Branding on a Shoestring Budget

Branding and competitive differentiation is imperative to business success, but your strategies don’t need to break the bank to be effective!

Over the years I have come across some pretty successful, innovative ways to stand out from the competition, that did not really cost all that much, if anything.

Here are some of those ideas:

1. Include your company tagline and your #1 key differentiator in your email signature with a link to your website.

2. Create a wallet-sized laminated card featuring your positioning statement and key messages and arm EVERY employee in your company with one.

3. Create an email newsletter with links to articles that are relevant to your industry – no original writing required, but it puts your brand in front of your clients/prospects each week/month

4. Create your own blog on a highly trafficked and searched mega blog like and post topical articles you write about your business.

5. Send out an email to media publications that pertain to your business (and are read by your target customers) offering yourself as a source for any upcoming story that your professional expertise might be applicable to.

You’ll note that these ideas and countless others of the same ilk don’t cost you a dime but will help you put your brand in front of customers and prospects.

Another idea is to write a book about your business that offers some valuable insights to readers. It can be just 40 or 50 pages and doesn’t have to be a Pulitzer Prize winner. Just make it sound professional and get a few friends or family to proof read it for you. Use it as a platform to showcase your industry expertise. If you’re a mechanic, write a book about how to upgrade a motor. You can speak on a cursory level and don’t really have to go into tremendous technical detail. Keep it simple but informative.

I wrote a book about business branding called “Differentiate or Diminish: The Art and Necessity of Business Positioning” and it is paying huge dividends in terms of building my company brand!!

Not to use this article as a promotional vehicle, but you can get a free copy if you email me at [email protected] with “book request” in the subject line.

By Kevin B. Levi
Winning Message LLC


  1. Kevin, what I derive from your article is the importance of establishing and maintaining a level of credibility with your target audience or market.

    Armed with only a small, but growing foundation of solid credibility, an entrepreneur will find that clients will begin to seek him out. Soon the word will spread, thus strengthening and continuin to grow the new brand!

  2. Daniel,

    Thank you for the comment! You make some good points. I do believe that a brand is built on the solid foundation of credibility and integrity. With the right combination of marketing/branding, you can certainly generate significant inertia by positive word of mouth and shoestring marketing ideas alone, with a certain amount of luck thrown in. 🙂

  3. Thanks for commenting. Not sure I understand your comment,however.

  4. you should not forget adress stickers! 😉