8 Places to Use Your Logo to Brand Your Small Business

by Margot Carmichael Lester, Staples® Contributing Writer

You have an awesome logo and a strong brand, but how well are you using them?

“Your logo should be front and center in any venue where you interact with customers,” says Andrew Coulter, senior marketing director of MushKush Integrated Marketing in Kaysville, UT. “You’re not really branded until everybody knows your logo and associates it with you.” Same goes for your brand colors and messaging.

Here’s our short list of design ideas to help you build your brand and your business.

  • Apparel: Outfit staff in shirts, jackets and other clothing that features your brand colors and/or your logo. This reinforces your branding and makes it easy for customers to identify employees. It’s also smart to wear logo apparel to events and trade shows to extend your brand beyond your four walls.
  • Business Cards: People still love to exchange business cards, so make sure you have some emblazoned with your logo, tag line and contact information. It’s better to offer even a simple card than none at all.
  • Business Forms: It sounds obvious, but make sure your logo appears on business forms like invoices, packing slips, receipts, etc.
  • Mugs, Water Bottles & Koozies: Everybody’s focused on staying hydrated these days, and coffee fuels most workplaces. Get a little extra marketing oomph with logoed items like mugs and water bottles to use as thank-yous or as giveaways in your trade show or expo booth. And don’t forget the koozies, too!
  • Signage & Banners: Your signs and banners are probably the most obvious places to put your logo. Make sure the image is big enough to be discernable at a distance, and that you choose fonts and colors that can easily be read when passing by. Don’t forget to hang signs and banners in prominent sight lines.
  • Stationery & Mailing Labels: Letterhead, envelopes and mailing labels are easy vehicles for conveying your brand. Beyond the logo, choose a paper stock that’s in line with your brand values, like recycled paper if you’re eco-conscious. This shows you walk your talk.
  • Promotional Giveaways: If you go to trade shows, you’ll need plenty of promotional giveaways. Choose options based on what your customers and prospects can use or want, and how great your logo looks on the product.
  • Totes: There’s no telling how many cheap totes get left at venues or in hotel rooms after events, but a high-quality tote or insulated bag always gets taken home because it stands up to repeated use. That makes it a billboard for your business.

Take Your Branding to the Next Level

Here are three more ways to extend your brand:

1.    Themed Items: Jason Parks, owner of Columbus, OH–based digital marketing agency The Media Captain, uses branded magnifying glasses. “Since we’re a search agency, this reinforces our core message. A magnifying glass is also a unique item that not a lot of people have anymore, so they’ll be less inclined to toss it.”

2.    Office Décor: “If you have a public-facing business that’s frequently visited by customers, it’s a great idea to reflect the brand colors throughout,” explains Juily Gite, a design consultant for Staples® Design Services. “Small touches — like having all of the coffee mugs in brand colors, or an accent rug in the entry way — demonstrate cohesion and professionalism across the business. When a customer walks through an office space and sees the brand colors repeat, they get a sense that everything is in harmony. Don’t overdo it, though. Some businesses go a little crazy and paint their office walls in bright colors to reflect their logo, and it can be overwhelming for visitors and employees alike.”

3.    Social Media Profiles: Don’t forget to brand your digital business. Use your logo as your social media avatar or background profile image to ensure that every consumer exposed to your social media page sees that logo. And utilize the headers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which allow you to share images. “By using the space provided for a larger header image, brands can incorporate their colors and/or logo, a small step that turns their social profile into a branded channel,” Gite explains.

4.    Presentation Templates: If your team uses a program like Microsoft® PowerPoint® to create and deliver presentations to clients, prospects or even internal groups, make sure every slide deck starts with the same basic template — one that uses your brand’s colors and features the logo in one of the corners. This brands the expertise and information contained within as yours, and ensures that you’ll be represented on every slide, even if taken out of context.

Consistency is the easiest, most underrated way to get more out of a logo and branding,” Gite concludes. “Maintaining the same logo and color scheme over time allows you to really own those colors and images.”

Get more tips and techniques for building and extending your brand from Staples Design Services.

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