What is your brand worth?

What value do you place on your child’s safety? One million dollars? One billion dollars? Priceless?  I’d warrant a guess most people would say priceless. I was recently confronted with that question when buying car seats for my kids.

Like most people looking for a new service or product I searched Google. “Best kids’ car seats”, I typed.  There were lots of options and a few brands that kept popping up time and time again.   Focusing on the popular brands I visited the suppliers’ websites, looked at their product range and what might be suitable for me, then I read a few customer reviews.

The seats ranged in price from $200 to $600. The seemingly safest brand, InfaSecure, was also one of the most expensive – just over $500 a seat. Oh, and I have twins, so that’s more than a $1000.  There’s no guarantees in life but what price do you place on the value of your child’s safety? To be honest, I would have paid more if I thought there was a better car seat available that reduced the risk of my kids being hurt.

So, if there’s no guarantees, what am I paying extra for? I’m paying for the reduction in risk. And for something I place as much value on as the importance of my child’s safety, that reduction in risk is worth a lot.

The same principal can be applied to a new business developing a brand. Let’s say you’re a lawyer who has decided to start your own law firm.  You’ve got your business plan, a desk in the coolest co-working space in the city, and tonnes of ambition.  What you don’t have, like most new businesses, is tonnes of money.  But it’s a competitive market and you need a marketing strategy and new brand, and an impressive business card that says ‘pick me’.

You could jump online and get a $99 logo, spend hours writing a detailed brief, and the logo might suit you fine.  But what about the other supporting elements that make up your brand?  Your brand vision and values that explain your promise to your clients and why they should ‘pick you’.  Your key messages and how you are going to describe your offering to your clients on your website, in your sales brochure and even verbally. And what about the  other elements that support your brand, like those impressive business cards that reflect the quality of the service you offer (after all, you’re pretty good at what you do!).

And what if your $99 logo, that is supposed to reflect your professionalism and build the trust of your clients, is wrong? What if you wasted hours of your valuable time writing a brief that resulted in a logo design you didn’t like – hours you could have spent on sourcing new clients? What if that brand is so wrong, in fact, that is causes damage to your reputation?  How hard would it be to build your new business with a bad reputation? How many clients could you lose from the wrong brand and how much money would you lose on printing business cards and flyers using that wrong brand?

Would you pay more for a brand developed by a graphic designer or branding expert if it meant a reduction in the risk of getting things wrong?  And in the long run, are you really paying more?

Before you engage a graphic designer or graphic design firm to develop your businesses’ most important asset, ask yourself, what is my brand worth to me? Like the safety of your children, I’d warrant a guess most people would say priceless.

Article by Julie Wrobel, Managing Director, Algo Más