Is DIY branding possible?

|| July 24, 2014

Most small businesses start as 'do-it-yourself' brands. However, a basic investment in branding advice can give a business a significant head-start, and also save far more than it costs in avoiding the pitfalls of learning-as-you-go.

A business with a planned turnover of less than the VAT threshold in the first couple of years may think twice before investing in brand advice. However, purchasing a single day of brand advice will enable the business owner to map out their publicity plans, establish some basic ideas about brand promise, market category, values and style, and sketch out a brief for a designer to come up with a logo, colours, typefaces and initial trade dress.

The brand consultant's job is not to tell the business owner what their business should be like, but rather to uncover the ideas — often unconscious — that the owner has about how they want the business to look and feel, and to put them into concrete form.

Branded businesses immediately come across as more established and professional. The costs of deploying a brand properly are actually significantly less than doing a series of ad hoc pieces of design for publicity, letter heads, signage and so on, because all the decisions have been made up front, thereby cutting down the time later to produce artwork.