When we talk about branding, this is a crucial thing for all business either as a small business or big ones. Big company will definitely have their special team to do this branding part, and for sure, in the long term plan the expansion of this brand will be their focus.
Ready or not, as a small business owner, at some point, you will have to do this process in your business.
Some questions that many entrepreneurs and new business owners will have:
When should I invest in branding? Is it too early? Will I look unprofessional, and lose potential sales or investors by waiting?
Those all answers will be explain below.
What is branding?
First, we have to understand what is the meaning by branding.
Branding can mean the visual representation of your product, service or company and usually refers to your logo, website design, packaging, marketing materials, user interface, etc. Branding can also refer to your reputation, customer service and the promises you are making to your customers.
When people ask about investing in branding they are usually referring to the more tangible aspects of their brand identity. If they plan to work with a professional designer or brand agency, when is the time to engage them?
There is no blanket answer to this question but here are some ideas for you to consider:
New businesses must launch with a full brand identity to creating the right first impression
If you plan to open a restaurant or retail store you need a designer involved sooner than many other startups. A restaurant, for example, needs to get its brand identity nailed before they launch. The signage, decor, menu and overall atmosphere is not something that can come later. The dining experience and the brand identity are highly interwoven.
Another example would be something like a fitness, the immediate effect of that brand identity may be critical to creating the right first impression. These businesses can always adjust and expand their brand identities as they get more established, but they cannot hang out their open sign without the basic brand elements of a strong logo and other key visual elements.
Solopreneur can slowly grow their brand identity organically
Many people wish to start a consulting business for themselves, for example : professional like lawyer, doctor and coach. It may start as a one-person startup and eventually will grow to a small business with a few employees.
Your business offerings will likely change as you figure out what work is profitable and appeals to you, and your brand identity should be flexible enough to move with these changes, while still maintaining some consistency. Remember, the brand of a solopreneur is very closely tied to the business owner, and always will be.
Create a nice packaging before displaying product at the store
When you have done with logo and brand identity, you move forward to how you want to display your product starting from its packaging, an attractive design and well presented packaging will make your product eye catching and outstanding.
For example, many food producers start selling at craft fairs or farmers market. That is a good time to test design ideas and review the feedback from the market.
Nowadays, consumer purchases are heavily swayed by package design, so you will need to invest in branding to make it big.
Invest in design, not production
Most of startup is working on tight budgets and need to carefully evaluate all spending decisions. Remember that a well-designed logo should last you for years. Investing in a good one is worthwhile.
But you may need to cut corners on production costs. For example, a food or beverage entrepreneur may use stickers that are manually applied while they are in their early stages with low quantities. If they have the right design in place, their brand identity will transition easily to a more automated solution when the time is right.
We work with many new business owners, and we understand that chicken-and-the-egg feeling of: “What comes first? The brand or the launch?” Use your design dollars wisely to create pieces of your visual identity that will stand the test of time, but don’t spend it on high-cost production values initially.
Have you start your branding?
Have you done something great to brand your business? Or you have done nothing yet. We want to hear that from you, please share your story in comment below.