Buying branding services (or any professional service) can be a tough challenge for any new business.
You’ll find an array of service providers: your niece who studies graphic design, freelance professionals, and agencies big and small. They all come with their own price tags, approaches and levels of quality.
How much your startup should spend on branding depends on several factors:
- What type of startup are you?
- What’s your industry?
- How big is your business?
- What stage are you at on your startup journey?
There is a vast array of possible answers. I’m going to focus on a completely new, tiny startup. Let’s suppose you are a self-funded, completely new business. You have a co-founder but no employees yet.
What do you need?
I hope you know that branding is more than just a logo. If you’re unsure what I mean, try recapping on the 10 most common misconceptions about branding. Here’s what I consider essential for very small new startups:
- A brand identity, including your brand purpose, core values and personality.
- A good name and domain address.
- A visual identity: your logo, typography style, colour palette and other graphic artworks. This will be influenced by the above.
- Email signatures, a website and some sort of social media presence.
- Some carefully crafted key messaging. This is essential, particularly if you’re not planning to write everything yourself. At the very least, a specialist should review your website content.
What should you avoid?
You can fall into the trap of sourcing every single item from different suppliers. Or worse, do most of it yourself without any guidance. You weren’t thinking of using cheap logo maker websites were you?
Traditional branding agencies will take their time to draw up bespoke proposals for you. They’ll charge hourly or day rates as they go. Projects might not have hard deadlines, or they can just be dragged out unnecessarily. Time is money. This approach might not be as cost-effective as you would hope.
Branding demands a clear vision and coherent execution.
The best way to get there is by enlisting professional help to guide you through the process. Ideally, find an individual or a team who can bring it all to life from start to finish.
Read might thoughts about how to find the right branding partner for your startup.
How much should you spend on your brand?
It’s impossible to put a price tag on something that varies so much between companies and geographic locations. Based on the list above, my hunch is you’ll probably pay between £7,500 and £25,000 in the UK.
|Low-end estimate||High-end estimate|
|Visual identity (including logo)||£1,500||£5,000|
|Basic design assets||£500||£3,000|
|Website with content (2-3 pages)||£3,500||£10,000|
Keep in mind that we are budgeting for a very small, new startup. For larger businesses, the list of items (also called deliverables) and the pricing would be very different.
At Brand Purist, we do pricing differently for startups and small businesses. We’ve tailored our brand sprints especially to them. The sprints are fast-paced and time-boxed. They’re also very collaborative - you play a hands-on role in the creation of your brand. This means we can keep our costs down for new companies who are not afraid to act decisively.
Will it be worth it?
Starting out with a high quality brand pays off if you are serious about your business. It will help you find focus and crystallise your purpose. It will also make attracting investors, talent and new customers easier by instilling trust and credibility.
I give you more reasons in my ‘Why is branding important for startups?’ article.
Are you ready to develop your organisation's branding? Get in touch to find out how we can help you.