Startup Branding: How Much Does It Cost?

The brand is the heart and soul of your business, and therefore creating a brand is a crucial process you cannot, and should not, overlook. Simply put, without a strong brand presence, you have no way of separating your company from the numerous competitors in your niche, and no way of connecting with your target audience on a deeper level. And nowadays, an emotional brand-to-consumer connection is all that matters. That said, it’s important to realize early on that brand-creation is a lengthy and costly process. Brand agencies can price their services anywhere from a mere couple of thousand dollars all the way into the tens of thousands for a complete brand package and ongoing implementation, so you need to prepare for this financial setback well before the launch day. Let’s break down the crucial aspects of branding and how much these vital processes might set you back financially.

The importance of a professional touch

In a time of seamless global connectivity and real-time communication, you have a golden opportunity to work with anyone in the world. Who knows, maybe a team of creatives that understands your vision and resonates with your values is somewhere in Europe, as opposed to being a few blocks away from where you live. Most importantly, the location of your branding agency will greatly determine their prices. For example, a branding firm in downtown Manhattan will cost you way more than a brand agency from India. The reasons for this require no further explanation, but the point is that you can always find a cheap deal no matter where you are. The results, however, might not be what you expect. There is a reason why prominent agencies are situated in popular digital hubs around the world – they have a proven track record, they are renowned for their expertise, and they can afford a coveted position in competitive markets. While it’s not a guarantee, there is a significantly higher chance that an “expensive” company will build you a brand you can be proud of, a brand that will echo throughout the industry. It’s a safer option, but be ready to pay anywhere between $40,000 and $50,000 for a brand strategy, or a brand identity. That’s without brand packaging, marketing collateral, or brand implementation.

Positioning a brand and messaging

Keep in mind that prices can vary greatly on the nature of your business. For example, a small business operating in a local marketplace, like a diner, doesn’t require that much brand-building effort to begin with, and so you can expect the price point to move somewhere between a grand and ten thousand dollars at the most. It will all depend on your goals and aspirations for the business. The starting financial considerations for starting a business in the franchising realm can be more affordable for those who are unable to finance the brand creation process on their own, so keep that in mind as well when considering your options. Creating brand messaging and personality is extensive work that can cost thousands of dollars on its own, while brand positioning costs for small companies can cost up to $15,000, depending on the market and the type of business.

Creating a name and visual identity

Two of the most crucial elements of a strong brand identity are the visual design and name creation. These are some of the most expensive services branding agencies have on offer, simply because they understand the importance of these elements for your initial and long-term success. High-end companies can charge their naming and visual services upwards of a hundred thousand dollars, while amateur companies can cost as little as a thousand. The results you get, again, might not be satisfactory. Building a compelling visual identity requires a deep understanding of your brands essence and the values you stand for, which in turn requires an experienced team of professionals. And experienced professionals have a right to charge a pretty penny for their services. After all, you that kind of money you can rest assured that you are getting top-notch treatment.

Implementing the brand

Brand discovery and creation as a whole are time-consuming processes with a high price point, but nothing compares to the ongoing monthly expenses associated with brand implementation. When a brand is created and ready for dissemination, your branding agency will move on to the implementation phase and select communication channels through which they will market and advertise your brand to the outside world. These processes require continuous work on a monthly basis, and unless you are a marketing guru yourself who can carry the burdens of digital marketing and offline advertising, you will need to let the branding agency do the work for you. Expect to pay as little as $500 for low-end agencies, and thousands of dollars on a monthly basis for the big, proven players in the field.

In conclusion

There is no way around it: brand creation and implementation are crucial processes you cannot skip, and they will set you back financially no matter how you look at it. Use these reference points and insights to make the best cost-effective decision for your new business, and ensure a positive ROI in the years to come.

Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping Australian startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she’s a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more entrepreneurs and help them on their business journey.



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