Some of the major differences between branding a small business and a large one include:

  • The prominence of the CEO/ business owner's image, name, or voice in the brand. Large corporations typically don't associate a single human face with the brand. Some corporations break this rule and use their CEOs as the company face—think Steve Jobs of Apple, or Richard Branson of Virgin, for example—but this is not the norm.

    A smaller company's image is more driven by its owners, who are usually a major presence at networking events and meetings. Small businesses can take advantage of this single point of contact by using the business owner or head consultant's headshot as a part of the brand. Using a photo this way is a unique touch that provides a point of consistency across all marketing materials.

  • The number of customers that a brand is required to appeal to. Large corporations typically need to bring in a very large number of clients in order to be successful—to create a healthy bottom line and support the company infrastructure. In the case of many corporations, the more clients, the more business and the more growth.

    Smaller companies may not need to appeal to so many customers. They may not be equipped to fill large product orders or have enough staff to handle a lot of requests for their services. And a smaller business may not want multiple locations or a large staff. A consultancy may not want to expand beyond a lead consultant.

    So while it's still important for a small business to create a brand that appeals to its target audience, it may be possible to focus positioning and messaging significantly and still bring in plenty of clients.