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  • Writer's pictureJenny Henderson


Updated: Apr 4

the basics of branding in the age of entrepreneurship

When you think of branding your mind probably jumps right to identity. You know, the logo, the colours, all that jazz. Ten years ago that may have covered your branding basics.

But in the age of entrepreneurship, the basics of branding are far from basic.

It’s not enough to just have a brand identity. You must commit to the process of becoming a brand. All businesses, no matter the size, must learn to think like a brand.



Chances are you know at least 3 people who have a side-hustle or work for themselves. Technology has made starting a business so bloody easy and attainable that in the U.S. alone, 78.5% of all businesses are truly small businesses with fewer than 10 employees. That’s bananas!

When you consider that there are tens of millions of small businesses in the States alone PLUS most online businesses deal with customers and clients all over the world—there’s a glaring takeaway we, entrepreneurs, must be mindful of: there’s A LOT of competition.

What branding means today for us solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and side-hustlers is comparable to how big businesses has been approaching it for decades. In order to compete, connect, and stay relevant, we must put more focus on the entire brand experience surrounding our business.

IS BRANDING IMPORTANT—Even for a Side-Hustle?

Anyone who wants to generate regular sales will need to compete with the best of em. Side-hustlers, companies-of-one, small teams—most of us exist in the same shopping centre. It’s big and it’s called the Internet.

To effectively grow your business you need to know how to:

  • stand out in a sea of brands

  • captivate in a matter of seconds

  • be memorable enough to occupy space in their minds

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

With so many other businesses for your ideal customers to choose from, if you haven’t resonated with them or effectively proved that you are the only one who can solve their problem—they’ll just as easily try the next business.

The thing is, all of this becomes so much easier to do when your business has a brand strategy to filter everything through. It’s like having a user manual that’s exclusive to your business.

The basics of branding aren’t complicated, they’ve just gotten a bit more comprehensive.


"The internet and technology in general have made it possible for nearly anyone with an idea to start and market a business."



Ditch that old branding checklist. Here’s what your small but mighty business needs to focus on to really thrive in the age of entrepreneurship:

branding words list for the new branding basics

1. Mission Statement

A succinct statement that guides your day-to-day operations to keep you grounded and aligned.

2. Vision Statement

A future-focused statement that acts as your north star as you grow and evolve your business.

3. Core Values

The guiding principles of your business that are likely shared with your ideal clients or customers.

4. Brand Positioning

How and where your brand exists in the mind of your target audience in relation to the competition.

5. Brand Voice

The tone and personality that is woven throughout your brand to attract your future clients or customers.

6. Problem vs Solution

Clarity on the functional, emotional, and self-expressive problems your audience has and the direct solutions you offer.

7. Brand Benefits

The various benefits your business has to offer your clients or customers.

8. Value Proposition

Your brand promise phrases in a captivating statement that speaks to the emotional benefit your audience will receive from buying from you.

It may seem like a lot but let me tell you, it’s just the right amount.

This age of entrepreneurship is a beautiful thing. The game may be a bit harder but that’s half the fun. We get to push ourselves in ways that surprise us and allow us to grow.

Working to truly establish these eight branding basics will force you to reflect on your business in new ways. And this leads to an all to often overlooked outcome of the branding process: clarity!

You know the quote, “it’s about the journey, not the destination”? Well, the same goes for branding.

The branding journey delivers more clarity and cohesion than a beautifully curated colour palette will. The process teaches you to think like a brand.


The branding journey is a revelation but it requires three things:

  • time

  • commitment

  • collaboration

No. 1 - TIME

Good things take time but so few of us prioritize time to tackle the things that don’t come naturally to us.


A small step for brand-kind is what your business deserves. You need to be ready to commit to the process. There’s work to be done and there are no shortcuts.


It’s hard to read the label from inside the jar. You can’t realize your brand from inside the business just like you can’t see the forest through the trees. It’s always best to have someone who sees what you cannot.

Before you even think about how your brand will look, you need to know who you are in the most concise and holistic way and this requires structural branding—aka your foundation.

This foundation is built from the eight branding basics above. It gives a voice to your story, a framework for decision-making, and shows you exactly who you are as a brand. That's what the Studio helps our clients do. Our branding services for small business are rooted in strategy. Every business has its own unique set of challenges that branding can solve. Find out what a tailored brand package can do to grow your small business.

When you have clarity on your purpose, your people, and your path—you become empowered in business!

basics of branding course for entrepreneurs


Jenny Henderson Studio develops memorable brand experiences and strategic brand foundations to improve recognition and revenue for service-based small businesses.


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is branding important?

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