A Controversial Statement

Now this may sound like a strange thing for a brand designer to say but….you don’t have to spend a lot on branding!
But there is a disclaimer…you don’t have to spend a lot on branding at the start of your business.

When you first start up your business you might have limited funds and may not even have an audience yet. So you need to go to where your customers are and find them yourself, get yourself in front of them. Therefore in these early days you don’t need fancy visual branding to attract your customers into your world because you are going to them and telling them personally (either face or face or virtually) who you are and what you do.

Obviously you don’t want to turn them all off with unprofessional, amateur logos and visuals as this will just make you look unprofessional and amateurish, but also you don’t need to spend thousands on them either. Very often a logo made up of just your business name in a font that matches your personality (never use Comic Sans though as it has the same effect as saying Candyman into the mirror 3 times!) and 1 or 2 colours that match your business is perfectly acceptable. Keep it simple and keep it consistent are the two golden rules.

Why Wouldn’t You Spend a Lot on Branding?

The reason I tell people not to spend a lot on branding initially is because your business will definitely change and develop over time. As you grow your business you will test new offers/products and find new customers, change your business model and maybe even entirely change your customer base.

Three stages of a butterfly hanging underneath a hoop. A chrysalis, a butterfly almost emerging and a fully changed butterfly.

Spending a lot on visual branding in these early days can often just feel like a waste of money as you will need to change it several times as you change and grow your business. I’ll let you into a secret, I’ve changed my visual branding three times in the 3 years I’ve been building Truckel Creative! I finally settled on the branding I have now earlier this year after a lot of testing of audiences and offers.

Obviously visual branding is only one part of the branding process so what about the rest of the branding process Sara? Is that pointless too? Great question, I’m glad you asked and to that I would say absolutely not. Having a clear brand message and voice from that start is a great way to attract those new clients in, and anything that doesn’t have to be formalised, like visual branding, can easily grow and change organically with your business. Just a word of warning though, don’t change up your messaging and brand voice every week or month as that will just confuse your audience and the trust won’t build.

Remember, you are your business, especially in those early days, so being the expert in your field and being yourself goes a long way in branding.

When To Invest in Great Branding

Once you have a solid foundation for your business and you know your exact market, customer and offer – whether that’s a month, a year or 5 years in – then is the time to properly invest in your visual branding and brand strategy and start using that to attract customers and/or investors to you.

If you’re ready to take the dive into your branding my self study video courses are perfect. They’re a lower investment cost than full on brand strategy, can be taken again and again as you grow and develop and are a great way to connect with your new and existing audiences.

What Next?

Build a Thriving Brand helps you get to know your brand and your personality and is aimed at solopreneurs and small businesses.
Branding for Success takes the course one step further with also looking at your market, your goals and your visual identity.
Connect with your Audience is my course written especially for artists, makers and crafters to discover their brand and how they attract more buyers.