UK hospitality businesses are struggling to differentiate themselves, according to new research released by Vistaprint. The study revealed that 56% of small businesses in the hospitality sector may be guilty of not branding themselves effectively, leaving them exposed to missed business opportunities.  

Based on analysis of 1000 UK business websites, this study has uncovered the most common mistakes businesses make when branding themselves including; playing it safe with colours and using clichéd objectives to describe their offering. 

By failing to differentiate, these small business owners are at risk of lacking identity and losing out on sales opportunities, according to Vistaprint.

The top branding pitfalls identified in the hospitality sector are:

  • Cliched / Overused Adjectives:

56% of small businesses in the hospitality sector used cliched adjectives to describe themselves. This is compared to a UK average of 33%. The most commonly used descriptors used by hospitality businesses include: friendly, best and family- run.

By using the same language, businesses risk merging in to one and need to consider better ways to stand out from competition

  • Lacking colour confidence:

17% of small businesses in the hospitality sector use the same colour in their branding, of which grey is the most popular in this sector.

In comparison, the most popular branding colour UK-wide is blue, used by 46% of small businesses

Colours send important messages to customers and help communicate personality.  By using similar colours, businesses risk losing personality

This new research, released in the Vistaprint Small Business Uniqueness Report has become a catalyst in encouraging small businesses in the hospitality sector to celebrate their individuality and to put personal branding on top of their to do list.

"There are so many brilliant creative and individual small businesses within the hospitality sector, however there can be a disconnect in how many of them communicate that individuality to their customers," says Jake Amos Head of UK Marketing at Vistaprint.

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

These businesses possess immense individuality, but they sometimes need a helping hand in how to communicate it.”

To download a copy of the SME Uniqueness Report containing analysis and the full findings, please visit    

Key UK findings: 

15% do not uses adjectives to describe their business and out of those business that did describe their business 68% didn’t use more than two

46% of UK small businesses use the colour blue in their branding

24% of UK small businesses have a blue logo

The top 10 adjectives to describe a small business are; Family run, Independent, Specialists, Friendly, Experienced, Leading, Experts, Best, Quality, Largest

Sans Serif is the top font used by UK small businesses (25%) with Arial (19%) a close second

Over ¼ of small business websites (28%) use a white background

77% of UK small businesses use more than one font type on website copy and 51% use more than three

58% of UK small businesses left align website text