November 20

I want a Brand Plan. Which is right for me?

Maura Marziano
How much should I invest in branding?
Not all branding needs are equal
When it comes to freshening up your brand, it's hard to determine what your company needs. It's not uncommon to start by reviewing your immediate needs such as a website, sales presentations, etc., but let's consider a few bigger-picture factors.

What is branding? 

First things first. What do you consider as branding? Many people distill branding down to a set of design elements that they can leverage to sell their products or services. This is perfectly acceptable if you're a small business or just starting. But if you've been around the block a few times, you know that branding can bring much more meaning to a company. Indeed, it can become the most valuable company asset.

Your brand becomes the gut feeling that your company inspires. It's your reputation before you ever meet your customer or client. It's the first impression you make. You have once chance for that. What are you going to do with it? All of the above is expressed through art, copy, culture, and service. But right here, right now, at what level do you invest? It can be difficult to navigate, so here are some suggestions to consider.

Don't wait until you really need it.

Our advice may seem counterintuitive, but a great time for change is when business is comfortable. Comfort is relative, so consider these questions:

Do you have the budget to invest? If so, that's a great time. It's way more difficult to commit financially and emotionally when times are tight.
Are you plateauing with sales? We have worked with several businesses that have grown through word of mouth, but now they need to invest in marketing to keep growing or to compete in a more diverse market. If this sounds like you, do you distinguish yourself enough?
Are you increasingly competing on price? If so, then your message may not resonate with your target audience. If people do not recognize and appreciate the difference between you and your competitors, they will not pay for it.

The best time to invest in your brand is when you have cash and before you find yourself cornered by the competition. It's a forward-thinking commitment. Our branding process alone takes anywhere from six to ten weeks. Generating branded content involves resources and consistency, and the benefits are long-term. If you’re aware you need marketing or branding and feel pressure to make money right away, then you’ll be frustrated by the amount of time it takes to see gains. This bit of wisdom cannot be overstated.

Smaller, younger brands can seem to take so long to get off the ground while more successful brands seem ubiquitous and enduring. Apple or Coca-Cola don’t need to advertise in the sense that they’re well known. But the fact that they dedicate so much of their budget and resources to maintaining a brand standard is a big reason they’ve climbed to the top and remained there.


Where are you in your growth cycle? 

Our Brand Plans provide different levels of service to equip companies at various stages in their lifecycle. For instance, the Emerge Plan suits smaller companies that need to lay the foundation for deeper brand work that can be done down the line. Good candidates for this plan include established small businesses and funded startups that need to take things to the next level.

If you are an established small business competing with larger companies, consider a plan like the Evolve Plan which provides a deeper look into what makes your business unique. Why should someone choose you over your more established competitor? We root out the answers and provide more robust deliverables with this package.

The Evolve Plan includes everything our Emerge Plan has plus defined client personas and brand attributes in our Brand Matrix Workshop. The latter of these can be used as cultural and brand pillars by answering the questions:


What do you do?

Who do you do it for?
What makes you different?
What do you stand for?
Why does your company exist beyond making money?

looking to define their culture and solidify their brand long-term should opt for our Transform Plan. As the name implies, this package is for companies looking to undergo cultural and image renewal within their markets. This package includes everything as the previous two plus written core values, a brand competitor report, and our premium company brand guide.

The Brand Competitor Report surveys the competitive landscape and digs into specific ways you can differentiate yourself.


Can I order a la carte?

We’re certainly willing to discuss it. We’re currently offering our Brand Competitor Report as a standalone product, so it is very easy to tack one of those onto an Emerge or Evolve plan. If you think a custom plan better fits your needs than what you see here, send us an email. We’re always happy to chat branding!

Ready to take the leap? 

Explore our Brand Plans and find the right branding work for you. Prices will increase in 2024, so act now.
Choose Yours Now