UK small businesses risk stunting growth with generic branding choices

New report finds that 74% of start-ups use the same 10 adjectives repeatedly in their website copy and many don't even include a description

UK small businesses risk merging into one another by not highlighting their individuality according to Vistaprint’s Small Business Uniqueness Report.

This lack of a distinct identity could impact business growth and the wider business community.

A company’s website is often the first point of interaction between brand and consumer, yet it is often where most brands let themselves down with inadequate descriptions.

Some don’t even include a description at all and those that do often use generic buzzwords that don’t express their individuality.

The top 10 adjectives used were: family run, independent, specialists, friendly, experienced, leading, experts, best, quality, largest. 74% of businesses use these repeatedly within their website copy.

This could damage ranking in internet searches, resulting in lower traffic and missed sales opportunities.

Design choices are also letting businesses down. Nearly half (46%) used blue in their branding, followed by grey (21%) and red (18%). But why is blue so popular? Recent research from Vistaprint found that the colour is seen to reflect competence, dependability, trust and security.

Read more: What makes the best business cards?

Other common design choices were a white background (28%) and left align website text (58%).

Font can also play a big part in creating distinctive branding. According to the report, 77% of UK small businesses used more than one typeface for their website copy and 51% used three or more. 25% of website use Sans-Serif, followed by Arial (19%).

The report recommends using one distinct font across all marketing materials to ensure a consistent brand image.

Jake Amos, head of UK marketing at Vistaprint, said: “There are so many brilliant creative and individual small businesses in the UK. However, there is a disconnect in how many of them communicate that individuality to the world.

“It can be overwhelming for small business owners when first starting out and knowing the best way to brand and market their business is an important step in their journey towards success.

“Small businesses were born to stand out from the crowd. That being said, it is always challenging to juggle different entrepreneurial roles when first starting out.

As a result, there is a need for additional support. Businesses have individuality, they just need a helping hand and the tools to know how to communicate it.”

You can download the full Vistaprint Small Business Uniqueness Report here.