Three Out of Four Small Businesses Believe Looking Professional Online Boosts Sales, Yet Don’t Prioritize Branding When Starting Out

San Francisco
27 May 2015

Women-run SMBs twice as likely as men to invest in a logo

SAN FRANCISCO – May 27, 2015 – You never get a second chance to make a first impression; however, a recent survey of US small businesses conducted by 99designs, the world’s largest marketplace for graphic design, found that small businesses spend less time on branding initiatives such as getting a logo than other marketing and sales activities when starting out. At the same time, six in 10 SMBs say a company’s brand and website has influenced their own purchase decisions, and more than three-quarters of respondents agreed that “a professional-looking website will help attract better customers.”

These are just a few of the more interesting and sometimes contradictory findings in the 99designs' SMB Branding Perceptions Survey of 719 SMB owners and managers across the U.S. earlier this month. A few other highlights from the research, which aimed to uncover thoughts about the importance of branding and marketing materials to SMBs, include:

  • Women invest more time and money into getting a logo and company brand than men when they start a business, and more women than men believe a professional-looking website is a priority.
  • More than half of those polled admit they have “possibly” or “definitely” lost business because of a poorly designed website.
  • Real estate and transportation/delivery SMBs are most likely to say a company’s look and feel is not important.
  • The older the respondents, the less importance they placed on the look and feel of their business.

Despite differences among the sexes and industries, most respondents did believe in the power of branding – especially a professional-looking website – to drive and sustain business.

  • More than three-quarters of respondents (76%) agreed that a professional-looking site “will help me attract a better customer.”
  • Two-thirds of respondents (63%) strongly agree with the statement, “how positively my customers perceive my brand is important to me.”
  • “Being memorable” ranked second – at 54% of respondents – only to “Providing the best customer service” as a top priority in sustaining a long-term, viable business.

“Over the past seven years, 99designs has helped hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the world launch and grow their brands, so we are obviously huge believers in the power of great design and professional-looking marketing materials to propel sales and attract customers,” said 99designs Chief Marketing Officer Pamela Webber. “Given our fast growth, it’s interesting to see some people still placing less priority on initial branding activities and to learn how perceptions vary according to age, gender and industry.”

For more information about the survey methodology or a copy of the full executive summary of the results of the 99designs SMB Branding Perceptions Survey, please click here or email

About 99designs
99designs, the world’s largest logo design and graphic design marketplace, has helped more than 350,000 businesses access quality design at an affordable price and paid out more than $110 million to designers across the world. 99designs pioneered crowd-sourced design contests, where businesses receive a wide variety of design concepts and choose their favorite, and expanded to provide services for customers to work one-on-one with individual designers, purchase design templates from the ready-made logo store, or get small design projects done within an hour through Tasks. With more than one million designers from 192 countries around the world, 99designs’ suite of services helps businesses succeed through great design created by a robust community of talented graphic designers. Headquartered in San Francisco, 99designs has operations in Australia, Germany and Brazil.

Media Contact:
Aimee Grove
+1 (415) 706-1906