How Much Does Branding Cost?

One of the questions we often hear is ‘how much does a branding cost’? What all goes into a full branding project that can drive up costs? The answer is actually a relatively complex one. Here at HatchMark Studio, years of experience have made the branding process second nature. As a client, you shouldn’t have to be left guessing how an agency arrived at the price for your upcoming brand project. In this article, you will learn all about how branding agencies price projects and what you should expect to ask for in your budget if a rebrand is in your future. 

Brand Projects Take Time

This is a big one. People often say that time is a precious commodity that we never get back once it’s gone. When done right, an in-depth branding project can and should take anywhere from 150 to 250 hours from start to finish. Seems excessive? That’s totally understandable! The difference between decent brands and unforgettable ones can often be measured in time. How much time did the agency spend doing research, interviewing key experts, and workshopping? The answers to these questions are often revealing ones, both bad and good. Plan to be engaged several times throughout the brand work by the agency you hire. This is not a set-it-and-forget-it job. The best brands are built when the relationship between the client and the agency is symbiotic, inspiring each other with honest feedback and leaning into each other’s knowledge and expertise. 

Extensive Messaging is the Heart of a Brand

Quippy taglines and mission statements are often included in most brand deliverables. But when an agency does it right, it will include a full messaging system, including key headlines across several potential brand audiences. Gleaning and refining this information can take weeks and even months from research and interviews to writing the messaging and fine-tuning through a workshop and revisions. Resist the urge to rush this process! The time you spend upfront to get it right will save you hours and money down the road. 

With a solid messaging system in place, your marketing team will be primed for success well into the future. Throwing together a billboard or a print ad? The brand guidelines are a cornucopia of headlines ripe for the picking, saving your creative teams time and money. Furthermore, having this bank of instantly accessible messaging creates consistency for your brand’s public-facing materials. Slowly but surely, this consistency will do wonders for brand recognition and customer sentiment. 

Logos & Design Elements Have to Be Spot On

Everyone knows that the face of any memorable brand is centered around an amazing logo. When you see the golden arches of McDonald’s or the iconic Nike swoosh, your brain instantly connects the dots with the brand–you know exactly what you’re about to experience. This is the goal of every brand. 

Developing a logo with true staying power can take quite a bit of time.

Okay…What’s The True Cost of a Brand?

Full brand systems, depending on the pedigree of the agency and the city or country you’re in, will run somewhere in the ballpark of $40,000-$50,000 from start to finish. This includes logo files, full messaging system, visual system, brand guidelines, and a blend of applicable deliverables ranging from branded envelopes to business cards. The addition of website design and development would raise this overall cost by as much as $10,000. 

Can it be done cheaper? Always. The truth is, it’s easy to put out a proposal and sell to the lowest bidder on freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr to get a quick logo pack with some colors and a mission statement to call it a day. And if this works for you and your business, more power to you! You can easily get your costs down as low as $1,000 to $3,000 for a one-and-done brand project. 

Is Branding Worth The Money?

It’s a fair question. After all, $40,000 is a lot of money for any business. You can think of branding as a long-term investment for your company. Customers are usually driven by emotions, both negative and positive. And your brand is that “gut feeling” that your customers or potential customers feel. That being said, if you can stand out from the competition, branding can turn into money. Don’t believe us? Listen to our podcast episode that highlights a real-life case study from our branding client and how they used a brand refresh to mount a data-driven marketing strategy that led to a 40% revenue increase.