Starting Up

Why Branding is Important from the Start

Starting a business is a lot of hard work and sleepless nights, but it’s also really expensive. It can be a lot to manage making sure your personal bills are paid, your vendors are paid, you can afford the space you just moved into, health insurance; and on and on. When it comes to business expenses, new business owners know the rule is to keep the lowest overhead possible.

One of the first things to get cut from potential business expenses is often marketing and design. After all, paying something like rent is clearly a priority before overpaying a pretentious designer like myself for work that may not have any tangible effect on your business.

However, we all know that all of your business expenses should really be business investments. Sure, you pay rent and that costs money. But it also gives you the space to do your work, produce your product or sell your inventory. Similarly, any money spent on marketing should come back with return.

It’s happening either way.

Whether you’re paying an agency to manage and develop your branding, or you’re not thinking about the concept of branding at all with your business, it’s still being built either way. You brand is built while you build your business. Every aspect of your business from the products to the customer service to the logo to your reputation all impact people’s perception of your brand. Point being, any unproductive and unintentional branding you’re developing today may create a larger problem for your business in the future.

Start up then start over.

If you’re starting a business without a healthy focus on branding or design, odds are your marketing materials and visual identity are not going to represent what your business is about or who you’re trying to reach accurately. And whatever incorrect or non-desired perceptions created are going to take some work to change.

That means if your plan is to start working on your branding or design a year or two after your business is launched, it may be a more expensive process and require heavier lifting to establish brand equity.

New businesses have a unique advantage to branding by starting with a fresh slate. There are no negative ideas about the business that need to be overcome and there’s no trying need to transition your customers from one aesthetic to another. When done intentionally and effectively, starting a business with a strong brand strategy and visual identity can give you better control over your customer and potential customer’s perception of your business.

Start strong and stay intentional.

Although you can’t literally control people’s ideas about your business, you can be influential on how they see your company through your branding, design and marketing. At the heart of developing a brand is really just the idea of being deliberate and strategic. Being purposeful in how you want your business to be presented. Maybe it’s youthful and modern to attract a younger audience or refined and sophisticated to set yourself apart from your competitors. In either case, the value of starting your business with how you want your brand to be perceived is crucial. Being deliberate about your branding from the beginning means shaping your customer’s view on your company from day one.

And why that may make that lowest overhead goal a little more cumbersome, it could pay off quite a bit for your business in the long run.