At Buffer, we are determined to help small business owners develop their brands on social media and beyond. As a result, we came across so many companies do amazing things. As we finished this year, we wanted to share some of our favorites.
Wondering how we chose them? We especially admire brands that:
- Established a solid brand identity: The best brands ensure that everything from their products to their website and social content to their engagement in the community is in line with the brand’s overall strategy. This includes visual elements such as logos, packaging and photos of the product, as well as the value and voice of the business. (Here is our advice to create your own influential brand.)
- Aim for a higher purpose: At Buffer, we love companies that have a mission to contribute positively to their communities and the world in some way. As it turns out, consumers like this too. One study shows customers are four times more likely to buy something from a mission-led brand. The brands below return the money in some way, such as making a donation with every purchase, providing free education and training for the job, and raising marginalized voices.
- Maintain a strong social presence: Regular activity on social networks is the key to becoming a top brand, and these companies maintain great content. (We know that creating consistent, high – quality content can be daunting, so we have put together a few tips for that.)
If you want to create an unforgettable brand and develop your business in 2022, consider these 21 brands that really impressed us (in no particular order).
21 small business brands we love
This women-owned firm aims to help women entrepreneurs hone their Instagram skills and grow their business. To that end, The Peony Collective’s Instagram account is full of inspiring tips to help founders get through tough entrepreneurial times and stay focused on their goals.
Fréres Branchiaux, started and run by three brothers, produces environmentally friendly candles. They have a customer recycling program, donate 10% of their profits to homeless shelters, and have a meaningful, joyful social presence.
This food supplier procures ingredients from local farmers and works with an organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities find work. They also have some of the best food photos we’ve seen.
Askinosie wants to make the best craft chocolate in the world. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. On Instagram, they provide their followers with an behind-the-scenes insight into their agricultural and direct trade practices, in addition to showing how they reciprocate to communities around the world with Chocolate University.
The founders of Paynter are determined not to produce waste anymore. Therefore, despite the growing demand (which they achieved by building in public) release only a limited number of jackets four times a year and recycle the remnants of fabric and water used to make them.
Partake offers delicious snacks that every child can enjoy because they do not contain the top eight allergens in food, GMOs or preservatives. Through its partnership with the Food Equality Initiative, Partake also helps provide access to healthy food for families in need.
This personal care company helps people get rid of their sweat. In addition to partnering with Sad Girls Club and Sad Boys Club in an effort to destigmatize mental health, Hiki strives to bring positive messages about mental health through her social media feeds.
Bringing delicious and authentic flavors of Southeast Asia and East Asia to every kitchen, the Vietnamese-American sisters who started Omson elevate and celebrate the Asian-American community. And their bright, bold brand, which appears on the packaging and their entire Instagram account, makes trying to resist these flavor packets even harder.
The Morins launched Wonderpuff during a period of heightened social unrest in the United States. They wanted to lead with love and bring more joy (and splendor) to the world. The Wonderpuff platform also aims to promote and support others, especially black, Muslim and female voices.
KANKAN puts soap (and other personal care products) in a can in hopes that their refillable model will help reduce the use of disposable plastics worldwide. Almost as inspiring as this mission: a beautifully designed Instagram network.
11. Bed Threads
All we can say is, wow. Bed Threads has one of the most beautiful social media feeds we have ever come across.
The owners of this bookstore and cafe wanted to create space for communities with a lack of services. Their social media is the perfect combination of book promotion, their community and the goals they are passionate about (and coffee, of course).
This children’s boutique focuses on making children of all colors, abilities, cultures and backgrounds feel like they belong. Their events, such as story time and dance lessons, allow parents and children from all over the world to connect in a safe space.
14. Shit to knit
Their products are warm, comfortable, i looks good. They are handmade by mothers employed in Peru, and the company donates “Knit Kits” to young adults undergoing cancer treatment.
Every beautifully packaged nut butter is made by a woman who overcomes adversity. Ground Up provides a six- to nine-month employment training program to help them develop skills and move on to the next step in their business journey.
These beautifully designed combs are not just a hair styling tool. They are a symbol and celebration of black stories, culture and solidarity — and that is exactly what you can find on their social platforms.
Kiramoon skin care products eliminate harmful ingredients and help reduce the stigma of mental health. Part of each order is donated to a non-profit organization called Bring Change to Mind.
Buying home decor from Jungalow can add a little joy and color to your life, as well as add new trees to the planet. (So far, the company has planted nearly 77,000 trees!) Jungalow’s bold, colorful patterns and designs make them an instantly recognizable and memorable brand.
19. Red Bay Coffee
The founders of Red Bay Coffee are equally passionate about two things: high-quality coffee and radical inclusion. In addition to ensuring that their farmers receive fair wages, they also focus on employing colored people, people with disabilities and former prisoners.
20. inkWELL Press
InkWELL planners and accessories help people stay organized. The company also regularly donates its products to teachers, women’s shelters and treatment homes.
21. Raven Reads
The books and gifts included in these boxes were created by indigenous authors and entrepreneurs. The aim is to raise the voices, cultures and histories of the indigenous population, both in the products they sell and in the content they publish online.
Want even more inspiration to grow your business in 2022? Watch the latest episode of Buffer’s Small business, big lessons podcast.