It’s difficult to put a price on branding. Great branding can be the driving force behind the growth of your business, but the direct benefits can be difficult to see. When working with a branding agency, you’ll have to decide how much your brand is worth.
Branding companies can charge from $10,000 to $700,000. The price largely depends on your company size, the services you need, and the marketing firm. Growing businesses will need to invest $25,000-$75,000, while large companies will require over $200,000.
With such a huge price range, it’s normal to be confused about how much you should invest and in which services. In this article, we’ll go over what a branding agency does and how each thing can drive up the costs, so you can make the best decision for your business.
Depending on your business’s needs, each part of branding may need different amounts of attention—and money.
So, to calculate how much a branding company will charge you, you’ll need to anticipate a few different things. Here’s a summary of each of them and how much they might cost you.
|Company and Product names||$7,500-$75,000|
|Logo and visual identity||$1,000-$150,000|
As you can see, costs can vary tremendously.
First of all, take into account that not all branding packages include all these services. If you don’t need to name your company and have another way to manage your marketing strategies, the price will be around $10,000.
Second, there’s a huge distance between top-of-the-line firms and budget-friendly, niche-oriented agencies.
The biggest firms can charge over $200,000 for basic branding services. And it’s not all fluff: they’ll offer an amount of time, experience, and resources that other agencies can hardly match.
At this level, we’re talking about leading firms like:
- DeSantis Breindel
- Want Branding
However, firms like CatchWorld and Want Branding can also work on smaller $25,000 projects. Just don’t expect to get the best bang for your buck.
When paying these large firms, you’re also paying for their name. How prestigious does it feel to have your branding designed by the same people who do it for Google or Coca-Cola?
Still, you can get results comparable to those of the industry leaders for much less, provided you know how to look for the right agency.
If you’ve tried researching branding prices on your own, you might have come across an annoying obstacle: most branding agencies don’t name their prices publically.
Usually, you need to contact them directly before they give you a number. This involves having a conversation about what you need and what you’re expecting to spend.
You probably don’t want to go through all these steps just to get one sample. We’ll help you skip that part and get you straight to the numbers.
Let’s start by looking at three broad factors that will likely influence how much an agency will charge you:
- The agency: As stated above, recognizable and luxurious agencies are more costly than small ones.
- The complexity of the project: Some brands can be more difficult to design than others. This is affected by the number of products it offers, how varied the audience is, the competitiveness of its industry, etc.
- Your business size: Larger businesses will call for higher prices, even if the project isn’t more complex. Working with large companies entails higher standards, deeper research, and more meetings.
Before throwing yourself into a marketing plan, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the elements that make up a branding strategy and how much each one costs. This way, you can prioritize your budget and know exactly what’s going on at all times.
If you want the best possible results for your brand, then it’s key to communicate clearly with your agency at all times. To do a good job, they need to thoroughly know your business’s vision and objectives.
To do that, you’ll need to know what branding does and how it does it. You’ll be able to give better feedback and have more control over the results.
Knowing what different parts of branding entail will also prevent misunderstandings that could raise the scope of the operation and skyrocketing costs.
Creating brand names isn’t just a matter of scrambling words together. It’s the most prevalent part of a brand and perhaps the hardest one to change. That’s why branding firms go through a systematic process to create great names.
It starts by investigating the landscape of the rest of the industry. Branding experts research the names of the competitors and what they have in common. A brand name must stand out, and this process allows them to discard overused or unoriginal words.
Another important investigation is the one related to the brand’s vocabulary. Branding experts extract the most important words from the vision and values of the business they’re working for.
After that comes the long process of creating a list—a very long list of hundreds or thousands of names. After naming the obvious ones, the experts go for more creative and unconventional ones.
This list is progressively narrowed and refined until only a few candidates are left. The final name is chosen among them.
How much does it cost: The cost of name creation goes from $7,500 to $75,000. Some firms are specialized in name development, and they’re usually the most expensive. Let’s take a closer look:
- $7,500-$15,000 for basic name development. Usually for smaller businesses.
- $15,000-$45,000 for name development plus taglines, trademark research, and brand positioning.
- $45,000-$75,000 for extensive product and company naming and research.
A logo lets your users immediately recognize your brand. It’s not enough for it to be pleasant. It has to connect with your audience and carry your brand’s message.
Designing a logo can be a complex process. There’s a lot of trial and error, formatting issues to consider, and entire company needs that must be interpreted. Depending on how and where you’re planning to show it, your logo will look different.
On the other hand, logo design can also get very simple. You could buy a subscription for a logo design platform and spend less than $50. You could also hire a freelance designer for $50-$500.
But if you really want your brand to stand out and represent your business, you’ll need the hands of trustworthy professionals.
A great logo gives off a professional first impression, creates consistency in your brand identity, and distinguishes you from the competition. It requires expertise in typography, illustration, color, symbols, and graphics.
The decisions made for the logo will guide the rest of your brand’s visual identity. A branding agency will give you typography sets, color pallets, and other elements used throughout your visual design.
How much does it cost: Logo creation can start at $1,000 and go beyond $150,000. Let’s look at what’s between the gap:
- $1,000-$10,000 for small design agencies.
- $10,000-$50,000 for a large agency that can do in-depth research. If your business is growing fast, this option will mitigate risks and be more future-proof.
- $50,000-$150,000+ for a world-class logo from a top firm, including extensive research to justify it. Very large companies can spend more than $300,000 on logo development.
It’s important for a brand to be remembered by its customers, but that’s not all. Customers associate successful brands with specific feelings.
Creating your brand positioning means deciding what feelings and associations you want your customers to have when they see your brand.
Brand positioning has a huge effect on the loyalty and trust of your customers. It’ll guide many of your business decisions and be a pillar to support the rest of your marketing.
The finished work of brand positioning can take many forms:
- Articulating the core values of your business.
- Brand statements.
- Communication strategy.
- Tone guidelines.
Larger projects can include more specific deliverables, like employee training.
Branding experts will spend a lot of time getting to know you and your business before deciding on brand positioning strategies. They might start by helping you articulate the message and values of your business.
They’ll also do a lot of research on your audience and how to connect with them. Brand positioning research will reveal which emotions will better engage your audience and what associations will benefit your brand the most.
How much does it cost: Brand positioning can cost $5,000-$80,000. This price is hard to estimate because it’s also a part of other elements of branding. For small businesses, it ranges between $5000 and $15,000.
The cost can vary a lot depending on your deliveries. If you have a lot of staff to train or many different products to position, then expect the cost to go up.
The cost of a website will depend on a business’s needs and size. These are some of the things that can increase the price:
- Specific functionalities like shopping carts or contact forms.
- Custom images or illustrations.
- The number of animations.
- Strong security.
- SEO optimization.
- The number of pages.
- Customer support apps.
Building a strong website requires many different skills, and agencies have the professionals to address them.
No matter what kind of business you have, you need a strong website. It’s the main player in SEO and, in most cases, where you convince clients to buy your product. A sound investment will become extremely valuable in the future.
Agencies can specialize in web design or offer it as part of their services. Often, branding agencies will include web design in their packages, which can make your life easier.
Having your branding and website development in a single place means communication will be easier, and you’ll be guaranteed that the design is perfectly aligned with your branding strategy.
How much does it cost: Agencies charge $10,000-$100,000 for a website.
The cost also varies depending on the kind of website:
- Informational websites can cost less than $10,000.
- Corporate websites cost $10,000-$35,000.
- Ecommerce websites can cost up to $50,000 or even more.It largely depends on the inventory size.
- Websites with large databases or robust web apps can cost from less than $10,000 to more than $100,000.
Take into account that you’ll also have to pay for maintenance and hosting services.
After doing all the necessary research, it’s time to create a plan to put your brand into practice. It’s nice to have detailed and inspiring documents, but all those insights need to translate into actual marketing.
Branding agencies will offer plans to integrate your branding into your marketing efforts. They may help you create marketing strategies or refine the ones you have.
Usually, this covers three main areas:
- Social media: Social media is the most effective way to carve your way into your customers’ lives. Your branding agency may help you create a narrative across platforms.
- SEO: Many things go on to make SEO work, both from a creative and from a technical point of view. It’s important to understand how to keep all of this within your brand’s interests and narrative. This might look like choosing the right keywords, understanding your competition, knowing the audience that goes with each search term, etc.
- Advertising: Pay-per-click advertising can get you traffic immediately. But since you’ll be exposing your brand to so many people, you must make sure you’re sending the right message. Here’s where the largest number of people will see your brand, so you have to communicate its core instantly.
How much does it cost: Not all branding packages include advising in marketing implementation. Some branding agencies can manage your entire marketing strategy, while others may limit themselves to creating the brand itself.
That said, the price for continued marketing strategies can go from $10,000 to over $300,000.
The price will depend on how many channels you’re using. The more social media accounts and advertising platforms you need to manage, the higher the price.
Now that you know what to expect from a branding agency, it’s time to start looking for one.
You’ll find hundreds of agencies after a few searches. There’s a lot on the line, so taking the right decision can be daunting.
Here are some questions you can keep in mind when reviewing an agency. They’ll help you narrow your options quickly and get to a trustworthy agency even if you’re on a budget.
As in other industries, experienced agencies inspire more trust. Don’t just look at how old the company is, check the people leading it and what they’ve done in the past.
However, experience isn’t everything. As you’ll see, it can be worth it to go with newer agencies if they do well with other criteria.
If you’re on a budget, pay a lot of attention to this. Competing with the industry giants is an uphill battle, and many smaller agencies specialize in specific niches to have a better chance of finding clients.
Look for an agency that has previously worked with businesses and audiences similar to yours. Working with a local agency that knows your city or region well can also be worth it.
Before committing to an agency, take a look at their previous work. Most branding agencies flaunt their best clients on their homepage and have a section dedicated to their portfolio, so it’s an easy thing to do.
Ask yourself if you like what you see and if their style fits with your business.
With platforms like Yelp and Google Reviews, it’s easy to take a look at client satisfaction. Read a few reviews to get a glimpse of how they work with their clients: Are they responsible? Do they deliver what they promised? Did their work give off results?
Of course, your decision will be limited by your budget. It’s nice to put a good investment into brand development, but it won’t be of much use if you don’t have enough money to put it to work with a good marketing campaign.
If you’re a startup or a small business, it might not be worth it to go with a big and prestigious agency. Start with basic services in a small agency. As your client base grows and your income becomes more reliable, you can step up and pay for more powerful branding.
If your business is growing or you have a lot of funding behind you, your branding investment should be on par with your other expenses.
Your brand can become your most valuable asset, and investing in it is key. How much you’ll spend depends on the size of your business, how much of your brand you need to work on, and the prestige of the agency you choose.
Company and product naming is one of the most expensive services of branding agencies, but together with a good logo, it’ll be very valuable in the long run. Meanwhile, brand positioning and visual identity will guide you in all your marketing decisions.
Depending on your budget, website design and market implementation can be handled by other agencies.