When to Invest in Branding for Your Start Up

December 5, 2012 | Branding and Rebranding, Launch Marketing Strategy

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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.



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