Are you planning on setting up a new business? Or have you already launched one and are currently experiencing the startup adventure? It doesn’t really matter what business life cycle stage you are at. The only two phases of your startup that will be of any relevance in this article are: before investing in branding and after implementing brand identity design.

What do you mean with brand identity design?

Most of us know what branding is. However, once someone mentions brand identity design, the majority of people get confused. To keep things clear: branding is an act of forming and improving the perception of a business in the eyes of its customers. In other words, branding is an abstract concept. Brand identity design, on the other hand, refers to tangible items. It’s a term that describes a design package which includes logo design and business stationery. That is business card design, letterhead, envelope, compliment note design as well as specifies the official brand colors and fonts.

Stage: Before investing in branding

If you still haven’t decided whether to invest in branding, we hope you are still early in the research and development stage. Why? Because branding has a direct effect on the recognition of your business. The sooner you introduce your startup to the world in terms of visual exposure, the better you’re going to do when you actually enter the market with your products.

Every business owner knows that marketing starts before the launch of the product as it’s a process that requires time. Branding, however, should start as soon as the decision on your company’s name is set. Let the world see your logo multiple times before the public begins to recognize what it stands for. Once people remember your logo, they’ll eventually recognize your ads without even seeing your name but by simply connecting the design principles (colors, fonts, layout) to your brand’s standards.

Stage: After implementing brand identity design

The mentioned brand identity design includes a variety of items designed by the same person. Hence, all of these elements are consistent. And thanks to that, so is the brand in the perception of its (potential) customers. Imagine a professional, luxury real estate business with stationery that doesn’t exactly match its logo and website or a set of envelopes and papers that are… blank.

No matter how extraordinary the company’s services may be, customers may have troubles taking the business seriously. Instead, they will go to a competitor that took care of such simple details. The point of this example is that an investment in branding is a simple and worthy way to either gain a competitive advantage or to keep up with the competition.

This especially relates to a startup business as the first few months are crucial for its survival. Losing a client because of a silly inconsistency across branding elements is an easily avoidable situation. Startups, however, have limited funds so any unnecessary investment is, preferably, skipped. Remember though, graphic design services do not necessarily need to cost your business a fortune. There are plenty of places you can turn to for help – from world-famous design agencies, through online design platforms to local freelancers.