Graduate Program

Communication Studies with Pedagogy Option

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2021

Thesis Director

Matthew J. Gill

Thesis Committee Member

Angela S. Jacobs

Thesis Committee Member

Chigozirim U. Sodeke


Branding has grown into a vital part of communicating a brand to its audience members. Unfortunately, large portions of branding tactics are geared towards large corporations in large communities. Small and mid-sized businesses require different tactics in order to create a brand that effectively communicates its purpose and values to its consumers. Because of this, this thesis is looking at the branding tactics of a small business in Charleston, Illinois. This business, Phoenix Elite, showed weaknesses in multiple areas of its branding package. Using a literature review, the goal is to create a better understanding of what branding is, as well as some key components to branding in a small community. With that knowledge established, this thesis will pinpoint the weaknesses in Phoenix Elite’s branding and create a branding campaign to help strengthen those weaknesses. The overall goal of this thesis is to create a better understanding of branding small businesses in small communities.