Building your brand is such a vital part of scaling your business! If your product or service is the bread, then branding is the butter that adds all the flavour that makes people come back for more! Understandably, when you’re just starting out your business, professional branding can seem like a seemingly impossible task, especially if you’re on a small budget.
That’s exactly why we’ve put together this short guide to Branding on a Budget!
Why Branding is important
Having memorable branding helps you to create and retain awareness around your brand. What’s more, consistent messaging (both visual and verbal) helps to build trust with potential customers.
Think of your favourite businesses – chances are, they’ve been using the same logo, language, colours, packaging and more, and subsequently you feel comfortable purchasing from them over and over again because you understand the quality that you can expect from them.
Branding on a Budget: Start with the Basics
When it comes to branding, it can be easy to get caught up in shiny object syndrome, especially if you haven’t established a unique brand identity for yourself. Sure, drawing inspiration from other businesses and platforms like Pinterest can be great, but when you find something that works, try and stick with it for a while.
This is where the idea of knowing “When good is good enough” becomes key. Remember, you can always improve on your branding as your business scales and you have more cash flow to play around with. But if you’re just starting out, think of your branding as a V1, or a stepping stone to building your business and getting sales. In other words, use what you’ve got!
Create a brand identity
This should come as a no-brainer but coming up with a brand persona is an incredible (and free) way to establish your branding and relate to your target audience. Think of your brand as a person – what do they sound like? What words do they use? This should be a semi-fictionalized representation of your ideal customer’s values and characteristics. Once you’ve nailed down the intangible branding elements, decide on your brand aesthetic. Use consistent Hex codes, imagery and graphic elements.
Creating a logo on a budget
This is the one area where you’ll want to stay away from using free logo creators. Odds are, other people are already using these templates, or elements thereof, and you’ll struggle to trademark it down the line.
That doesn’t mean you need to bankrupt yourself by paying a professional graphic designer or agency. If you have a small budget, look into sourcing a freelance designer on platforms like Fiverr (just do your research and make sure to read the reviews!). Like we mentioned before, there are also many local designers out there that are willing to charge less for experience.
Alternatively, design platforms like Canva offer a user-friendly solution to designing your own logo. You can start with templated designs and customise some of the elements and colours to create a unique logo. Canva is also great for putting together brand moodboards, choosing a killer brand colour combination, and creating a brand guideline doc for yourself. Plus, it’s super affordable at only R110/ month for Canva Pro (or pick the free package if you’re just starting out!).
Create a website for your business
In today’s day and age, a website is like the digital real estate that houses your business. Yes, it’s important to have your business visible on social media, but a website just shouts “Hey, world, I mean business!”. This is even more true if you’re a product-based company, because you’ll eventually want a place to divert website traffic to so that people can actually purchase what you’re selling.
Luckily, there are so many affordable web solutions out there that require close to no coding or web design experience. Platforms like Wix offer templated, plug-and-play solutions that you can set up by simply watching a few YouTube tutorials. On the other hand, you could also try to exchange services with web designers that are looking to build out their portfolio.
Packaging on a budget
When it comes to building lasting relationships with customers, having beautiful packaging can go a long way in creating a memorable purchasing experience. The good news is that there are SO many creative low-cost packaging ideas out there. We recommend keeping it simple at first with generic packaging like paper bags, mailers, and boxes, and venturing out to bespoke designs when you have the means. You can always add a personalised element with stickers, stamps, swing tags, ribbons or a personalised note!
These are just a few examples that you can use in crafting a brand. Done right, you can effectively create a brand for your business, without spending an arm and a leg! Let us know of any creative ideas you have for branding on a budget in the comments!
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