If you’re reading this, it means that you understand how important branding is to the success and long-term viability of, really, any business.
Branding is not just your logo and the colours you use: it’s a strategic effort to establish a desired perception of your company in the minds of potential customers, to turn them from prospects into buyers.
Companies that invest heavily into building their brands consistently outperform the overall market, according to research by McKinsey and Interbrand. That’s insane.
So it stands to reason that if there’s anything that you should pay close attention to, it’s branding. In this article I’ll answer to questions that you’re no doubt asking yourself right now:
How much does branding cost, in general?And how much should you invest in it, specifically?
Possible price ranges
Ever been car shopping? You can spend $500 on a beater car that’ll hold you over for the next two months and possibly break down on you in the middle of the highway, or you can spend $450,000 on a top-of-the-line Rolls-Royce that will make you feel like you’re the king of the world when you drive it. (Both are sure to turn heads, but for different reasons.)
As it is with cars, so it is with branding services. The possibilities are literally endless, but for simplicity’s sake I’m going to outline the basic tiers and how to think about them. I’m basing these on my five years of experience in the industry.
In this price bracket, you’ll find the used Corollas of branding: Very affordable, functional but not the most reliable, and definitely a dime a dozen. If you need a visual identity for the sake of having one, you’ll find just what you need here.
You’ll be working
In a nutshell #1: At this price level, you’re paying for graphic design services, not branding. As far as graphic design services go, you can find some solid freelancers in this bracket—but don’t expect them to bring high-level strategic thinking.
The solutions in this bracket are like Volvo station-wagons: Well-engineered, reliable, sensible purchases.
Expect to be
In a nutshell #2: At this level of investment, you’ll get something you can grow with, that’s high quality and sophisticated, and that’ll last you (with the occasional tweak) for the next 5 or 10 years without causing you any grief.
The key takeaways
You’ll notice that I didn’t include price ranges below the $2K mark in this post. In the $0-$2K range you are looking at services like Fiverr, 99Designs, and free logo makers. Using our automobile analogy from earlier, these are the beater cars of the branding world. I’m of the firm belief that if you can’t spend at least $2K for a logo, you’re better off DIYing it. Spending a few hundred dollars or even a grand on one of these marketplaces is equal to flushing money down the toilet.
The key takeaways of this article to remember are these:
$2K–$5K range =
$5K–$20K range =
$20K–$90K range =
If you’re pre-launch or early-stage (especially B2C), be careful to balance the need to give your brand enough of a push early on with the need to limit your downside in case your business doesn’t take off. Also remember that your branding is likely going to change in the first one or two years if your business is successful.
And if you’re looking for an expert to take your brand to the next level, schedule a free discovery call with me to see how I can help you.