Branding a small business can be a frustrating experience. Your budget is cramping your branding style, and you feel like you are constantly forced to choose between awesome, and affordable.

Andy Richter Conan Obrien GIF by Team Coco - Find & Share on GIPHY

Don’t believe it!

You don’t have to give up on awesome in order to stay on good terms with your accountant. We found 5 examples of businesses that rocked mind-blowing branding without blowing their budget.

1. The Logo: Copenhagen Parts

Denmark is home to a massive cycling culture and a famous design culture, so it’s not too surprising that it’s also home to Copenhagen Parts, which combines both areas of excellence.

Copenhagen Parts designs, builds, and sells beautifully-worked, practical bike accessories and bike parts. Their products sell well because they are both gorgeous and hard-wearing, but the cleverest part of Copenhagen Parts’ branding is their logo.

The red and white color scheme is strong and eye-catching, and reflects the colors of the Danish flag, playing up Denmark’s reputation as a nation of cyclists. The missing letters in the logo are a clever in-joke for dedicated cyclists, who are always hunting for hard-to-find parts.

A memorable logo is a branding staple, and Copenhagen Parts shows that it doesn’t require complicated, intricate (and expensive) graphic design. Just invest the thought and creativity and you could come up with a big winner.

2. The Packaging: Birchbox

Birchbox sends monthly mail order boxes of sample-size cosmetics and beauty products to its subscribers.

Its success has a lot to do with the quality of the products, which are chosen each month by Birchbox founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna.

BIrchbox’s target audience of young women haven’t yet chosen their favorite products and want to experiment with different styles, which is why the company sends sample sizes at low prices.

The biggest pillar in Birchbox’s branding is its packaging.

Birchbox dominates the unboxing video trends, with almost a quarter of a million Birchbox unboxing videos. Every month, the decor and layout of the box changes, together with the color of the inner packing paper and box inserts like stickers.

Turning the packaging into a feature worked amazingly for Birchbox, and helps it keep up a strong social media presence that’s mainly based on user-generated content, as users share photos and videos of them unpacking and trying out their new Birchbox products.

3. The Personality: Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club won a massive following on a shoestring budget, thanks to its unique branding that projects a strong personality.

The Dollar Shave Club products aren’t unique; in fact, when you order through the Dollar Shave Club, you’ll get non-branded, Dorco blades that you could buy direct from the manufacturer. But people don’t, because they love the bold brand messaging and like to associate themselves with the confident, direct personality of Dollar Shave Club. 🎃

The Dollar Shave Club’s first video even went viral, which is pretty unusual for a mail-order razor blade company (actually, we have never heard of that happening before).

Microcopy builds on the “Our blades are F Great” slogan, like the complimentary box for storing old blades that reads “I’m too old for this ~$%*”.

Dollar Shave Club emphasizes that the most important factor in branding, for any size of business, is to define a strong, unique brand personality.

Don’t be mild! Don’t be meek! Shout who you are loud and proud – and through every touchpoint available.

4. Video Content: Blendtec

Blendtec sells – you guessed it – blenders. You’d think that blenders are not the easiest things to brand, but Blendtec managed it.

Blendtec garnered a huge following on YouTube and raised their brand awareness to astronomical heights with their “Will It Blend?” campaign.

This featured Blendtec’s CEO Tom Dickson blending everything from iPhone’s to rake handles in Blendtec blenders.

We’re not sure how many blenders Blendtec had to sacrifice in order to produce their videos, but other than that, the materials for their videos could have cost next to nothing. A broken iPhone? Garbage anyway. A rake handle? Not exactly big bucks. Blendtec’s success shows that clever video content can make you a branding superstar on a budget.

Just so you can fully appreciate the brilliance of the brand, Blendtec currently have 877,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel, and some of their videos have over 12 million views!

5. Laser-Focused Audience Targeting: Death Wish Coffee

Death Wish Coffee shows that branding magic can happen without spending thousands of dollars – as long as you really connect with your audience.

Death Wish Coffee targets those people who don’t want fancy coffee, or single-origin coffee, or even the best tasting coffee; they just want the strongest coffee.

Death Wish Coffee doesn’t mess around. The logo uses a skull and crossbones to get the point across, and the packaging is heavy on the black. Their blog posts all continue the theme of death, ghosts, and really strong coffee.

If you’re looking for organic coffee, or fair trade coffee, you’ll skip Death Wish Coffee, but that’s okay with the company; they are really homing in on their target market and ignoring the rest.

They have made their audience’s wish their command – and that’s one of the strongest branding tactics around.

Budget Branding Doesn’t Have to be Boring

So there you have it. Five businesses proving that you can do branding on a budget without making it boring.

Project a strong personality, convey a laser-focus on your target audience’s wishes, create clever video content, turn your packaging into a feature, and put plenty of thought and creativity into your logo.

If you’re eager to skyrocket your small business brand into 2020 and beyond, take some inspiration from the companies we shared here. You, too, can be a branding success.