Well, first of all, I’d clear the words up. What is expensive?
How can you measure what is cheap, fairly priced or expensive? What is the line between these? Is the line black-and-white or blurred a little bit?
Can it be expressed by actual numbers? Should the numbers come with a dollar sign? Or percentage?
I think, something can be expensive in two ways: it is expensive, because you don’t have that much money, or you don’t have that much money to spend on that actual thing. Or, the second version, and I want to talk about this one, it is expensive for what it’s worth or, in business, for how much income it can generate.
It’s like, you can not tell if a certain investment is “cheap”, “fairly priced” or “expensive” by just looking at the actual cost of it. Is $100 too much? Is $1000? Or a million?
It all depends on how much income it can generate. $100 is already too much if it will only generate $80 in sales, but a million is very fair if it brings another 2 million back.
So, is branding expensive?
The number one frequent problem I see when working with clients, or hearing, reading entrepreneurs ask and talk about a logo design and branding overall, is that they think that a logo design is a cost. And they come like, “Why would anyone spend $1000 on a logo? I know a [guy, friend, website, etc..] where I can get it for $25 or free.”.
I’d rather suggest to think about brand design as an investment.
I already wrote this down in a previous post, but I have to repeat it shortly here.
Let’s say you want to produce and sell energy drinks. I think the energy drink field is a great example of the huge effect of branding. Let’s say, you have $5000 to start. Let’s say, you can manufacture or get produced a can of drink for $0.2 and sell it for $1. By spending all $5000 on production, you can make 25 000 cans. If you are able to sell all, you get $25000. You are at $20 000 plus. Sounds good, right?
What if told you, that by spending only $4000 on production, $1000 on a professionally designed brand, only getting 20 000 cans is better? Why? Because your brand may look so cool that you can sell the same can for $2. Where we’re at now in our pockets? 20 000 can X $2. That’s $40 000 income, minus $4000 cost and $1000 brand investment, that is $35 000 plus.
And, from there, you don’t have to spend $1000 again on brand and logo design, but hey, you already have $35 000, so you even could. But your logo and brand elements are already there. Now, you can spend $35 000 on cans, that equals 175 000 cans. Sold at $2, it is $350 000 minus $35 000 production cost, you are at $315 000 plus. Keep going…
This is the reason why it can be downright bad for your business to think about logo design and branding as a “should” and a “cost”. These are not things you have to do so your friends don’t laugh at your ugly ass product in the bar when you drink a few beers. Branding is seriously about business.
And what about time? Is branding time consuming?
If you understand that branding can seriously increase your profit, then, you know we could also ask: is working in my business time consuming? Who cares? If the end result is more money, why would you care if it is “time consuming”? Time is money, money is time.
I think, branding is more of a one-time investment in both time and money, or, at least, 75% of it is done at once. It depends on how widely or narrowly you define branding. Of course, there are different types of branding, first of all, you “brand your brand”, your business, then, you can also brand certain product lines or products of you. When you decide to create “sub-brands” in your business (different lines of clothing, different types of computers or phones), the same rules apply.
My advice would be:
When you start a business, curve out a little time and money to get your logo and brand planned and designed. It needs both, time and money. Your designed logo / brand, even if you choose not to have one, will follow your business through it’s lifetime. If you are serious about your business, be serious about branding it. Your business is your creation, your child. Treat it like that.