Written by Canon Wing

I teach entrepreneurs and organizations the proven action steps to stand out within their market, improve the perceived value of their business, and better connect with their audience through naming, branding, storytelling, and communication platforms.

July 29, 2021

How Much Should I Spend On Branding?

Today we are answering the question on every entrepreneur’s mind: How Much Should I Spend on Branding?

Today we will discuss how successful entrepreneurs are using their start-up resources wisely, without damaging or doing a disservice to their brand. Here’s what you need to know to start off strong for yourself:

The Top 3 Things an Entrepreneur Can’t Be Afraid to Invest In.

Number One: Never Be Afraid to Invest in Good People 

Now when I say ‘good people,’ I mean people who are trustworthy. People who deliver what they say they will when they say they will. No house can stand on a wall that isn’t always there.  

A recent study found that on average, successful brands reported spending between 25-50% of their initial budget on payroll, with an additional $1k- 5k dedicated to professional consultants. And new brands who choose to take a more DIY approach in an attempt to save money usually find themselves spending even more further down the line because they accidentally file their taxes incorrectly when they should have consulted with a tax expert, or they end up paying thousands of dollars in legal fees because they didn’t hire a liability consultant, or they wind up needing to undergo an entire re-brand because they didn’t consult with a branding expert…one of the key advantages to investing in people, is having a vast expanse of expertise reinforcing your brand in areas where you may not have the most experience.  

Invest in the kind of good people whose values and ethics align with your brand’s values and ethics, AND who possess particular strengths, talents, and expertise that can take your innovative ideas to the next level. As fun as it is to say she is my mini-me, you don’t want to hire people just like you. You want to hire people who are better than you at something that your brand needs to strengthen. Are you a great visionary but weak when it comes to systemizing your process? That position is a great position to invest in, to strengthen the value of your entire company. They will have ways to systemize that are as my accountant puts it more eloquent than you could have ever thought of because this is their sweet spot, their area to shine. When you invest in good people your main job is to let them shine, not bog them down on “no buts”, or personal fears of failure. When you hire people who are fulfilling your weaknesses with their strengths let them do it, let them be strong, be innovative, enjoy ownership in what they do.

Number Two: Never Be Afraid to Invest in Quality Materials

You can have a great brand that really sings to the hearts of your Ideal Individuals, makes them feel at home, and makes buying from your brand the easiest decision they make all day—BUT if the quality of the product or service they receive isn’t aligned with the quality of your branding, GAME OVER, trust broken. Really, every good thing they thought about your brand will be erased by the shoddy product they received. The good experience they had shopping with your brand will become tainted, and they will relay the touchpoints they’ve had with your brand as moments where they were lied to by your brand, and the opportunity to win brand loyalty is gone. Order returned, and the website or store no longer stored in their mind as a friend, but rather as danger, something to be avoided as it caused them pain when they invested primarily or at least fundamentally to avoid pain or to gain pleasure.  

A recent study revealed that the average costs of materials for building a new brand start, at the very lowest, around $10k, and range up to $125K, depending on the scale of your operation. What “high-quality” materials mean to a brand can vary from business to business. “High-quality” materials –what is considered high quality is determined by your customers as well as your options. High quality in health treatments alone could mean a luxurious atmosphere, durable machinery, portability for home use, weight, recycled materials, hypoallergenic materials, warm and welcoming staff, talented practitioners, excellent customer services, in Hollywood most high-end plastic surgeons have private hallways that connect with luxury hotels with floors of nurses to care for their patients in recovery. The question is which of these investments will attract and keep your ideal customers? What will emotionally move them to come back again and again after their first try? Watch the episode to gain the three most important questions to consider with evaluating the value of different materials for your brand!

Number Three: Never Be Afraid to Invest in Worthy Causes.

Investing in worthy causes that align with your brand’s values and ethics will elevate the conversation your brand is having with your audience to a place that is more meaningful than just sales sales sales. It allows your brand to express dedication to the community it serves, it connects your brand more deeply with your customers, and it makes your customers feel proud to associate themselves with your brand.

Many brands have adopted buy one, give one marketing platforms to boost their brand awareness through conscientious contributions to humanity. Some brands commit to donating a certain percentage of every sale to a specific cause that is relevant to their brand messaging, and important to their brand community. Companies like Toms Shoes, Warby Parker, Bombas, Avocado Mattress, Barkbox, and Sand Cloud are just a few examples off the top of my head of wildly successful brands who started out relatively small and just exploded, generating word-of-mouth advertising like CRAZY— simply because purchasing goods and services from these brands leave people feeling good about themselves for having a meaningful impact in the world, helping other people, animals, or the environment thrive.

How about a couple of statistics to really drive this point home? A poll taken in 2018 by Gallup discovered that 65% of Americans believe that companies should prioritize what is best for society over economic growth. Today in 2021, just three short (and yet very long) years later that percentage has shot up to 77%.

Whatever ways you discover for your brand to invest in worthy causes, the return of investment for your brand has SO many wins. Watch the episode now to learn more!

So there you have it! The trifecta for triggering word-of-mouth advertising. Use it only if you are an entrepreneur who is building a brand to Come Out of Nowhere in 2021 because this strategy is about playing the long game and creating lasting and sustainable relationships with your community.

Thank you so much for joining me! If you enjoyed this article, let’s be a community! Follow me on Youtube and Facebook where I release new videos every Tuesday and Thursday. Treat these episodes as a masterclass for becoming an Inspiration to Millions with branding, and always remember to Love What You Do, and Love How You Do It.