The truth is that established SME’s all want to ask this question but they won’t! Why? Because SME’s have a fear of investing in design. The idea of investing in design brings about two phobias for SME’s:
SME’s rarely want to do either unless there’s a guarantee that it will pay off so they tend to just stroll on and survive without it however the way we do business has changed greatly in the last 10 years and design and branding have become staple investments for most new and small businesses because they’ve learnt how to leverage it.
Some SME’s invest in branding once but it’s not an asset that they can physical measure. They don’t know the true value or cost that their branding has so they refrain from investing in it consistently.
To help you overcome your fears of change, design and branding here’s how to measure the true cost of branding for your business as an SME.
The cash investment
You can pay $25 for a logo, £1000 for an identity or £100,000 for a complete brand identity system. You may not know the difference between each of the above but the bottom line is that you get what you pay for when it comes to design and branding.
When I create identity systems for businesses I carry out full projects so the client actually has a valued brand design asset to work with. I go from Vector Logo design and typesetting to colourways and stationery and then web design & development to finally ongoing support for a complete identity system that works creatively and seamlessly as a unique identity for your business.
In terms of marketing and design, this sets up your business professionally giving you everything you need to run your business proactively and that’s why I don’t charge $25.00 for a logo. I don’t create logos, I create Identity Systems which are functional design tools that work better for SME’s because they go beyond the logo and into real business requirements.
If you want something that will actually become a working asset for your business then expect to pay more. Ideally the price mark will be hundreds or thousands but price alone is not the only way to determine the true cost of branding for an SME. You need to make a …
Time is overlooked when it comes to branding an SME and you as the business owner must be aware and prepared for the time investment that’s needed when it comes to branding your business. This time investment comes into play before during and after the branding process.
You need to be interested in branding your business
I’ve worked with SME’s who had no real interest in branding their business but hired me to brand their business. They were happy to make the cash investment but not the time investment. If you don’t put the initial time investment in then its unlikely that you’ll make or take any value from your new branding itself.
In addition I’ve come across people who tend to “long out” a branding project. The reason for this is because they’re just not investing enough time into finalising their project. This effects the momentum of the project and ultimately the business itself which stays in limbo during this period.
You need to put effort into using that end product.
Once the project is finished you need to follow up with the end product. You need to use that brand design to make it pay off. Don’t let it be a sitting duck.
Time is money and branding needs yours to make…
A return on investment
Branding and design have always been a hard thing to measure because brand design is not a standalone solution, it works in-conjunction with your business assets as a part of a bigger strategy. This brings branding back to its core function.
We can however easily determine that branding does yield an ROI with a simple real life example…
A branded van.
A business that uses a van in its daily running would value that van as a core asset for the business in its regular form.
Branding that van would make the van dual purpose, adding another layer to its value and increase business sales by using design, branding and livery to market the business.
A branded van as oppose to unbranded proves that brand design does work and it will bring an ROI for you. You just have to invest in it.
So the he true cost of branding for SME’s is an…..
Branding and design for SME’s needs consistent attention to make it work and pay off so getting ongoing support with a lower ongoing cost is a more worthy investment as oppose to a bulk one off payment to brand your business.
The True cost of Branding for SME’s.
Time, money and effort are the true cost of branding for an SME and although I would like to say spend as much as you can on it, that’s not always possible. In truth your cost should be whatever you can comfortably afford to spend on it and if possible keep investing in it. The most important part is that you do invest in it and use it.