Business development 24 July 2018

The top 5 online branding sins UK micro businesses are guilty of making

When designing your brand’s logo and website, think about which colours are in line with your brand values
To ensure your micro business doesn’t get lost in the crowd, Jake Amos, head of UK marketing at?Vistaprint, reveals the five online branding sins most commonly made by owners of small companies.

There are 5.7m private businesses registered in the UK and 96% of them are classed as micro businesses employing nine people or less.while small in number of employees, these small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy and their day to day contribution is vital to driving growth, opening new markets and creating wider employment opportunities.

When starting a new business, businesses owners are mainly focused on the products or services themselves so other factors like marketing and brand may come second or even further down in the priorities list. However, the choices made regarding marketing when starting out on a business venture can really have an effect on how your business performs.

At Vistaprint, we recently conducted a study analysing the websites of 1, 000 small business in the UK. The findings published in the Small Business Uniqueness Report found that many small businesses were lacking in distinct branding.

The report highlighted that many businesses used the same colours, fonts and words to describe themselves, leaving them at risk of fading into the background and merging into one.

With the Internet being the customer’s first port of call when making purchasing decisions, it is more important than ever for businesses to ensure they are not only searchable, but memorable. Small business owners who work independently, such as a mobile hairdresser or a plumber may not even realise the positive effect a brand can have on their business.

The benefits of being able to communicate what makes a small business unique leads to improved brand awareness, recognition and recall which are all vital for long term success.

Here we look at the top five branding pitfalls, as identified by the Small Business Uniqueness Report, and what you can do to ensure your business doesnt get lost in the crowd online.?

  1. Poor business descriptions

Over three quarters of small businesses are not adequately describing their business online, with some not even describing their offering at all. By failing to describe themselves they may be attracting fewer new customers and impacting on customer retention.

To avoid falling short and blending into the background, businesses should think of the best way of describing their business effectively, so they can differentiate themselves from their competitors.

How you describe your business can give you a greater advantage over someone selling a similar product or service for a similar price. This will also help your SEO ranking which today is so important for prospective customers searching on the Internet for the best solution for their problem. A better SEO ranking will increase your chances of making it to the top of people’s searches and get in touch.

  1. Too much jargon and cliched adjectives

A third of small businesses in the UK use overused and cliched adjectives to describe themselves. Vistaprint’s research found friendly, independent, family-run and experiences were some of the most frequently used adjectives.

If too many businesses use the same language (which can sometimes be seen as jargon) they are at an automatic disadvantage due to sounding the same as other businesses. While it’s difficult not to repeat cliched adjectives, one thing you can do is look at what your competitors are doing and ensure your language differs and is more engaging for your audience.



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  1. Lack of attractive imagery

Some 5% of small businesses had irrelevant imagery that’s unrelated to their brand or no imagery at all on their website. Many businesses opt for stock images, again leaving them lacking in individuality.