her salon’s branding.

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Image courtesy of Marte Estudio

The salon keeps up this bright, fun attitude on their social media. Here’s some pictures from their Facebook.

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Images courtesy of Marte Estudio

Their Instagram has a separately curated feed, giving you a reason to follow both.

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: You want people to have an enjoyable time when they receive a service from your small business. Branding yourself in a chic, funky way should reflect all elements of the customer experience.

#11. Qoni’s Handmade Products Come Through Loud and Clear

Esteemed company Leo Burnett Design worked on the campaign for Peruvian clothing brand Qoni. Through their design work, there became no question that Qoni makes its own clothes, including socks, sweaters, and scarves.

With a stark branding in gray tones, the simplicity of Qoni’s designs stands right out.

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Images courtesy of Handiwork Studio

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Image courtesy of Leo Burnett Design

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: In some situations, to really showcase your products, it’s worth working with a designer. Maybe not Leo Burnett since you’re a small business, but a known firm that can make even simple products look like something out of a high fashion magazine.

#12. Marques Brownlee Stands out in a Sea of Competitors

The YouTube market is a cramped one no matter what kind of videos you make. To stand out, you need quality content, yes, but also great branding. Marques Brownlee gets that. He doesn’t even market himself by his real name, but rather MKBHD. You’ll find this name across all his social media: Facebook, Instagram, and of course, YouTube. It also appears on his website.

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Image courtesy of MKBHD

Here’s the banner on his Facebook, which also appears on his YouTube:

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Across some platforms, Brownlee does indeed use profile pictures of his face, but that’s okay. It shows us he’s human. Branding is great and all, but at the end of the day, consumers want to know there’s a real person behind all that fancy stuff. With Brownlee, that’s very much apparent.

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: If you’re the face of your company or you’re in business alone, then you need to think of yourself as a brand. How can you present your name, your face, and your image in a way that catches people’s attention? Once you can answer those questions, you can begin creating your memorable solo branding.

#13. EAT MY SHORTS! Combines Interesting Packaging with an Out-There Design

Malena Bias, the founder of EAT MY SHORTS!, definitely considers herself a Simpsons fan. Based out of Mexico, Bias seeks to make clothes that look good on men and women alike.

As if the name didn’t already grab you, Bias decided to establish a quirky brand with everything from social media posts to product packaging. If you were to order clothing from EAT MY SHORTS!, just check out the kind of parcel it’d arrive in.

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Image courtesy of EAT MY SHORTS!

The wavy pattern of the brand logo even appears in some of their clothing designs:

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Image courtesy of EAT MY SHORTS!

How can you forget a whole package like this?

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: While forced funny names don’t really make consumers bat an eye, the ones that work often just do. If your company has some sort of pop culture reference as part of its name, you better believe you should do as much off-kilter branding as you see necessary.

#14. College Hunks Moving Junk Knows It Has a Catchy Name

Speaking of catchy names, our last example of small business branding is College Hunks Moving Junk. Yes, it’s a moving company. An original business? Certainly not. An original take on the industry? Oh yes.

Now, Hunks doesn’t exclusively stand for handsome men. According to the business itself, it’s an acronym for Honest, Uniformed, Nice, Knowledgeable, Service employees.

College Hunks Moving Junk doesn’t do a whole lot of crazy branding or site design.

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Image courtesy of College Hunks Moving Junk

Why? They don’t have to. Their name already makes such an impact that they don’t need a kitchsy social campaign.

How to Achieve Similar Results for Your Small Business: Brainstorming a great name or slogan can put you on the map. That’s true even if you sell or work in a common industry like moving and junk removal.

Conclusion

As this article proved, branding is everything. Whether you’re looking for new business branding or a makeover for your startup, it’s never too late to refine your approach.

Hopefully, the 14 examples of branding we showcased in this article have inspired you. With both service businesses and product businesses featured, you too can finally become that big fish in the pond.