The early stages of starting a business can be quite like the first days of a new dating relationship. It’s all sparks and connections and possibility. You catch yourself daydreaming about revenue models and scheming up marketing plans. Ideas and feelings come on fast and big. You’re equal parts terrified and itching to jump into the deep end.
Sometimes you overthink it and drag your feet about your new business idea. Sometimes you get ahead of yourself and have to do a little backtracking. Timing is everything, and when it comes to branding, the balance can be tricky.
How do I know when to brand my new business idea?
Short answer: it’s probably sooner than you think.
More detailed answer: This is certainly a tough chicken-and-the-egg problem. New brands need to establish a presence in their market. With a brand in place, you’re already signalling that you take your work seriously and your customers should too. A great visual identity will invite your audience to join you in your new adventure and cements their loyalty.
On the other hand, high quality branding is a big investment. When you’re still testing a product for viability and proving that your concept will work in your market, you may not have a lot of extra cash lying around while start-up costs add up fast.
Overwhelmed by this tough balance, we’ve noticed some business owners opt to for a quick-and-dirty DIY brand with a plan to invest more later on once they’re “off the ground”. This was part of the rationale behind our Essential Pieces branding package, which creates basic tools that mean your brand is never diluted while you work out the kinks (aka, build your business from scratch).
This little note we got from a client as we wrapped up her Essential Pieces project this spring drives it home:
The bottom line is that putting together a solid foundation of strategy and visuals early on in your business development will support a healthy launch and sustainable business.
Still curious about how to make it work? Stay tuned for more to come on picking a branding partner and funding your new venture!