Branding can be one of the most critical investments in your business, but it can also seem like an intangible thing to spend money on.
- How much does all of this cost?
- How much should it cost?
- What is the proper budget for branding?
These are just a few questions every business owner needs to be answered to take their brand from good to great.
One of the most common challenges for small businesses is keeping track of these expenses.
Let's get into more detail about how much does branding cost, the factors that influence the price, and the importance of investing in branding for the long term.
Table of Contents
How Much Does Branding Cost: Quick Computation
A complete branding campaign typically costs between $11,000 and $70,000, depending on your required marketing collateral.
Here’s a sample quotation:
Brand Identity - $1,000 - $5,000+
Market Research $1,000 - $7,000+
Logo - $2,000 - $8,000+
Visual Style Guide - $2,500 - $5,000+
Editorial Style Guide - $1,500 - $4,000+
Brand Book - $3,000 - $4,000+
Website Design and Development - $5,000 - $30,000+
Total: $16,000 – $63,000+
Where to Start
But how can you tell if you're spending too much or not enough? The best advice regarding branding budgets is to start with what you can afford.
While having a long-term branding strategy in mind is essential, you can't skip over the present and start that plan tomorrow.
What does branding look like for your industry and your brand?
How can you translate who you are as a company, what you do, and what you want your customers to feel when interacting with your brand?
If you don't have much money to spend and are looking for a low-cost branding option, consider starting with a logo design.
On the other hand, if you want more comprehensive branding, consider including brand strategy, messaging, and visuals in your budget.
The Importance of Investing in Branding
Branding is the act of creating an image for your company through the use of visual elements and marketing campaigns that are consistent across channels.
These marketing campaigns could be traditional advertising, social media campaigns or digital advertisements.
Branding is used to help companies to stand out from their competitors and build trust with their customers.
Good branding can give you a competitive edge by:
- Generating higher profits
- Providing stronger customer loyalty
- Allowing for more strategic product placement
- Establishing your company as trustworthy and experienced in the field
- Communicating your company's values and what makes it different from other businesses
- Positioning your company as an industry leader with modern marketing techniques
- Creating an identity that attracts customers
- Giving you an avenue to stand out and communicate what makes you unique
Branding is essential, no matter what type of product or service you sell, because it creates a recognizable identity.
It's a way to make potential customers notice your company's product or service.
Branding can be as simple as using a color scheme or logo that is easily identifiable or as complex as creating an entire fictional universe that ties in your product or service.
That's why investing in branding is one of the most important decisions you'll make for your business.
Your brand will be your face to the world; without it, you'll be just another small business in an industry filled with big names.
What Influences the Price of Branding?
Everything in the market can affect the cost of branding.
The industry you're in, your competitors, your customer base, your target audience, and how you want to be perceived as a company all factor into how much branding should cost.
Before tapping a branding agency or a freelancer, consider the following:
- What services do you need, and what services do you want?
- Do you need a website?
- What kind of functionality or features do you want it to have?
- How much are logo design and brand strategy going to cost you?
- Do you need to hire a copywriter? What about color palettes and imagery?
- Do you need to hire a designer to create a color scheme for your company?
- Do you have a few images that you'd like to use to represent your company?
- Do you need to hire a photographer or videographer?
- What level of customer service do you plan on providing?
- What type of communication do you plan on having with your customers?
- What other things do you want to invest in your marketing budget?
Brand Visuals (Average Cost: $2,500 - $8,000)
Logo design is one of the first things people think of when you mention branding.
Your logo is the face of your company. It's how people identify with you, and it's one of the essential factors in how your company is perceived.
Note that logo design is a highly competitive industry with a wide range of pricing options.
Other brand visuals include typography, palette, and photography. These visual elements make up your brand and can be just as important as a logo.
If you're looking to build a new brand from scratch, you'll want to hire someone specializing in branding.
A graphic designer and creative strategist might be able to help with some aspects of this process.
Brand Messaging and Brand Visuals (Average Cost: $2,500 - $30,000)
Let’s talk about brand strategy. This is the backbone of logo design, color palettes and messaging.
Brand strategy is a plan that involves figuring out your target audience, where you want to be as a company and what your customers need.
You need to understand who your audience is and what they value. You'll want a plan for how you will develop messaging that will resonate with your customers.
This is where a branding strategist comes in.
A brand strategist is often the person that is responsible for taking all of your ideas and putting them into a cohesive strategy.
Even though the brand strategy is the first part of branding that you should consider, it is often the last part of the equation.
If you don't have the design work done, how will you put your brand to work for you? Your brand strategist will be responsible for bringing everything together into one cohesive strategy.
Brand Strategy, Messaging, and Visuals (Average Cost: $30,000+)
A complete branding campaign can go above and beyond the simple logo and color scheme you thought you were getting when you first started diving into branding.
A branding campaign can include everything from website design to social media content creation.
It can include the creation of merchandise or other visual marketing pieces that can tie your brand together.
A branding campaign is something that most companies start small with, doing things in-house as they get going.
As businesses grow, they might invest in outside branding help by hiring an agency or a branding firm directly.
Be strategic if you have the funds to invest in an entire branding campaign. Consider what type of campaign you want to run and how you want to position your company.
Website Design and Development (Average Cost: $5,000 - $30,000+)
A website is crucial to any brand identity, providing a platform for showcasing your products/services and telling your story to potential customers.
However, there are many different types of websites—from simple brochure sites to complex e-commerce platforms—and each style has its unique set of costs associated with them.
For example, if you simply want to display information about your organization, product, or service, then prioritize web design and development.
It's the first point of contact with anyone interested in learning more about your offer.
It's also one of the most expensive stages because so many things go into creating a modern and user-friendly website (i.e., responsive design, search engine optimization, mobile compatibility).
At this point, you may need to hire a professional web designer and developer to help create a website, blog or social media page.
What's included in this price range depends on the technical expertise required to build your brand and how much time you want to learn new skills.
Some clients opt for a simple site that's relatively easy to manage, like WordPress, while others choose more complex solutions with custom coding, like Shopify.
Should You Hire a Freelancer or a Branding Agency?
Hiring a freelancer is a great option if you're starting out and need help building your brand.
Freelancers are usually more affordable than agencies, so you can get started with a smaller budget and scale up as your business grows.
Freelancers also offer more flexibility as you can choose a freelancer based on specific skills and experience rather than the agency's size.
On the other hand, if you already have an established business that needs professional branding services like website design or SEO optimization, it might be worth it to hire an agency instead.
Agencies can provide you with a higher level of expertise and experience, and they're often able to offer more comprehensive services than freelancers.
They also have the resources to handle more clients at once, so an agency might be the better option if you're looking for someone who can take on your entire marketing strategy.
Top Branding Agencies to Hire
- Location: 13th Floor, 2 Fewakah St, Mohandessian, Cairo, Cairo, 11234, Egypt
- Average Hourly Rate: $1,000/hr
- Expertise: Branding, Logo Design, Product Design, Graphic Design, Digital Marketing...
Founded in 2005, Leapfrog is full 360 marketing and advertising agency that specializes in launching, repositioning and elevating brands through their creative expertise.
They can help you build your brand from the ground up, encompassing three important elements: visuals, messaging and positioning. You can complement this with Leapfrog's internal branding service, which ensures everything you represent on the outside is reflected within.
Your company can further get a boost from Leapfrog's advertising, digital marketing and event management services.
- Location: 14 Turnham Green Terrace Mews, London, W4 1QU, United Kingdom
- Average Hourly Rate: $100/hr
- Expertise: Branding, Brand Design, Graphic Design, Logo Design, Boutique Branding...
Your marketing strategy is only as good as your customers' perception of your brand. Pithy Studios gives you the best of both worlds by integrating strong, creative branding tactics into your marketing strategy.
Pithy Studios specializes in branding and creative social media content, and their work is the kind that turns heads and keeps people around. The agency caters to various types of businesses, from startups and SMEs to law firms, real estate, and F&B businesses.
Their clients include Google Cloud, JCB, Asus, Merrell, and Muji.
- Location: Baner, Pune, 411045, India
- Average Hourly Rate: $25/hr
- Expertise: Branding, Brand Design, Graphic Design, Package Design, Web Design...
Grazzine is an India-based graphic design agency that offers a broad spectrum of design services at an affordable cost.
Whatever your brand design needs are — whether web design, UI/UX, dashboards, or print layouts — Grazzine has the expertise to help you stand out in different aspects. Their team comprises experts in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe XD, InDesign, Illustrator, Figma, Unbounce, WordPress, and Wix.
Grazzine can assist businesses of all types and sizes. Their clients include Affinitiv Advertising, Ozone, and Revalize Software.
- Location: Paris-Lodron-Straße 17/11, Salzburg, 5020, Austria
- Average Hourly Rate: $95/hr
- Expertise: Branding, Brand Design, Graphic Design, Logo Design, Web Design...
If you need branding that speaks to your audience or a brand design that's unique and consistent on all fronts, look no further than PunktFormStrich.
This Austria-based agency produces extraordinary design concepts spanning the gamut — from branding and graphic design to illustration and photography. Their branding services include target market analysis, communication plan, corporate identity, brand story, and more.
PunktFormStrich has worked with clients in fashion, B2B, F&B, law, education, and non-profit, among others. Pfizer, GoPro, Red Bull, and SAP. are their most notable clients.
- Location: Rua de São Luis 60 - 2º Esquerdo, Faro, 8000-285, Portugal
- Average Hourly Rate: $20/hr
- Expertise: Branding, Graphic Design, Logo Design, Web Design, Website Development...
Ideias Frescas is a European digital creative agency with over 20 years of industry experience in web design, graphic design, and multimedia.
For branding, the agency has solutions to help you develop a strong image that will linger in customers' minds. These include logo creation, stationery design, and corporate identity. They also offer SEO, digital marketing, web and app development, video, and photography, among others.
To date, Ideias Frescas has completed over 3,500 projects for 1,500 customers — and the number just keeps growing.
- Location: 5557 Cunard Street, Halifax, B3K 1C5, Canada
- Average Hourly Rate: $125
- Expertise: Branding, Logo Design, Package Design, Market Research...
R&G is an agency whose mix of expert professionals that work at the intersection of branding, technology, sustainability and communications design helps their clients launch, scale, raise awareness, and create digital platforms to advocate and engage for a better world.
They have deep portfolio experience across startup culture, marketing and advertising, community engagement, corporate social responsibility and interaction design. Their work has made a difference for companies in clean energy, climatech, social enterprise, ESG reporting, and storytelling for environmental and social good.
Branding Costs: Conclusion
Branding can make or break your business. You want to ensure you get the best value from it when you start out, especially if you don't have much money to spend on it upfront.
Branding is essential as it's a way to make potential customers notice your company, product or service. It can be as simple as using a color scheme or logo that is easily identifiable or as complex as creating an entire fictional universe that ties in your product or service.
That being said, branding is an investment. And like any investment, you must determine how much you're willing to spend on business branding and how much you expect to earn in return.