If you are just starting you may not know just how much goes into building your brand, there is a lot more to it than just making a logo and sorting out what color you want.
You want to be able to communicate the purpose of your company and how it will value your customers.
By working on your branding you will shape your development cycle, your corporate culture, and let you work out what the story of your business is.
A lot of businesses understand just how important branding is, however, not everyone knows how much it will cost, whether this is your time, or your money, there is a lot that goes into branding that people just don't consider.
It is also worth considering that your branding will cost a very different amount depending on the size of your business.
For a smaller business there will be less of a cost that goes into your branding, but you will need to spend a lot more time on it, whereas with a bigger business you will be investing a lot of money, and you need to be able to plan where it is going.
Because of this, we have split this breakdown of costs into the size of your business mainly focusing on startups that are before and after a seed investment.
So, if you want to know how much you should be spending on your branding, keep reading.
Branding For Bootstrappers And Pre Seed Startups
The main thing you want to achieve while you are at this stage is that you can make a proof of your concept that can bring in an investor.
For this, you do not need that much, mainly a website, a logo, and brand positioning. We will go over how much you should be spending on each of these!
For your positioning, this is referring to understanding your role as a company, and where you will be fitting into the marketplace, and how you are planning to communicate the values of your company.
This is where you will want to start your journey, but before you get a seed investment, it is not worth investing money in before an investment.
You will want to think of your strategy and positioning so that when you speak to a professional later on you can give them something to work with!
What your customers will be seeing first is your logo, and then the visual identity of your company should match this. You want to make sure that the message from your previous step is being accurately conveyed through this logo and design.
You can get a very cheap logo from sites like Fiverr, however, you can get much better results if you work with a designer.
This will likely be your largest investment at this stage, but by having a good logo, this will create a great jumping off point.
At this stage, it is not recommended that you invest too much into a website, and this means avoiding a website that has been made from scratch.
These websites cost a lot and will likely drain your budget which should be going in a different direction.
This is a great opportunity to take advantage of one of the many great services offered by website builders like Squarespace that let you build a website using a template.
These have a much lower cost than average, and you can also find a cheap domain name too. Of course, you can not customize as much with these, but they can have some great results.
Branding For Early Stage And Funded Startups
Once you have some more funding, this is the best point for you to hire a designer.
Working with a designer will be a collaborative process, so you need to work with someone who has a portfolio you like, and you can work with as a person.
If you do not want to hire a freelance designer, you could also look to hire a designer in house as depending on the amount of work to be done, this could be a lot cheaper.
Before you start any work at this stage, you will want to work out how big you want this project to be. It might be worth getting a professional consultation too so you can see how much you will want a designer to be working on.
Your brand strategy and your positioning will likely be influencing a lot of the decision making in your business, so you want to make sure that this is being done correctly.
If you are working with a smaller budget, this can be achieved in less than a week with the leadership working out what values they have and how to align with these, however, if you are working with a larger budget, you should invest in a competitive analysis and a communication strategy.
This can lead into training for staff to make sure the brand is being articulated properly. For a smaller firm this stage will likely cost between $5000 to $20,000 but for a larger firm it could cost between $30,000 and $80,000.
Your logo and your visual identity will be the end product of researching, feedback, and mood boarding, and you will be getting a logo, a typeface, a color and design element, as well as miscellaneous brand attributes.
If you are doing this on a bigger scale, this could include illustrations and photography styles, as well as iconography, or an in depth social media strategy.
Depending on how much you want this can get quite costly, this depends on how much feedback and iteration you are looking for.
But, for a freelancer or a small firm it can cost between $5000 and $15,000 but for a larger team between $15,000 and $75,000.
This is where your branding can get incredibly expensive, or can stay quite a bit cheaper. This stage all depends on how much complex engineering needs to go into your website, and how many iterations you will need.
You could need as little as a static marketing site that is built on a simple content management system, or you could need something complex that needs a heavy database.
This can cost anywhere between $2000 and $20,000 for a small firm or freelancer, and $30,000 and $200,000 for a large firm.
A lot of startups will get to a point where they now have the funding that they need, but their name and some branding feels like it has been outgrown.
This is where you can use a naming agency that will help develop a name that fits the brand positioning. These teams can work on competitive analysis and they can get great results.
If you need one of these firms they can cost between $15,000 and $75,000.
Hopefully this guide has given you the information needed to know how much you want to invest into branding.
Depending on the size of your team, you could spend not that much, or quite a lot, so make sure you know what you are investing in.
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