Can a small business brand itself? What exactly does that mean?
Branding is a term that dates back to ranchers adding a symbol onto their cattle and other livestock in order to claim ownership. If your bulls had a Circle K on their backsides and wandered off, then anyone who found the bull later could identify it by its brand. The Circle K became a recognizable symbol that signified the ownership of an asset.
Today, business branding has come to mean the same thing with regard to particular products, services, intellectual property, and business processes.
What do you think of when you hear or see the words McDonald's, Coca Cola, ExxonMobil? Can you picture their logos? Does the Golden Arches immediately come to mind when you think about McDonald's.
Your small business can enjoy the same benefits of branding. Create a logo or an image that is associated with your company name. Put it on all your marketing collateral - both print and digital - and use it to claim ownership of all your business assets. Over time, you can plant that symbol into people's minds and "brand" yourself upon their conscience. Branding is good marketing no matter what size your business.