Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Attention Mr. Entrepreneur: You have worked hard, day and night to establish your business. Now it’s time for branding and you are facing a “to be or not to be” dilemma.
Perhaps you are thinking not to spend on hiring that good designer and do it yourself?
Well, you better think again.
Or rather search on the internet to know what bad branding can do to your business. You can find examples of business giants as well as startups that are made or destroyed by branding. You can also find examples of the great organizations who have taken years to build their brand as authentic and reliable and ruin their hard work by one poorly executed ad campaign or ill designed logo.
Before we discuss further the value of good branding, it seems appropriate to briefly discuss what is branding.
What is Branding?
The brand is the visual and verbal assets associated with your business and bestowed with the weight of conveying your business' value to the market. It is an expression of your values, integrity, and mission as a business and service provider. Designing, developing and deploying a brand involves dealing with tangible and intangible elements.
Tangible Elements include:
Your Brands' Signature and Keystone: The Logo
Content: Copy, Taglines, Photography and Videos
Style-guide of Fonts, Colors and Preferred Usage and Language
Intangible elements include:
Bad branding can mean bad business. Poorly executed branding can create a negative image in the market and make you lose potential clients. Some examples of poor branding are:
Visual Elements without Meaning (ie: a bad logo)
Unclear or insincere messaging
A non-updated, confusing website
Dishonesty (even when unintentional)
Good branding, obviously, costs more but before you sweat on the cost of good branding, you might want to think a little about what bad branding can cost you.
What is the Cost of Bad Brand Design?
1. Loss of Trust
Bad branding can result in a loss of trust. Take an example of a client looking forward to buying a baby Jumper from an online store. If he notices an outdated, poorly functioning website, he would not probably make a purchase. Would you trust your child in equipment from a company with a broken website… what else might be broken?
The corporate world abounds with similar examples. In 2018, a fast-fashion giant, H&M released a controversial image on its website which caused outrage in its customers. The image showed an African American boy modeling a green shirt with the words "coolest monkey in the jungle."
The customers of the company on Twitter condemned it for its lack of cultural sensitivity. The image was later removed and the company apologized. But this bad branding caused hundreds of hateful comments on the company’s website.
2. Negative Image about Services and Management
Poor branding can result in the propagation of a bad image.
Imagine a website that has several grammatical errors. Will you trust what that website says?
Imagine a promotional offer that promises something free and fails to deliver? Will the customers trust that brand?
Last year, Domino's Pizza launched a promotional offer that promised 100 free Pizzas a year for 100 years for anyone who would tattoo the company's logo on their skin. Hundreds of inked pizza lovers signed up. The company had to cancel the promotion within days to prevent thousands of people from claiming their free pizza. A poorly planned branding campaign can promote a negative image and do harm instead of good.
3. Lack of Customer Engagement
The greatest win for a business is the customer’s trust. If your customers think that you are aware of their pain points, they will buy from you. No one cares to pay a business which is insincere in providing solutions to the customer’s problems. Bad branding can communicate the message that you don’t aim at solving your customer’s problems.
4. Negative Image about the Products
Poor branding can make people think that your products are of poor quality. Your customers would believe that you don't pay attention to the details so your product is not reliable.
Have you heard of the “blink test” before?
Online marketers believe that the first 3 to 5 seconds of a prospect on your website make her decide whether she wants to stay on your website or move to one of your competitors' websites.
A good website and good content can make a customer buy from you. A confusing website or misleading content can make you lose your prospects.
So now you are convinced that bad branding can result in a bad image, the loss of revenues, and customer trust.
But what are the benefits of hiring a good designer?
The Cost of Hiring a Good Designer; Is it Worth It?
According to a Tech Crunch estimate, branding by a freelancer or small size firm can cause between $5000 to $15000.
Most of the start-ups might consider it “expensive,” and hire someone from a services like Fiverr who's claim-to-fame is it's <cough>cheapness</cough> or even opt for DIY solutions ("My mail-lady's sophomore son's best friend designed it!"… #TrueStory).
I would ask such people one simple question:
Do you prefer to spend $10,000 on branding to earn 4 clients a month, each paying you $10,000?
Or do you prefer to spend $100 on branding to earn 15 clients a month, each paying you $300?
In other words, choose where do you want to see your business in the coming years.
Do you wish to see your business as an industry leader targeting the highest paying clients?
Or do you plan to position yourself as a small fish that would get the lowest paying clients?
Don’t compromise on your hard work and your future.
It is important to invest in branding because bad branding can result in the propagation of negative image and loss of consumer's trust. Good branding can result in generating more revenues and developing consumer trust.
When you are ready to invest in your companies future, schedule a Strategy Session here with our Creative Director to explore our branding solutions.
Written in collaboration with Sana Choudhry.