When you think of investments in your business, what comes to mind? Maybe it’s your trusty Macbook and software, your top-of-the-line camera, or other equipment. Maybe it’s a great office space. Have you ever thought of building your brand as an investment? Maybe you’ve wondered, “why invest in branding?!”
It may be hard to see branding as an investment because the traditional definition of a “return on investment” is not always clear-cut, or demonstrated in quantifiable terms when it comes to this area of your business.
However, branding is not only an investment in your business, but also one of the most important ones you can make!
This investment is more than just a logo design or color palette. Your brand is what communicates the core of your business to your audience, your colleagues, and your employees. Your brand is what people visually and emotionally associate with your business. These associations are powerful!
Long Story Short
Branding is the foundational piece needed to allow
all of your other investments to get even more of a return.
Why invest in branding?
Let me put it this way: think of your business as your dream car. You’ve wanted it and saved up for it for years, and now you finally have it! You have big plans for this car.
Overtime, you invest in new tires, get new brakes installed, and have the AC recharged so your car is always in tip-top shape.
However, you find out that your precious car has an engine problem that prevents the car from starting. Now, all of your other investments in this car don’t even matter since the car won’t run!
If this car represents your business, your branding is the engine of the car. It is the investment that really gets all of your other investments into action.
If you don’t invest in or fix your engine, your other investments won’t work to their full capacity. Conversely, when you do invest in a quality, working engine, this sends power to all of the other nifty features that you love about your car. You’re back in business, baby!
I promise this isn’t just feel-good, motivational speaker rhetoric. Branding truly does give you benefits you can sink your teeth into!
Still wondering why you should invest in branding?
Let’s look at a few of the top reasons to invest in the engine of your dream car (aka your brand):
Reason to Invest in Branding #1 – A Guided Process
One of the best reasons to invest in branding is because it helps you identify your brand’s personality and your target market. If you’re currently feeling a little stuck or lost as you try to build your brand on your own, investing in branding is probably the next step for you.
Now, you probably already have some branding ideas for your business in your head, but maybe you just can’t put those ideas into words or find actionable steps for them.
This is where professional branding comes in: A branding specialist will help you hone in on your brand’s niche. They’ll help crystallize (no pun intended!) what you know intuitively, but haven’t quite been able to pinpoint in your process with your business on your own.
A branding specialist will help you find:
- Your business’ specific “why” (aka brand purpose), core values, personality, etc. that distinguish your brand from all the rest.
- Your target audience: the people who connect with your brand and want what your brand has to offer. (This is awesome because then you can tailor your branding and marketing efforts to specifically appeal to these people!).
Before choosing a branding specialist to work with, consider how much help you need in building these parts of your brand. The difference between most branding packages is often found right here in these initial steps. Some branding and design agencies go into an elaborate deep-dive on these topics, while others skim the surface to get some key points identified.
Reason To Invest in Branding #2 – Professional Design
A well-developed brand requires many different kinds of graphics. Of course, you’ll need a logo, and along with that, your brand will also need submarks, branded design elements, social media graphics, etc.
Unless you have an extensive background in graphic design, you probably won’t be able to create all of these essential graphics on your own. Designing all of these items (and updating them as needed) can be super overwhelming if this work isn’t your usual niche.
Thankfully, working with a branding and design agency will give you gorgeous, top-level vector art designed by a trained professional, without you having to put in tons of hours on design work yourself. Plus, a branding pro brings appropriate typography skills, color theory knowledge and experience in using logos in various formats.
You’ll get awesome designs that won’t just appeal to you, but also your customer base…while putting in way less work than if you were trying to design these items on your own. Can it get any better?!
Reason To Invest in Branding #3 – Assets You Can Use
Once you have your perfect brand designs, you need to actually be able to use them in a variety of ways.
For example, that little logo you use to watermark your photos on your website can’t just be copy and pasted and enlarged to fit on a large print poster. You’ll need to have different sizes and formats of your logo to be able to use your designs in both of these settings (and more).
Common image types such as PNG and JPEG formats don’t scale well; the bigger you try to make them, the blurrier graphics in these formats become. So, how do you avoid this problem?
Let me introduce you to your new BFF: vector art.
Vector art is extremely high-quality and is able to be used in a variety of ways without becoming pixelated (and therefore unusable) right off the bat. I am a firm believer that every brand needs their logo and other graphics in vector format!
Along with having high-quality, vector art, a professional brand specialist will ensure you have your logo and brand graphics in both high resolution and low resolution. Resolution is basically about how many pixels (or dots of color) are found per square inch in an image. The higher the resolution, the higher the concentration of color (or dots) per square inch. This means that higher resolution images have higher clarity and sharpness.
Having your assets in both of these formats ensures you can use them in different ways:
- High resolution is good for print (brochures, posters, banners, business cards, etc.)
- Low resolutions images are web-friendly (meaning they won’t take too long to load on a webpage, but also won’t look fuzzy or pixelated).
Reason To Invest in Branding #4 – A Professional Set of Eyes
Remember how we mentioned you can’t just use the watermark version of your logo for a large print item like a poster? Let’s pretend for a moment that you didn’t know that. You design the logo of your dreams in a PNG or JPEG file format and are ready to print out a new sign for your business, until…
You realize your logo file isn’t big enough to use on a large banner or sign. But, you’ve already taken down the old sign and your printer is waiting to hear back from you…what do you do?!
Working with a professional branding specialist will help you avoid this type of situation. Good branding and design agencies look at logos and instantaneously imagine them 2 cm wide as well as 2 miles wide. They see all the iterations you might need, even when you might not even think you need it.
Oftentimes, this results in variations of your logo design, such as a horizontal graphic, stacked version, and a square avatar. So, whether you want to use your logo for an Instagram post, watermark, Pinterest graphic, on your website, or on paper…you’re ready to go!
How to Choose the Right Branding and Design Agency for You
Okay, so now you know why investing in branding is one of the BEST decisions you can make as a business owner, but that leads to another question…
How do you choose the right branding and design agency for your needs? This question is important, because there are many kinds of branding and design agencies that specialize in different areas. Finding one that works well with your specific brand and needs will help ensure that you get the most of the branding process.
Here are a few things to consider:
#1 – Style
Some designers are great typesetters, while others are skilled illustrators. If there’s a branding and design agency you’re thinking of working with, look through their website and portfolio: does the aesthetic of their own personal brand and portfolio examples match what you want for your brand? Does their skillset match what your brand is needing?
Along with perusing the designer’s website, pay attention to their communication style in your interactions. What’s their vibe? Would you enjoy working with them? Be honest with yourself here! Because you’ll be working with this person (or people) a lot, it’s worth choosing an agency you really click with. It’s okay if not everyone is a good fit for you.
#2 – Industry examples
Next, it’s helpful to choose a brand designer who is familiar with your industry. Maybe a design agency’s portfolio doesn’t have examples of work that would be your direct competitors, such a fellow wedding florist (if that’s what you do). But, maybe they have experience working with other companies who would appeal to your target market or be peripheral in your industry.
For instance, if they’ve designed some great logos for wedding photographers, you may want to consider this branding specialist. Even though they may not have designed for a wedding florist before, they still likely know your target market well.
#3 – The Extras
As you find a designer to work with, ask yourself: how can this specific branding agency continue to help you bring your brand to life? What do they offer that no other agency does?
Consider what kind of deliverables their branding package offers. Do they include a style guide for you to use in any DIY projects or simply in your content management system? Or, maybe they offer email signatures, business cards, promotional materials. These materials can be super important to have on hand, as they will enhance your professionalism and brand presence, which engages your target market from their first impression and throughout the rest of the sales funnel.
Why invest in branding? The real question is: why wouldn’t you?!
Your business is your baby: you’ve poured your heart, soul, and countless hours into it!
You’ve worked endlessly hard on it, and you deserve to work with someone who will care about your brand just as much as you do and help you take your brand to the next level.
We’ve all seen those companies out there that immediately make you say “what were they thinking??” when you see their logo. The problem is; the owner of that business probably loves it. This is why it is SO beneficial to have a professional designer create the logo of your dreams for you. Their expert eye is truly priceless and will save you the embarrassment of having people cringe when they view your logo.
At the end of the day, the question isn’t “why invest in branding?” The real question is: why wouldn’t you?!
You’ll get gorgeous visual assets for your business and you’ll actually be able to use them a lot of different ways.. for a long time! Plus, you’ll get that expert brand strategist insight on how to implement your branding in all areas of your business moving forward.
If you’re ready to get started investing in branding today, let the Marketing Queen team know if we can help in any way!