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QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

How much does branding cost

in 2022? How to decide...

Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry & Apple. These are just some examples of luxury companies that have built a loved brand and are benefiting massively from it.

In business, you don’t need to have the best product or service to succeed. Sure, quality is key but even more important is having strong values, a long-term vision, and a story that resonates with your target market.

That’s your brand and that’s how you build loyalty. When a customer buys from Burberry, it’s not because it’s made of the softest cotton, the features and benefits of the clothes. It’s because the company has built a brand that people want to be associated with.

The bottom line is, whether you are a new company just starting or an already established one, you need to prioritise brand building if you want long-term success.

But how much does branding agency services cost if you are to make it a priority?

I have lost count of the number of companies that started very strong but then died out in a few years. Their biggest mistake was not focusing on building a brand name that would transcend time. In this article, we'll go over how much branding should cost.

But first, we'll go over the other benefits you get from creating a strong brand.

Note: If you are a £1M+ business in the fashion, automotive, property, or luxury lifestyle industry that needs help with branding:

Sign up for our brand discovery call. We can walk you through the process we have used to help multi-million-pound businesses increase revenue by leveraging their brand.

Benefits of Branding

Helps you get noticed - Working with a brand strategy agency will help get you in front of the right people. You need a solid strategy and positioning to know who you are talking to and how you will convince them to buy.

Increases business value - It happens all the time in luxury. Businesses charge more for their products or services not because their offering is better than their competitor but because of what their brand represents.

Wins you new customers - Branding helps you stand out from the crowd. People are designed to notice different and it’s this that will help you gain new clients in the process.

Increased trust and customer loyalty - Once people have found a brand that they love, they tend to stick with it.

This then brings us to the question everyone wants to know: how much will it cost to build a reputable brand for your business?

How much does it cost to create a well-differentiated brand identity?

There are several factors in how much should branding cost:

• Are you creating the brand from scratch or are you an established business looking to rebrand.

• Are you creating a brand for a small demographic with little competition or a brand that has to compete with major players in a global marketplace?

• Who is your target audience? Can you reach them through digital communication or do you also have to rely on traditional media and marketing channels?

• Who is doing the branding? You get what you pay for. Bigger, more established branding agencies charge more than smaller but fast-growing agencies. But, can you blame them? They have built their brand and deserve to benefit from it.

To answer the question, branding can start from as little as a few thousand pounds all the way up to hundreds of thousands of pounds depending on if you are making tweaks to an existing brand or building from scratch.

In this article, I will break down branding costs for you by exploring each step involved in the brand-building process.

1. Brand Strategy and Identity

I love traveling. It helps me put things into perspective. But, I can’t just pack up my bags and see where the road takes me. I need an itinerary. The same is also true with branding. You can’t just set out building a brand without a clear brand strategy.

You will only end up spending a lot of money on marketing with very little return because you have no focus.

Why you need a brand strategy

A brand strategy lays out the exact steps you need to follow to make your business stand out in front of customers. That won’t be possible unless you know who you are, what you stand for, and who is your target audience.

You need to have a vision, mission, and goals you want to achieve with your brand. Only then can you come up with a unique selling proposition that attracts and maintains customers.

So, market research and an analysis of your competitive advantage will be paramount in creating the best brand strategy for your business.

Once you have your strategy, then comes the next step. Creating your brand identity and positioning yourself in the market.

How to create your brand identity

This is where the creative process begins. To successfully build your brand identity, you should have the ability to use imagery and words to articulate your brand vision and goals in a way that resonates with the target audience.

The costs of creating a brand strategy and building your brand identity will typically range anywhere between £10,000 to £100,000. To break this down further, building your brand identity can cost between £2,500 to £50,000.

To put this into context, if you opt to hire an experienced creative director as an employee, you'd be looking to spend about £100,000+ a year for them to plan, create and deliver the brand strategy, identity and help you roll it out.

2. Brand visuals

The logo is the first important visual that you will need to create for your brand. One mistake I have seen a lot of businesses make is focusing just on aesthetics. Your visuals should be appealing but they should also align with your brand strategy and identity as a whole.

A logo is not just an image. It is your brand’s unique identifier that should be used to pull some psychological strings on your customer to make your brand more memorable.

Cost of a business logo

How much does logo design cost? A logo can cost anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands. You should be presented with a number of different ideas and concepts with initial ideas and they get refined into a final version through refinement and development to end up with the perfect logo.

You should also receive the logo in different formats, with different backgrounds.

Apart from your logo, other visuals will play a key role in helping you build a well-differentiated brand. They include flyers, social media templates, business cards, signage, and advertisement posters.

Many freelance designers will charge on a per-project basis around £2,000-£5,000.

Depending on their experience, a full-time graphic designer can be £35,000 to £60,000+. We've also laid out steps for becoming a graphic designer.

3. Visual style guide

One thing you will notice with some of the biggest brands is that they adhere to a specific visual style. You will notice it in their logo, website design, social media graphics, advertising posters, photographs, and basically everything that connects to their brand.

Take Coca-Cola for example. Their official brand colors are red, white, and black. Even their transport vehicles are painted red. You visit their offices and they are either painted red or have a big red Coca-Cola board to welcome you. The result is that people begin to associate the color with your brand and every time they see it, they are subconsciously reminded of your business.

To build a reputable brand, it’s also necessary that you have a visual identity. This means having a set of rules that define how your brand is represented visually. A visual identity package, which includes a website, email design, and brand marketing assets typically costs £5,000 - £50,000.

A visual style guide typically costs around £2,500 to £10,000 and here are some of the things it should address.

• Logo guidelines - Explores the different elements of your logo and how they should be applied. What’s the appropriate size? Are there any legal restrictions to using the logo?

• Typography - Defines the right usage of fonts in the brand-building process.

• Colour palette - Defines the official and primary colors for your brand.

• Photography - Defines how brand images should be presented.

4. Website Development

In the current digital world, you cannot afford to not have a website for your business. A website makes you easily accessible to your customers and allows you to attract customers from all over the world.

Also, a website combined with a solid marketing strategy helps to simplify business operations and increase business revenue with little investment. If you are selling a product, customers can order directly from the website and you only need to facilitate the delivery.

But having a website is not enough, the site needs to be another tool to further solidify your brand. This means adhering to your brand’s visual and editorial style guide. A good website should also be fast and mobile-friendly.

The cost of website design and development could be anywhere between £5,000 to £200,000+.

A full-time web developer could cost you £20,000 to £75,000 depending on where they are located and their experience.

How to choose the best branding agency for you

There are many things to consider when choosing the right branding agency for you but, these are my top two.

• How experienced is the agency in building brands? Notable experience in your field is a definite plus but we worked with Cartier without jewellery experience and Westfield without retail experience. Sometimes you need a fresh perspective to do something different.

• How well has your agency of choice applied its methods to build its brand? If it works for them it will work for you as they practice what they preach

Why choose ikon?

I am sure you will consider a wide range of agencies in your research but here are the main reasons why you should consider ikon as your brand agency of choice:

1. We save you a lot of money

The cost of hiring a brand consultant to oversee your brand building internally would be in the region of £100,000+. This is significantly more than we charge for our services. Compared to other top branding agencies you will find that our rates are competitive for the value provided.

2. We take care of the entire process of brand building

To successfully build a reputable brand, you require a combination of skills. You need a designer, web developer, and copywriter who will take care of your brand messaging. Bringing together this pool of talent is not only expensive but it comes with the added hassle of onboarding and managing employees.

At ikon, we have a team consisting of highly skilled creatives for each skill you need. The best part is you will only have one point of contact, our Creative Director, Alex Colley. He is responsible for the quality of work being produced and will keep you updated continually throughout the branding process.

Note: If you are a £1M+ business in the fashion, automotive, property, or luxury lifestyle industry that needs help with branding:

Sign up for our brand discovery call. We can walk you through the process we have used to help multi-million-pound businesses increase revenue by leveraging their brand.

3. Guaranteed results

We’ve produced real results for hundreds of companies and you can read all about the most impressive ones on our site. We are not just testing out brand strategies with your business, we are implementing strategies that have worked time and time again.

It’s those mistakes that the cheaper agency you are considering is going to make. The true value is in having a brand that could last decades, not months or years.

Our process goes something like this. For the first 6 weeks, we work on coming up with a brand strategy that’s specific to your business. We then begin building your brand identity, a process that will go on for about 8 weeks. After that, we work on creating a high converting website which will take about 3 months.

4. Campaign-led creative

Rebranding is not something that happens every day. That’s why we, an agency for rebranding, also help you with specific creative campaigns. Whether it's a full-scale print and digital campaigns aimed at the public or an internal campaign to educate your employees, we work with you from concept to execution.

Our Agency Pricing

We have developed a signature branding service which typically looks like:

• Brand strategy
• Brand identity
• Print design
• Website

In order to get started, our strategy and identity creation will cost £30k.

We have seen many clients go cheaper and it backfires. They failed to understand the market and the audience or they produced a strategy that wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. We are at a price point to do robust research, to really think and test ideas on how you can differentiate, and then give you the guidelines to take it to market.

This cost them the initial outlay, wasted internal staff time and effort and to make things worse we had to go through the entire process again from the beginning.

We price based on the value we provide.

And here is the thing you are forgetting. A rebrand can help you 2x, 3x, or 4x your revenue. The £30k investment to begin the process is worth every penny.

When do I start seeing results?

Patience is key. Unlike short term marketing tactics, branding is a long-term play. There is plenty of research to prove that 60% of marketing budget to should go to brand building and 40% to more short term tactical immediate sales. Investing in brand is an investment in the future of your business, you don't always see the immediate effect although you certainly should, it's an investment that will pay off multiple times over.

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch if you like the sound of leveraging your brand to increase prices and win over more customers. We are selective over who we work with, it's what's built our reputation so tell us more about your business and let's see if it's a good fit.

This article is written by Alex Colley, Creative Director of ikon | We are a boutique branding & creative agency – but not in the traditional sense. We hand-pick a team from our experienced creatives to suit each project, delivering a personal and bespoke service. Alex is always the lead contact every step of the way and our clients include the likes of Cartier, Westfield, Porsche, & F1.
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