| Branding, Startups

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Starting a new business is exciting. And getting a shiny new logo and web site are often one of the activities that entrepreneurs look forward to. Compared to writing a business plan, making cold calls or trying to find investors, hiring someone to design a brand identity can seem like a lot of fun.

When should a start up invest in their brand identity?

In the book Predictable Success, author Les McKeown says:

You’re not going to get your branding right at the beginning, so don’t spend money as if you have. Design and branding can and should evolve as you get closer to your market, and you hear their chatter more and more clearly.

I completely agree with this thought. Depending on your product/service your branding may come sooner, but it should never come first.

Consultants and small business owners who are starting up a business entity very similar to something they’ve done in the past will start earlier than someone creating a new product. For example:

  • a business consultant starting out on their own after ten years of doing similar work for a larger firm probably has a very strong sense about who her ideal customer is and how she needs to differentiate from her competitors.
  • On the other hand, a software startup that is still in the development phase, and may still go through many different iterations is not ready to invest in branding.

Are you surprised to hear that a branding firm is telling you not to invest in branding? Well, I’m not saying to not invest in branding, but just to wait until you have a clear enough vision of your business and how it will connect with the marketplace.




  1. Les McKeown | December 9, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Hey, thanks for the mention of ‘Predictable Success’ – I appreciate it. Glad the thought was helpful for you.

    – Les

  2. Emily Brackett | December 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Les, Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed your book and have been looking for a way to weave your good advice into a blog post.

  3. custom logos | October 3, 2013 at 6:16 am

    When you talk about starting a new business most important and essential things come in mind are “creative logo design” and a “perfect website”. When we talk about website it should be user-friendly as well as search engine friendly because a perfect website is the guarantee of success. Your point “when to invest in branding” is very important, right time for right job is very important and in this scenario your shared points are very helpful and effective to understand the technicalities of investing in branding.

  4. Emily Brackett | October 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks for your comment. I wish that a perfect website is the guarantee of success, but unfortunately we know that’s not true!

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