BRANDING WITH BUDGET RESTRAINTS

Published on September 22nd, 2015 // BRANDING BASICS ENTREPRENEURSHIP PERSONAL BRANDING

branding-with-budget-restraints

I believe in pricing being closely connected to value and in the importance of investing in yourself and your business. However, I have been getting a lot of questions about low or no budgets options and wanted to address it today.

Let’s say you understand and agree with the importance of good branding and the process to achieve it, which is more than half of the battle, yet you just don’t have the right budget to hire a brand stylist. You still want to correctly present your business and have your voice be heard. I completely feel you and understand that it is an unpleasant pickle to be in. This is why I am writing this post, in hope to give you some clue on what to do if you are presently in said situation.

First of all, let me point something out and get it out of the way. As much as we all love a good homemade/DIY project, it just does not work for branding. Even if you are a designer, we all have different specialties and not all graphic designers are brand stylists.

diy-does-not-work-for-branding

The biggest issue I have with using DIY branding ‘to start out’ – apart from the fact that it is most likely not representing your business correctly – is that you get stuck with it. Rebranding is so much harder for an established business, than branding well from the beginning. There then fear of losing your current clientele, you have invested in packaging, in stationery, etc. Also it takes just so much courage and energy to make the switch sometimes.

But no need to twist and turn in bed at night, there is hope. You have a few options available and I am here to tell you all about it.

C O L L A B O R A T E  A N D  T R A D E  S E R V I C E S

Find a brand stylist and offer to collaborate by trading services. Propose a deal where you do something benefiting their business in exchange for them to create a logo for yours. Pretty please, don’t simply offer to send them a bag of candy or a pretty card you found at Target – nothing against cards from Target of course, or candy for that matter. Respect their work and time and present a balanced and fair deal. Also keep in mind that they probably wouldn’t go for a full branding but rather just a logo design and offer that right away. They might even simply be willing to offer a discount, but it is still worth it as you will have a good base to build upon.

P R E – M A D E  L O G O S

This is probably the only time you would see me lead you towards a pre-made logo. Yes, I believe with all my heart that branding must be custom made and personal. In this case though – budget restraints – going the pre-made logo route could be your best solution.
If you do choose this route, please still follow the basics of branding I previously shared with you and pick a logo with your ideal client in mind. Don’t just pick a “pretty one” or one that looks very closely to your main competitors’. Think it through and make an educated decision. It will serve your business better and will smooth out the rebranding process later on if you wish to do that.

W R I T E  O U T  Y O U R  B U S I N E S S  N A M E

This is a last resort solution in the scenario where you truly have no room at all in your budget for a pre-made logo or haven’t been able to find a collaborator.
Find a font or two, still keeping your ideal client in mind, and ideally using a typography guide (you can find them all over Pinterest) and simply write out your business name. Once again don’t play designer. Stay simple, clean, and obvious. As soon as you can, try out one of the other solutions stated above or get yourself a designer and get some proper branding.

The last thing I would like to add is that it is better to wait and save until you have the budget to hire a brand stylist instead of paying for cheap and not so good branding. Once again, in the end it will be more beneficial.

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REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT CREATIVE WAYS HAVE YOU FOUND TO DEVELOP YOUR BRAND ON A BUDGET? HAVE YOU TRIED ANY OF THESE?

  • Sarah

    Yes!! This is incredibly solid advice – consistency in a brand no matter your budget is key!

    September 23, 2015 at 9:49 am

  • Thank you! You shouldn’t have to neglect your brand because of your budget.

    September 23, 2015 at 10:00 am

  • Beth

    This is so great! I just rebranded and I wish I could have gone back and told my earlier self some of these things. It is a struggle because we want to make our businesses happen NOW but sometimes now doesn’t fit the budget. Great encouragement and tips! Thanks for sharing!

    September 23, 2015 at 9:59 am

  • Thank you! Congrats on your rebranding! I love what you said “sometimes now doesn’t fit the budget” that’s exactly why I wrote this.

    September 23, 2015 at 10:02 am

  • Kimberly Haydn

    This was such a great post! I loved what you said about rebranding being so difficult, you’re so right! So many people wind up stuck with bad branding because they intended to upgrade later, but never have the time or energy to change it. Amazing tips!

    September 23, 2015 at 10:01 am

  • Yes, so true! Even if you intend to upgrade later, you still need to set a good base upon which you can build the brand worthy of your business.

    September 23, 2015 at 10:05 am

  • bri

    Great post. Branding is so important, though I am guilty of using some pre-made items for budget reasons.

    September 23, 2015 at 10:02 am

  • As I said, pre-made is ok if you have to. But you have to use it with brand cohesiveness in mind.

    September 23, 2015 at 10:06 am

  • Renee

    Such a great and well put post!

    September 23, 2015 at 1:58 pm

  • Thanks Renee!

    September 25, 2015 at 12:43 pm