How Much Should Small Business Branding Cost?

Calculate budget for business

Often, when you come across the word "branding", certain aspects of marketing such as advertising, logos and slogans come to mind. But branding is not just about that. Instead, it is the core aspect of your business that gives meaning to what you do. In brief, branding is the total of all meanings your audience associates your business with. It is everything your customers feel, think, say, hear, suspect and even hope about your product, service or organization.

How does branding affect your small business?

Let's look at Nike. Without branding, it would just be an apparel and shoe company. Branding gives Nike a presence and personality, making it easier for us to understand them, consequently making communication and selling much smoother.

Consumers do not have the time to process all the information to make a rational purchase. Data of every product on features, benefits, prices, guarantees, delivery charges etc., is just too much. So consumers looking for a system of values and meanings a product /service is known for and use it as a guide to purchasing. Branding influence consumer purchasing decisions. Branding gives small businesses stability, growth potential, loyalty and longevity.

It is important to note that branding is not about size. You can be a brand with a few loyal customers. It is not the absolute numbers that make a brand; instead, it is the shared coherence of what they think, feel and believe about your small business. So, let's dive into the cost of branding for small businesses;

Phase One: Brand Positioning and Strategy

Phase one encompasses developing a solid foundation on which you can build your brand and market your business. It involves defining, articulating and publicizing your brand both offline and online where people can engage with your small business. Brand strategy and positioning is the foundation of how you approach all aspects of your brand, so take your time in this step.

Your brand Strategy maps out your specific goals, plan of action and brand mission. More importantly, the brand strategy makes visible the value of your brand and what differentiates you from the rest. For this process to be effective, thorough marketing research and competitive advantage analysis are encouraged. The research will aid in defining the core values, mission and unique selling Proposition of your small business. A brand strategy mainly outlines the experience of your buyer persona while interacting with your small business, which your audience the chance to connect with your business because of the shared values.

The break and make in brand strategy and positioning is not articulating your competitive advantage and the value you offer your consumers.

Do you really need a Brand Strategy?

No matter how small your business is, brand strategy is essential as long as you are looking to sell your products to people.

A starting point in defining one is to ask yourself these questions;

  • Who is my brand?
  • Who needs to know?
  • Why should they care?
  • How will they find out?
  • What do I want them to do?

Answers to these questions show your brand strategy is clear, and all you need is to publicize and find your tribe. Conversely, vague answers suggest putting more work in defining your value and competitive advantage.

How Much Does Brand Strategy Cost?

With many different brand strategy components, it's essential to work with a branding agency that understands your value and competitive advantage to charge accordingly.

However, it is essential to note that not all agencies will cover all the different elements. Depending on where your business is at, your branding agency should guide you accordingly. Just ensure you are both on the same page on the cost of your branding package.

Some small businesses may hire a consultant/freelancer to team up with a design agency to guide brand strategy and visual identity. Although the most specific route is to hire a branding agency that will handle the whole package from branding strategy to website development and messaging, there is no better approach than the other as long as you have a team that understands your needs.

Brand strategy and positioning is the foundation of all your business decisions.

Branding agencies like Hog have approximated the cost of branding strategy to be$5k+. Rebranding has broken down the branding strategy into two: brand identity and market research. The range for brand identity encompasses determining your brand's mission, vision and coming up with a tagline to be $1,000 to $5,000.Then market research ranges from $1000 to $7000. This brings a total of approximately $7k+ for branding strategy and positioning.

Phase Two: Logo and Visual Identity

The next phase of branding your small business is the design aspect. Again, deliberations from the brand strategy will shape the visual identity. Therefore, it is important not to concentrate much on building an aesthetically pleasing logo that does not correlate with the brand strategy.

Logo and visual design represent your brand at a glance: your logo, website design, typography, social media graphics, photography style and brand colors.

A process of visual identity involves thorough research, visual mood boarding and brainstorming with your team. You must identify the logo, typeface, color, design elements, and visual brand attributes for a compelling visual identity.

Although there is a lot to consider when designing your brand visual identity, your branding agency needs to know how each element connects with the customer. One sure tip is maintaining uniformity on a website and across your social media platforms. A simple logo, converting website and marketing strategy should be an excellent start for a small business not ready to jump into full-blown branding.

A branding agency that knows its stuff should provide a set of branding guidelines at the end of the visual identity process. This will guide your business to maintain synchronicity when coming up with social graphics and advertising posters.

Why is Visual Identity Important?

A logo is the visual representation of the company as a whole. It creates the first impression when customers come across your business. Not only that, but it also identifies your business from the rest of the customers' minds. Thus you must make an excellent first and lasting impression.

Take Coca-Cola; for example, the logo is so essential to the beverage that few people can purchase coke without the logo. ZeBrand will help you design your own visual identity by offering suggestions and laying down the ground framework for you.

What is the Cost of Logo and Visual Identity?

The cost will depend on your needs and the branding agency you choose to pursue when it comes to logo design. You can get logo designs for just $5 on sites such as Upwork. But we all know cheap is always expensive in the long run. So you better be sure than sorry. For a small budget, get in touch with your local AIGA chapter(AIGA is the professional association for design) and find young designers fresh from school who might be willing to take on your project at a small fee as they build their portfolio. But keep in mind the amount you spend on your logo determines how much you value your brand. Take BBC, for example; the media giant spent1.8 million dollars for its rebranding project. But you do not have to pay millions for your small business. Many branding agencies are offering affordable branding for small businesses. The price goes up within that range depending on the logo variations you need and the level of visual details your brand requires. Designing a brand's visual identity might be time-consuming; at ZeBrand, we encourage our clients to share mood boards of logos they resonate with. Brainstorming with our clients ends up saving time and money since we can quickly deliver a logo that is close to what our client wants in the first round.

Phase Three: Website

A solid platform is the anchor to industry leadership of your small business brand. Before you begin jumping into messaging, you need to develop a modern marketing-oriented, up-to-date website. Since you have already established your brand strategy in phase one, let that drive your website design.

By utilizing standard website building tools like Squarespace and WordPress, small businesses can have a simple website for a reasonably low price. But the critical question to remember is will the website help you convert?

The truth is that website branding is extensive work, and with that, you have to dig deeper into your pockets. At ZeBrand, our website branding package includes several elements of a convertible website;

  • Color and design
  • Speedy navigation
  • Contact and social media above the fold
  • Calls to action
  • Search engine optimization
  • Responsive design

Is a website essential for a small business?

The answer is a resounding yes;

A website enables your brand to attract loyal customers from all over the world.

A study done by Verisign found that 88 percent of U.S. small businesses agree that a website has made it easier for customers to find their business.

A website is your badge of credibility. Although having a social media account is essential, the platform limits what you can do in terms of design, technology, etc. A website is a platform to express your authenticity the way you deem fit while increasing flexibility and control. Eighty-four percent of U.S. consumers believe a business with a website is more credible than one that only has social media pages. If you want customers to trust you, why not reach out to ZeBrand and let us set up a converting website for you?.

What is the cost of a converting website?

The cost of an optimized website depends on your needs and how much you value your business. If you want an SEO-optimized website that will make your customer experience worthwhile.

The Total Cost of Branding for Small Businesses

It is no fun adding up all the numbers from every phase. So let's find the total cost of branding for small businesses;

Brand Strategy and Identity: $1K–$5K

Market Research: $1K–$7K

Logo Design/ Website: $2.5K–$10K

Visual Style Guide: $2.5K–$5K

Editorial Style Guide: $1.5K–$4K

Total Cost of Branding for Small Businesses $5,000 to $30,000+

People Ask For / FAQ

  1. How much should a branding package cost?

    Total Cost: $5,000 to $30,000+

  2. What should a branding package include?

    Business name

    Brand strategy/positioning

    Brands voice/messaging

    Visual identity(logo,typography,colours,photography)

    Designs for marketing(business cards,signage,brochures,social media)

    Marketing-optimized website

  3. Why is branding so expensive?

    Branding includes three different elements. First, there is the brand strategy and positioning that states your values, then the visual brand that represents: the design of your logo, website, and materials. Finally, the messaging communicates what you do and why you're different, including all of the copy and your tagline.

  4. How much should I charge for a logo design 2021?

    $5000-$15,000

  5. What are the benefits of branding?

    • Branding gives you credibility.

    Branding is an avenue for small businesses to stand out in a saturated market.

    Branding attracts your ideal customers.

    Branding enables small businesses to build loyal customers

    Branding boosts your confidence to do business

  6. What are the steps in branding?

    1. Brand strategy and Identity
    2. Logo and Visual Identity
    3. Website and Messaging