Brand building for startupsAlthough a marketer at heart, and having a passion for the development of brands, I am a strong believer that the brand has to be fit for purpose for the business to which it relates. You’ve no doubt heard about the extraordinary amounts that some branding agencies charge, and quite frankly it is irrelevant for all but certain types of business. There is however a strong reason to gauge the right level of branding and design support for your business.
You need to consider how essential a strong brand is to your business. The promotion of an internet business is dependent on it’s brand name and domain – it needs to be catchy and memorable. However, if your intention is to be a small local business, then a flashy logo and website might well be wasted money.
Having said the above, unless you are a graphic designer by trade I would strongly recommend enlisting the help of a designer to produce your marketing material, as it will help you have a professional image to the outside world. Logos can range from £50 to £50,000, so there’s not always the need to spend huge amounts of money to have a logo professionally designed. In fact, the strongest brand image that I have put together myself cost me £300 including a full brand guideline document and a pre-designed template for all stationery and corporate communications. Make sure that you see copies of the designers work before proceeding, and also that you have the ability to make revisions to their proposals.
Domain names are another item that can benefit from a branding mindset. A good domain name is simple, has no hyphens or other characters, and is short enough to read out over the telephone. Personally I try to stick to either .com or .co.uk domains, however there are a number of other domain endings available now, and my understanding of current thinking is that eventually these endings will become irrelevant.