Why Going Cheap on Your Branding is a Big Mistake
In the current economic climate, lots of businesses are looking to tighten their belts and reduce their expenditure. However, while cost-cutting should be an ongoing concern for any business, it's important to appreciate those areas where cutting back on your spending can have a disproportionate impact. Nowhere is this truer than with your branding. Skimping on your branding costs is a fatal error that will handicap your brand from the word go.
Here are just a few reasons why your branding deserves as much investment as you can afford.
Nothing can capture the human imagination in the way that a good story can. Even if we know that a story is a work of pure fiction, something that has no grounding at all in reality, it doesn’t diminish its ability to pull on our heartstrings and elicit a very strong and very real emotional response. Storytelling is a potentially very powerful tool, as long as you deploy it the right way.
Using storytelling enables you to give your brand life and history that goes beyond just a logo and a copyright registration date. The moment at which your brand officially and legally comes into being is when you've filed all the appropriate paperwork and registered your trademark. However, this occurs after all the planning and preparation involved in coming up with your business idea and brand name. By telling your audience something about the journey that led to your brand coming into being, you will elevate your brand to more than just a registered trademark.
Believe it or not, there's actual science behind storytelling for branding. This makes sense when you think about it — the story you tell for your brand can’t be the length of a book; it can’t even be a short story. That means that in order to make it effective, you need to identify neural shortcuts — i.e., ways of forming emotional connections and eliciting the emotional responses you want from your audience in as few words as possible.
This isn't an easy thing to get right, especially if you don’t have any prior experience in producing storytelling for your brand. It's inevitable that you're going to need some outside help and experience to help you achieve your desired goals. If you skimp on your costs here or you take a half-hearted approach to your storytelling, you risk doing more harm than good to your brand.
There’s More to it Than Your Logo
Your logo is a very important component of your brand. A logo serves a number of purposes — it's a visual shorthand for your business’s name, it's the emblem that you put forward to the public to give them an idea of what your brand is, and it's the foundation of your brand’s personality and identity.
However, don’t fall into the trap of conflating your logo with your brand. Your logo is just one component of your brand, but they are not one and the same. Your brand needs to go beyond your logo. A strong brand will embody the values and ethos at the core of your business.
A common mistake made by smaller businesses is to pour all of their available financial resources into producing their logo, leaving nothing left for all the other key components of launching a new brand. A logo alone won’t get you very far.
The reality is that a good logo doesn’t need to cost you a lot of money. Even one designed by a logo maker online can look fantastic. But when it comes to promoting and developing the brand that your logo represents, there are no shortcuts.
The better you understand your target market, the easier you'll find it is to penetrate it. Ideally, you'll want to have some idea of what to expect from your brand before you release it into the wild. This is only possible if you take the time beforehand to properly research and study your target market.
There are a plethora of techniques that can be used to gather useful market data without spending a penny, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth paying extra for more comprehensive market analyses. Of course, you shouldn’t just throw money at the problem and start hoarding data for the sake of it. If you don’t have the resources necessary to conduct market intelligence in-house, look for an outside firm you can work with.
When it comes to your branding, you should not spare any expense. Launching a brand successfully is a challenge, whether your business is already well established or it's a newcomer to the market. You only get one shot at launching your brand, therefore, it’s important that everything goes as smoothly as possible. The potential value of a strong brand to your business makes it a solid investment and something worth splashing out on.
Manish Dudharejia is the President and Co-Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience in the Technology and Digital Marketing industry, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.