Why it’s worth investing in branding for your business.

We were recently asked by a potential client if branding is “really worth the investment” and they continued – “like is it actually, genuinely worth the cost?”

In fact, we’ve been asked this by both start-ups and much larger organisations who really should know better but we’re always willing to explain why it always is…

To some, branding is just a logo and as a result, it isn’t always easy to see the benefits attached to investing time and resources into an expertly curated branding process.

And that is understandable – so let’s delve further and explain some of the key benefits that professional branding brings and show why branding is always worth the investment.

What Does Branding Do?

Branding is crucial to how your company or organisation is perceived both internally and externally. As a result, the importance of getting it right cannot be overstated.

Strong branding will encourage customers, drive sales and help your business grow. Inaccurate or instantly forgettable branding will – on the other hand – push customers away and most likely drive them straight into the open arms of your competitors.

And although it’s imperative that your branding is unique and consistently applied, it’s also essential for it to have that intangible something that sets both the visual identity and the business as a whole apart from the competition through the tone and positioning of your brand.

Whilst the initial cost will certainly be higher than it would be if you tried to do it on your own, it’s easy to see why any business must invest in their branding.

Let’s consider what makes branding a worthy investment and why you will likely regret going the diy route or snapping up the cheapest quote on a logo contest website.

Branding Acts as a Signpost

Investing in professional branding that clearly represents the values, mission and objectives of your organisation will help you stay focused and on track. It will drive your business forward and support you in even the most challenging circumstances.

Think of your branding as a signpost to follow that allows for growth while also keeping you aligned in the present. It must serve as a signpost of clarity amid the confusion of a business commercial landscape and complex competitor offerings.

It should always bring you back to what’s most important: your brand vision, your objectives and the ways you help your customers achieve theirs.

Whether you like it or not, potential customers look to your branding to show the way for them. It acts as a signpost as to what they can expect to receive when interacting with you. If it’s right, then you’re halfway there… if it doesn’t truly represent your offering, then that signpost is pretty much facing the wrong way.

A dull, uninspiring brand without a clear identity or direction is certainly not as appealing as a driven brand with a clear, unambiguous message and mission that speaks directly to its target audience.

Of course any success isn’t only reliant upon what you can provide – be that a tangible product or a service – moreover your success will be based upon how your brand is perceived in the market place.

Your investment in your brand is critical to business success.

Branding Drives Performance and Profitability

There’s no denying the strong correlation between brand strength and financial performance. Businesses with strong brands built on solid, measurable foundations and a clear, concise brand platforms can and always will outperform their competitors.

One of the many reasons for this is that branding alone helps people make choices and this in turn drives sales – and isn’t getting more cash in the till what we’re all chasing?

In a world of visually similar brands, offering often identical solutions, fighting in saturated markets, those that are distinctive enough to stand out from the crowd will attract customers and encourage emotional responses that lead to increased patronage.

Additionally, more customers – or clients – than not, are willing to pay more for the products or services from brands that they connect to on an emotional level.

It is relevant to consider how a brand that is clear on it’s offering and market positioning can enhance the effectiveness of their marketing communications and promotional efforts. A bold brand will tell a story and solve the issues their customers are facing. By communicating this through marketing initiatives that are backed by a strong brand foundation will make your offering irresistible.

Fundamentally, it is clear to see that by investing in your brand, your positioning, messaging and visual identity, any investment quite literally pays off – and then some.

Branding Can Reduce Costs

If you are new to the branding process, we understand that it is easy to see how a £99 logo package can seem attractive. “We just need a logo so why pay more?”.

But if investing in professional branding seems expensive [and note that the research, planning and strategy, identity design, development and application are always included as a part of an expert branding process] don’t forget the photography, website, copywriting, promotional products, exhibition graphics etc. that you may need too.

Then, just imagine how expensive it would be to release the wrong kind of branding into the market place after all that investment or having to do it again and again.

We’ve dealt with clients at all stages of the business life cycle but the overriding issue is always that their brand identity doesn’t truly represent who they are. If the client doesn’t believe in the brand, how can they expect customers to?

Think about the cost of lost sales for example – customers turning their back on a brand they don’t like, trust or even understand – or what about if they find another brand offering that they more closely align themselves with. Purchasing is such an emotive issue and customer acquisition is so costly that it doesn’t take much to lose a customer… don’t let it be your business branding that is responsible.

Investing in branding typically means your business invests less in marketing communications in the long run, too.

Rather than starting again with every new marketing or promotional campaign, having your key brand elements in place and ready to go, you’ll spend less on these activities.

Finally, the costs of rebranding are not minimal – even for micro-businesses. There are many things to consider – so getting it right, first time saves money.

You don’t have to reprint your materials or update your website regularly following frequent changes in brand direction There is also the resources and additional expense of applying your brand both internally and externally and the costs of stakeholder buy in, which must also be considered.

Branding Provides Internal Support

The only thing as critical as a customer understanding your branding is that you have employee buy-in too.

Internally, your staff or your team are your strongest brand ambassadors. In many cases, the sales process begins with them. As a result, if directors and other key stakeholders, your employees, colleagues, team members etc. are equipped with the necessary understanding of your brand they can and will promote it.

The greater the connection between your brand and your employees, the greater the opportunity for them to activity communicate the features, benefits and worth of your products and / or services. Additionally, this passion for a brand they believe in drives the likelihood that they will more easily and directly engage with and convert external audiences.

Experience tells us the best way to ensure alignment of the unique values of your company with those of your customers, is through investment in your branding. By encompassing your values – both internally and externally – in a distinctive way, you drive your business forward.

The key to successful branding is communicating a message, a feeling and the solving of an issue faced by your customer. Having your employees on board with process empowers them to directly showcase this strength in your market place.

Why All This Matters

Getting your branding right is absolutely crucial to your business. Quality branding drives growth and overall success. Get it wrong and it can lead to the exact opposite.

It’s not something to leave to chance or to try to do yourself. Anyone can write their business name in Comic Sans with a clip art icon next to it in Microsoft Word and then screen grab it.

The result is not a brand and that is not branding.

Instead, a specialist branding agency will earn their corn through employing a variety of expert services. As an award-winning branding agency we have developed methodologies at various investment levels to help our clients build impactful brands that people trust and customers love.

We are experts at uncovering, establishing and executing the very essence of a business and bringing this to fruition in the real world. We deliver clear and consistent, strong and memorable brands that drive sales and turn customers into brand champions.

Hopefully this has helped convince you that professional branding based on research and strategy, clear thinking and strong identity application will always be worth the investment.

If you’re ready to take the first step toward building your brand so that you are ready for the challenges ahead, then we’d love to discuss your objectives with you.

Carter Branding Founder Daniel James
Daniel James is the founder and creative lead at Carter Branding.
With over twenty years’ experience, he is equally at home working on branding and design projects for major international PLC’s as he is supporting ambitious businesses and innovative start ups.
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As an award-winning boutique branding  agency, we create brand identities for ambitious organisations.