We all know branding matters, and businesses know it’s one of the most important things to implement. They see companies like Apple and think “We need to be like that”, what they actually want is not to look like Apple but have that cohesive brand that people recognise.

As a note, I’m not going to talk about what branding is here, hint it’s not a logo. I’m going to tell you why it’s so important. What stops smaller companies implementing it and how as designers we overcome this.

Today I have seen a post by James Suffolk of The Design Bunch who posts an article stating that inconsistent branding can restrict a companies revenue by as much as 33% (Lucidpress, 2019)

This got me thinking, with a figure like that how can any company allow half baked ideas and design to continue to flow out to their audiences and customers.

It’s a massive figure, 33% increase in revenue. Who wouldn’t want that.

What is the barrier?

Having worked in the design industry for over a decade my number one obstacle is always a price barrier. Especially with SMEs. I’ve spoken with clients who’s budgets are as low as £50, seriously.

We can’t blame these potential clients though, the world of design is an odd one when it comes to pricing. It’s not very transparent and has a huge number of factors that affect the cost. We have all had the moment where we don’t even know what our price should be.

You cannot pick up a logo and say oh this cost me £X, this one is the same so it will be around £X. It’s always individual. Clients don’t understand this.

Price comparison does not work

The price depends on the designer, not the brief. Basing works on price does not change the final work. However, ultimately it will affect the quality of what the clients are left with.

If a client was to approach two designers, let’s say a junior designer and a design director with 15 years experience the work is not going to be of the same level. The price will reflect this. A client cannot expect the junior to produce what the director will. I’m not saying juniors cannot be exceptionally talented, but they will lake the experience that a director can bring and they know this and reflect it in their pricing.

Lastly, style comes into play. I’m a strong believer that all designers should leave their “mark” on their designs. No two designers will deliver the same results, so a client should work with people who have delivered projects similar to your expectations.

How to overcome the barrier

Making the client realise that price comparison shouldn’t be a consideration is always going to be tough in this industry. People are used to it and shopping around for like for like products is a major industry in itself which just proves our innate instinct to seek out the best deal.

You will find this very difficult to overcome, because you do not want to disrespect any other designers. Never say “Oh but they are just a junior” or “oh but look at how awful their work it”. Rather you should focus on demonstrating you understand business, and what business boils down to is revenue.

This is where this new piece of information can come into place.

“Research shows that good consistent branding can increase your revenue by as much as 33%. What’s that in numbers to you, how much extra revenue would this bring to your company over a year?”

The client will be excited by this and do some quick calculations in their head. “Oh, that’s £100K a year!” (We are talking SME here)

So when the price is the barrier, who wants to lose twenty thousand pounds a year. Wouldn’t spending 10% of your current revenue on this worth the return? (revenue of £300,000 in this example)

Anyone who understands business will know that this is an additional income of £70K a year! The client is only paying you once, so year two, year three, year four and so on they are still seeing the benefits of your hard work.