Does spending money on branding make you want to curl up in the corner and cry? If so then I bet you’ve been scouring the internet trying to figure out what the heck the drastic price range is all about.
I mean, you’ve found options for $30–$500, $1,000–$10,000, and some even as high as $60,000 (if not higher). Right?
That would make me want to shut down and retreat into a dark room wondering what the heck I was thinking starting a business too.
5 things to keep in mind:
First: If you know what you want and just need someone to execute you won’t need to spend a ton. In fact, go over to fiverr and find someone with some good reviews. Just be aware, you need to know exactly what to ask for and explain what you want. And be ready to scrap the first one that comes out.
Second: The more experience a designer has the higher the cost typically is. After all, someone who does this full time has to deal with overhead too, but they do it full time. That means more clients, more research, more everything.
Third: Then there is the factor of expert vs. service provider. I’ll be getting into that more in a future post. But I bet you can guess which one is going to charge a higher fee, and often rightly so. The expert is going to be able to guide you and tell you what you need rather than waiting for you to tell them what to do. Not to mention, an expert should be specializing in their niche.
Want an example?
I’m a graphic designer, if I just offered a list of services you could hire me for I’d simply be an experienced service provider. But I don’t do that. I focus on branding small, service-based businesses. That means I’m studying best practices and trends for branding, business structure and strategies, copywriting. You name it, if it relates to branding it’s on my radar (or soon will be) so that I can better guide you through this whole mess and confusion.
Fourth: Another factor is how large the company is that the designer is working for. A larger company has more people it needs to run through for approval. It’s a headache and a half, and personally, I avoid those situations like the plague. It’s just not where I want to be. Not to mention that’s where agencies and agency pricing comes into play. If you’re a small business owner you probably don’t need an agency…yet.
Fifth: Finally (for this list anyway) you need to consider how much you need in addition to the logo, ‘cause as you know, a logo does not a brand make. The more inclusive the branding package, the higher the cost (typically) and certain additions are going to cost more—like a fully developed website, not just the website design.
So you ask again, how much does a logo cost? The question you really should be asking is how much a brand costs. A simple logo can be pretty inexpensive in relation to the bigger picture.
Let me explain.
Ahem. Ever heard of Nike? Yes, we’re talking about the ‘Just Do It’ company.
Did you know they only spent $35 on their logo? That iconic swoosh was designed by a college student in Oregon who was paid $2 an hour. Was she the most talented designer in the world? No. Is she now? Not necessarily. Did the company love it right off the bat? Apparently not—I was looking into it briefly for this article.
But they took it and ran with it. They put millions, billions of dollars into making that $35 swoosh into the symbol of an iconic brand.
I know, I know…you’re not Nike. But this illustrates that the logo is just the beginning. And most of us need it to be something we like, even love, in order to feel comfortable with moving forward.
So what do you, as a small business owner need to start your brand? Well. First of all, take stock of your budget. What are you ready to do now vs. later?
A basic brand package for small businesses should include something along these lines to start:
• email opt-in form
• mailing list template
• email signature for back and forth communication
• blog image template
• social media graphics template
• profile picture
• cover picture(s)
• feedback form
• branded invoicing
• teaser images to introduce your new brand
• business card
• letterhead and/or envelope
You may also need tags, inserts, branded pdfs, notecards, thank you cards, stamps, video intros, advertisements, or even an additional sister brand for a service (more on that coming soon), membership site…we could keep going pretty much indefinitely.
And that’s only covering what your clients would interact with. Let’s not forget about getting the brand basics down and learning how to keep the brand going on your own for everyday needs.
It’s exhausting to think about. Intimidating as hell too. But the good news is you don’t have to do it all alone. I created the Brandequip to truly help you develop a deep understanding of your Brand, but also set it up for success with the designs you need to get started.