October 20, 2015

The Cost of Building A Brand with ROI


Branding ROICost Investment

Imagine starting up a brewery, or any business ~ you are about to invest $500,000 into your equipment and business to make quality beer and have a cool space, but how will people find your great beer and awesome tasting room or your retail shop or other business?

Your logo for starters ~ from the articles discussing the new business coming soon (no space yet, so they will likely feature your logo) to the profile image on your social media, where people will also be chatting prior to your opening. Your ad design, online or print. On-shelf, through package and label design. Or even driving by, if local (logo on signage). Whatever you put on the shelf, online, and into the world to announce your presence, it better be enticing. Think about that when you are deciding what your branding budget should be. Why dump half a million dollars into something if no one is swayed to buy it or visit?

Good design builds confidence in a brand. How many times have you chosen a bottle of wine based on the label?

That online logo for $99 might look good, but does it come from a team of experts who know to ask if you have double-checked your business name with a trademark attorney? Or know the government regulations for label design? Have they first identified your audience and defined your goals? Are you getting a few options from one designer, or does it make sense to choose a firm with more designers, which gets you a wider net of options, plus a larger range of services, allowing you to keep your business in one place. Keeping all of your branding in one place makes that firm an expert on your brand. It allows them to maintain consistency across all mediums and projects from the beginning and over the years as you grow, change and expand. It creates a strong brand instead of each different vendor guessing at what you want or need. They are essentially your in-house design team.

Would you hire a random person on Craigslist to watch your child or a certified professional with experience and credentials? A plumber to do an architect’s job? You look for professionals with experience and expertise when hiring for your personal needs, so why wouldn’t you do the same for the face of your business?

Our suggestion would be to compare the estimate for your branding to the total investment in building your business. What % investment is worth it for an actual return of interest and visits? You are putting your (business’s) reputation on the line when you launch your brand. You won’t be there when someone is surfing the internet in their bed at 10pm to sell them, or in their car when they drive by your space. Your brand needs to sell itself.

Experts will help you differentiate yourself. How is your business unique and why and how will people relate to that? That story is told through your brand, and is what people relate to, and ultimately, (hopefully) adopt as ‘their brand’. Your brand is more than your logo. It is your message, your identity, your packaging, the experience you are providing, as well as the quality of your product – these are all things that culminate in what you hope is brand loyalty. People identify with brands they relate to, whether visually or ethically, and will pay more for that brand, returning your investment. (Once example of this was the experiment Significant Objects where thrift store objects were branded and then sold online for significant prices. Value is a perception that can be driven by the story and visuals.)

You must spend money to make money. What is your brand WORTH to you?