• What should my branding cost?

    What should my branding cost?

    In few other industries is there such a huge discrepancy in the cost a business may be quoted for branding. A total branding project could cost you £250 for an online logo through to £250k working with an experienced branding agency. The right brand is an investment that pays for itself over and over again, year after year. Read More
    What should my branding cost? Why brand storytelling should be the foundation of a growth strategy Great British Chefs announce line-up for Great British Menu 2018 Better with Jam loves Donegal A brand is a beautiful thing. Why Place Branding is becoming increasingly important for UK destinations. What's the new C word? Retail forecast to power digital adspend through 2018. 5 reasons to work with Better with Jam. How retailers can thrive in 2018. Why choose a small but mighty agency? Trends for 2018: Retailers will face a tougher test as big brands dominate The best ideas comes from the best relationships. The science of standing out from the crowd! So how do you create a happy brand experience? What's the big idea? Entrepreneur in Residence! Nominated for Lancashire Women in Business Award - Business of the Year 2017! Light up Lancaster 2017 Who cares about being original? Quite Seasonally French - Christmas Campaign Why you can't ignore the power of photography. Facebook loses younger users to Snapchat and Instagram #WeLoveQSF campaign The growing authenticity crisis in influencer marketing. Photo shoot and Art Direction for Quite Simply French Instant gratification vs deeper experience MJ Bird's 60 years campaign Rebrand for Virginia House New website for LPC Why social media matters more than ever to hospitality marketing Photography and Art Direction for M J Bird & Son LPC rebrand MJ Bird's Summer Sale Campaign Is Advertising a fun business? Case Study in successful omni-channel marketing for Virginia House Four Important and Often Ignored Principles for Brand Building New website for Lancaster The World's favourite colour Photo Shoot with Art Direction for Virginia House Photo Shoot with Art Direction for Lancaster City Council Cannes Lions Festival Winners A manifesto for the creative industries UK adults will spend almost 1 hour a day watching digital videos this year What brands can learn from the Share a Coke campaign. Trends in modern food photography The science of creativity in advertising Rebranding artisan producer Pennine Way Preserves. Celebrating 60 years of family and furniture Transforming London's Poshest Grocer
  • Why brand storytelling should be the foundation of a growth strategy

    Why brand storytelling should be the foundation of a growth strategy

    The best stories tap into people’s emotions because someone genuinely connects to what a brand stands for or where it has come from. The marketers who can paint the pictures and create such personal relationships are well on the way to establishing long-term brand loyalty. Read More
  • Great British Chefs announce line-up for Great British Menu 2018

    Great British Chefs announce line-up for Great British Menu 2018

    Our strategic marketing together with our great hospitality network ensured that our client Craig Sherrington from Virginia House came to the attention of Great British Menu's production company back in July 2017. Craig's cooking and friendly personality did the rest winning him a place on Great British Menu 2018. Read More
  • Better with Jam loves Donegal

    Better with Jam loves Donegal

    Our MD, Janie Ash's participation as a key speaker in a Developing Place-based Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Branding in Donegal Seminar / Workshop in March 2018 has received considerable attention and was trending number 3 on Twitter in Ireland. Read More
  • A brand is a beautiful thing.

    A brand is a beautiful thing.

    Enormously powerful. Enormously fragile. Building a brand takes vision. It takes passion and sweat. And perhaps most importantly, it takes discipline. The discipline to never waiver from your brand’s DNA and what your message to the world will be. Read More
  • Why Place Branding is becoming increasingly important for UK destinations.

    Why Place Branding is becoming increasingly important for UK destinations.

    As part of Janie's continued interest and commitment into PLACE BRANDING, she’ll be speaking at an event this Thursday 15th March in Donegal, Ireland, which explores how the county can best create an entrepreneurial legacy. Read More
  • What's the new C word?

    What's the new C word?

    In particular, we could all learn from the wise words of John le Carré, when he observed that: "The cat sat on the mat is not a story.  But the cat sat on the dog’s mat is the beginnings of a story." Read More
  • Retail forecast to power digital adspend through 2018.

    Retail forecast to power digital adspend through 2018.

    Thanks to the growth of e-commerce in the UK, the retail sector is set to be the biggest spender on digital advertising this year and is expected to continue to do so next year. Read More
  • 5 reasons to work with Better with Jam.

    5 reasons to work with Better with Jam.

    Small is Powerful! We believe our model is a vital part of the future of marketing and advertising. The industry is evolving at lighting speed, and only the most nimble creative teams will keep their clients at the forefront of what’s next. Read More
  • How retailers can thrive in 2018.

    How retailers can thrive in 2018.

    The retail apocalypse that was forecast back in the spring is either overblown, just beginning or…nobody really knows. Read More
  • Why choose a small but mighty agency?

    Why choose a small but mighty agency?

    Add up all our team's experience and you get over 125 years of brand, marketing, creative, digital and advertising success in London, Leeds, Manchester, Los Angeles and Lancaster. We are brand storytellers; so what does that actually mean to you and your business. Read More
  • Trends for 2018: Retailers will face a tougher test as big brands dominate

    Trends for 2018: Retailers will face a tougher test as big brands dominate

    With further consolidation expected in the retail sector, marketers must rise to the challenge or risk becoming irrelevant. Read More
  • The best ideas comes from the best relationships.

    The best ideas comes from the best relationships.

    But ultimately, the choice of a creative agency for a given project comes down to whether or not they’ll help clients meet and exceed goals. And it comes down to brilliant collaboration to deliver the strongest return. Read More
  • The science of standing out from the crowd!

    The science of standing out from the crowd!

    Stand out: does it grab your audiences’ attention? Encourage purchase: does it describe a unique proposition with a relevant and meaningful claim in the minimum amount of time? Fit with brand positioning: have you remained authentic to your brand values and beliefs? Read More
  • So how do you create a happy brand experience?

    So how do you create a happy brand experience?

    what people feel when they ‘leave’ your brand is what they'll remember and, more than likely, pass on to their friends. That will be their experience of your brand. Read More
  • What's the big idea?

    What's the big idea?

    The big idea is a catch-all for your company or service.  It should encapsulate what makes you different, what you offer, why you’re doing it and how you’re going to present it Read More
  • Entrepreneur in Residence!

    Entrepreneur in Residence!

    Janie Ash has been appointed as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Lancaster University Management School. Read More
  • Nominated for Lancashire Women in Business Award - Business of the Year 2017!

    Nominated for Lancashire Women in Business Award - Business of the Year 2017!

    We’ve probably been nominated for our high profile work with Lancaster City Council and many of the region’s businesses but what people don’t see is the effort we put into each job, big or small. Read More
  • Light up Lancaster 2017

    Light up Lancaster 2017

    Very excited about starting work on the new brochure for this iconic Lancaster event. And this year looks to be bigger and better than ever. Read More
  • Who cares about being original?

    Who cares about being original?

    Do clients care about originality? Or should they just care about the most powerful, effective solution to their organisation’s problem? Read More
  • Quite Seasonally French - Christmas Campaign

    Quite Seasonally French - Christmas Campaign

    Let's get the Party started. The launch of QSF's Christmas campaign. Read More
  • Why you can't ignore the power of photography.

    Why you can't ignore the power of photography.

    From sharing a photo on social media to trying to make an impact on humanity, photography is essential to our world.  Read More
  • Facebook loses younger users to Snapchat and Instagram

    Facebook loses younger users to Snapchat and Instagram

    Facebook is still the most popular social network in the UK, but it is losing share to Snapchat and Instagram among people aged 12 to 24 Read More
  • #WeLoveQSF campaign

    #WeLoveQSF campaign

    A wonderful campaign to celebrate how much people love Lancaster's favourite restaurant, Quite Simply French using testimonials from customers Read More
  • The growing authenticity crisis in influencer marketing.

    The growing authenticity crisis in influencer marketing.

    Nearly half of social media users believe influencer and brand partnerships are inauthentic, and that influencers work with brands they don’t believe in Read More
  • Photo shoot and Art Direction for Quite Simply French

    Photo shoot and Art Direction for Quite Simply French

    Brand, product and lifestyle photography. Looking good doesn’t stop brand looks amazing in all your marketing materials and on your website with our art directed photography. Read More
  • Instant gratification vs deeper experience

    Instant gratification vs deeper experience

    The key is to know your consumer, know what your brand can do well and commit – avoiding the beige space in the middle. Read More
  • MJ Bird's 60 years campaign

    MJ Bird's 60 years campaign

    Six decades later, and after several generations of the Bird family, they’re still here and still a favourite for people looking for leading furniture brands, style, quality and value at a great price. Read More
  • Rebrand for Virginia House

    Rebrand for Virginia House

    Virginia House asked to rebrand them as a fine dining Restaurant with a Gin Parlour and Rooms to match their award winning aspirations. Read More
  • New website for LPC

    To stay ahead of the competition and standing out from the crowd. Our brief from LPC. Ten minutes after the site launched they had a sale. Read More
  • Why social media matters more than ever to hospitality marketing

    Why social media matters more than ever to hospitality marketing

    Social media also comes with another vital USP. It gives the brand the chance to reach out directly to consumers and offers a platform for reputation management if any complaints are launched. It’s a more intimate and personal direct channel for brands to interact with consumers Read More
  • Photography and Art Direction for M J Bird & Son

    Photography and Art Direction for M J Bird & Son

    Jaw-dropping photos for your favourite brands all look so effortless don't they? But as every Art Director knows, there’s a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make those beautiful images happen. Read More
  • LPC rebrand

    LPC rebrand

    “I chose Better with Jam because the company has a wealth of talent that is unequalled in any other agencies locally. Having worked with the company before, I knew that Janie and her team would offer the right insights and direction to help us future-proof our brand." Read More
  • MJ Bird's Summer Sale Campaign

    MJ Bird's Summer Sale Campaign

    MJ Bird's omni-channel summer sale features striking colours and images to grab customers attention both online and offline. Read More
  • Is Advertising a fun business?

    Is Advertising a fun business?

    Fun diffuses difficult situations. Fun breeds creativity. Fun opens up and creates strong partnerships. Fun fuels productivity. So if you think you don’t have time to have fun at work…the truth is you don’t have time not to. Read More
  • Case Study in successful omni-channel marketing for Virginia House

    Case Study in successful omni-channel marketing for Virginia House

    How we ran a successful marketing campaign to drive restaurant sales and take Virginia House to number one on Trip Advisor. Read More
  • Four Important and Often Ignored Principles for Brand Building

    Four Important and Often Ignored Principles for Brand Building

    Brands are really just a big pile of Legos waiting to be put together into something great. Good brand building means understanding the larger vision of what you want to make and what you want your customers to see. Read More
  • New website for Lancaster

    New website for Lancaster

    We've been working with Lancaster City Council since 2015 when we rebranded the Light up Lancaster event, designed and built the new website. We beat 8 other agencies to win the account. And, now we're really proud to announce that after a brand photo shoot we have designed and built Lancaster's very own visitor website. Read More
  • The World's favourite colour

    The World's favourite colour

    The results are in: world's favourite colour revealed - but is it green or blue? Read More
  • Photo Shoot with Art Direction for Virginia House

    Photo Shoot with Art Direction for Virginia House

    Lighting, mood, style of shot all help to create a ‘feel’ for the brand, influencing perception and helping it become a living, breathing entity. It’s what we in the know call Art Direction – best summed up as clever concepts and tailored visual style that make your brand uniquely identifiable Read More
  • Photo Shoot with Art Direction for Lancaster City Council

    Photo Shoot with Art Direction for Lancaster City Council

    The Art Director and Photographer have a joint vision of how the photography needs to be to communicate the brand effectively. Read More
  • Cannes Lions Festival Winners

    Cannes Lions Festival Winners

    There was less of that this year – tech of course featured in projects, but ideas were awarded over gimmickry. Read More
  • A manifesto for the creative industries

    A manifesto for the creative industries

    Creative Industries Federation has today published a manifesto urging leaders to take action to support and protect the creative sector. Read More
  • UK adults will spend almost 1 hour a day watching digital videos this year

    UK adults will spend almost 1 hour a day watching digital videos this year

    Digital video is gaining ground in the UK, with Brits poised to spend an average of 53 minutes a day watching clips online in 2017 Read More
  • What brands can learn from the Share a Coke campaign.

    What brands can learn from the Share a Coke campaign.

    Summer 2013 saw Coca-Cola replace its iconic branding with 150 of the UK’s most popular names for its multimedia Share a Coke campaign, which produced some impressive results. But just what can other brands learn from it? Read More
  • Trends in modern food photography

    Trends in modern food photography

    Food photographers are no longer taking a documentary approach to their work but are creating exciting new trends and styles that are sought out by magazines around the world. We art direct all our photography and have a particular expertise in food. Read More
  • The science of creativity in advertising

    The science of creativity in advertising

    Some people believe that advertising creativity and science are like oil and water. It’s understandable – after all, if creativity is a scientific process, then one would have to believe that equations instead of people would formulate every song, every work of art, and every photograph Read More
  • Rebranding artisan producer Pennine Way Preserves.

    Rebranding artisan producer Pennine Way Preserves.

    We’re passionate about working with artisan producers, brands with great stories, that’s why Pennine Way Preserves was a perfect fit for us. It feels great to know that we've played a role in making the brand future-proof for the next 50 years Read More
  • Celebrating 60 years of family and furniture

    Celebrating 60 years of family and furniture

    Six decades later, and after several generations of the Bird family, they are still a favourite for people looking for leading furniture and quality flooring and carpet brands. Not to mention style, quality and value. For MJ Bird & Son it’s quite simply all about family and furniture. Read More
  • Transforming London's Poshest Grocer

    Transforming London's Poshest Grocer

    A brand lesson in not taking any thing for granted and resting on your laurels. Fortnum & Mason in London is 310 years old. A heritage of this kind is a wonderful thing: proof that a brand can survive the constant buffeting winds of change to remain relevant for generation after generation. But longevity can also be dangerous. Read More
Archive

What should my branding cost?

So you’re at start-up/running a growing business/recently merged/feeling the heat from new competition/just stepped into the big chair and you’ve got a sense that your branding isn’t working. No matter how clear-minded you are at leading your business, the task of re-branding is generally accompanied by a lack of clarity.

Right from the very start the ‘brand value conundrum’ is at work, making it difficult to commercially rationalise how much you should invest in your branding.

Our 30 years of branding experience have taught us that each project is unique. Depending on the currency of the brand’s strategic proposition, competitive positioning and the relevance of the current brand mark and other identity elements to that strategy, the scope of branding work required can vary dramatically.

We’ve worked with businesses, brands and budgets of all shapes and sizes, which is why it pays to talk through your branding needs with a professional agency like us to understand the right approach.

Below we’ve set-out the factors involved in costing a branding project and a table of indicative costs.

Thinking about branding? Best to have a chat with us first.

Whilst some business and marketing leaders position themselves as managers of brand change with a skill-set and swag of experience in this area, for most the task of branding is an unfamiliar, ‘once in a career challenge’.

So how do you know if it’s the right time to update your branding? What exactly is involved? And what you should reasonably budget for the process?

How do I know if my branding needs to change?

There can be all manner of reasons to re-brand driven by defensive or offensive business strategy. Each scenario brings with it unique challenges that are critical to ensuring the right brand strategy moving forward.

What’s involved?

Branding is so much more than designing a logo, and accordingly more expensive – which is why so many agencies and designers position themselves as branding experts.

Branding or re-branding is a process that must include:
01. Market Insights – Truly understand your customers and the market in which you operate.
02. Brand Positioning Strategy – Determining the right approach for positioning your brand for success and a road map for achieving that
03. Brand identity Design – How will your brand look? What should the visual language communicate?
04. Go-to-Market Brand Identity Implementation – What tools do I need to engage with my target market?

Who do I need on my branding team?

Each step of the re-branding process calls for specific expertise and experience from researchers, brand strategists, specialist brand identity designers, marketers, digital strategists, ad creatives, architects and communications professionals.

Most agencies don’t have all of this expertise under one roof, and neither does there need to be.

The right branding agency will have in-house expertise on managing insights (bringing in the right researchers to uncover the market insights that will direct the brand strategy), at least one experienced brand strategist (not a designer wearing a brand strategy hat), specialist brand identity designers experienced in translating the multiple facets of brand strategy into visual language (how the brand looks) and brand mark assets.

A well resourced branding agency will then supplement that in-house expertise with specialist partners who work in an integrated manner to ensure your brand is brought to life in everything you say and do.

And the big question – How much should I pay?

In few other industries is there such a huge discrepancy in the cost a business may be quoted for branding. A total branding project could cost you £250 for an online logo through to £250k working with an experienced branding agency.

With this kind of inconsistency, how do you start to work out what the right level of investment should be?

The good news is there are some guidelines and a number of factors to what a branding project should cost that reduce the range some-what.

As we discuss costs below we will do-so providing a price range to allow for these variables.

The Branding Value Equation
Like every other business investment decision, rationalisation of spend must relate to increase in profit as a result of that investment. Clients should consider the reason they are embarking on the branding work with a quantification on the upside. Business goals such as; increasing market share and charging a premium by more effectively owning a differentiated proposition, successfully launching a new product or service or attracting investors are all examples of the type of return achievable from a successful branding project.

Agency Size and Experience
When it comes to branding, agency size matters less than experience and skill-sets.

Project Scope
Whilst all projects should include the four steps of Insights, Strategy Definition, Identity Design and Activation, even within this framework the scope can vary significantly.
• Research for consumer brands can cost in the range of £60k-£80k, where local brands may be able to use existing industry data and anecdotal market insights.
• Strategy Definition deliverables can also vary depending on factors such as brand architecture, number of stakeholders, number of customer segments, product portfolio, product or brand naming, and a preference for extensive and detailed or summarized top-line brand report.
• Brand Identity Design scope can also vary depending on brand architecture and number of applications on which creative concepts are applied for presentation – which is typically driven by stakeholder requirements.
• Go-to-market Activation can also vary significantly. Online businesses who predominantly need to focus only on their online brand presence, while retail businesses at the other end of the scale require store design, point of sale, online store design, social media, local area marketing, ad campaigns, staff uniforms, menu/in-store graphics, packaging and beyond.

Indicative Budgets
The costs below reflect each stage of a complete branding process, which may or may-not be what is right for you. They’re provided as an indicative guide to what an experienced and appropriately skilled agency will charge.

01. Market Insights – £5k -80k
02. Brand Strategy – £8k- 25k
03. Brand Naming – £2k- 12k
04. Brand Identity Design – £7k- 25k
05. Go-to-market Implementation – £10k+

When budgeting for a branding project the cost of activation/implementation production should not be under estimated; replacing signage, re-building web sites, re-tooling packaging, updating staff uniforms, reprinting sales and marketing collateral, re-fitting shops, etc. all come with significant cost implications that need to be included in the overarching branding project budget.

A well planned branding implementation timeline will serve to minimise additional spending.

What if I don’t have that much budget?
That’s a tough question, but there can be ways to re-cut the process without compromising the outcome. Simplifying some of the steps, using the collective knowledge for feel of the market in place of research, developing one or two concepts rather than the standard three can provide a professional outcome for a lesser budget.

However, selecting your agency on cost alone can provide a false economy. Finding an agency who can do the work for £5k may sound like a good deal, but we would caution against investing what is still a significant sum of money in doing the job wrong.

Over the years we have spoken to many clients who have been convinced by investors and agencies hungry for work that there is a cheaper way to brand, only to realise at the end of the process that the work is unable to achieve the businesses goals. These clients find themselves in an even more untenable position having spent a large chunk of the budget they have, with three months of time-frame gone and being no closer to the end point they need to get to.

The right brand is an investment that pays for itself over and over again, year after year.

An important question for all businesses looking to create a brand is; ‘How many sales would I need to attract in order to justify the cost of branding professionally?’

Every business goes through different stages of evolution, each with its own financial restrictions. The reality is some stages of business cannot justify the required budget for a full branding project.

If this is the case, then its important to lower your sights and simplify the demands for your project. Rather than developing a fully integrated brand you might simply refine your positioning to engage the market, or rather than creating a strategically directed and multi layered new brand identity you might look at re-designing your logo and brand colours to appear more professional and appeal to your target audience at a surface level.

Whilst this compromised approach is unlikely to assist you in taking significant steps to develop a brand to drive your business, if done correctly it may help you get to the next stage where you may well be able to justify the branding project spend.

What if I do have the budget?
Whilst every agency approaches this type of project in their own way, in every case you should clearly understand how any brand development work will build value for your business – brand building is business building.

A Little About Us
We’re an agency with deep expertise in helping brands find their compelling point of difference. For more than 30 years we’ve paired strategic tools with beautiful design solutions to help hundreds of businesses across a range of categories stand-out, transform and grow.