Big News: FounderDating is joining OneVest to build the largest community for entrepreneurs. Details here
Latest Notifications
You have no recent recommendations.
Name
Title
 
MiniBio
FOLLOW
Title
 Followers
FOLLOW TOPIC

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur

As an early/soon to launch start-up would you invest in working with a branding and marketing firm?

As a boot-strapped start-up I know that I want to make the best first impression I can while balancing out the potential high cost of what many of the branding/strategy firms charge. Aside from having a logo, I still need to source website design, packaging and bringing our story to life. From your experiences, what is the optimal time in the early start-up life cycle to pull the trigger for investing in a comprehensive branding strategy?

38 Replies

Anton Yakovlev
0
0
Anton Yakovlev Entrepreneur
Founder of four successful businesses on two continents who can help you do the same
I'd definitely stand for doing everything in house... But in case you cannot, you surely should work with someone who can. This mostly needed not for your customers, but for you, to get better understanding what particularly you are selling, and to whom. And yes, I'd agree with John, the sooner - the better.


Gregory Stromberg
1
0
Gregory Stromberg Entrepreneur
Founder/CEO cannedwater4kids inc.
You need to define immediately what you stand for, your purpose and how you will define success. Let your most important customers create the brand & the experience. Listen to their voice and how they perceive you and the values you are delivering. You can then create your story from outside in. Hope this helps. Sent from my iPhone Greg Stromberg Cell [removed to protect privacy]
Keira Barr
1
1
Keira Barr Advisor
CEO and Founder at Ketzel Design
Thank you all for your input. I feel confident I have defined what I stand for, my purpose and how I will define success. I have been struggling with how much to invest (and when) in making sure I can convey this to my target market given that I haven't launched yet. I appreciate your insight.
Ema Chuku
2
0
Ema Chuku Entrepreneur
Designer. Product Developer. Founder @ NuPad
Keyword "Bootstrap". I would recommend doing everything in-house for sometime. Outsourcing brand-development should come into equation later on or somewhere down the road, say after first couple years. You will save great amount of money that way. Because, by then you have a better understanding of your story and a polished one to tell.

Unless you have the cash to burn now, go for it.
Keira Barr
0
0
Keira Barr Advisor
CEO and Founder at Ketzel Design
Thank you Ema.
David Hattenbach
0
0
David Hattenbach Entrepreneur
CEO Secret Ingredient Marketing, Hugg Technology
Hi Keira,

It sounds like you are talking more about executing a brand strategy you already have in mind. One less expensive alternative to hiring an agency is to hire a brand consultant who can pull together and manage an ad-hoc group of creative resources that you need to get the branding/marketing pieces in place. There are many talented former big agency people floating around as freelancers that a good consultant can help you find.
Yaniv Levi
2
1
Yaniv Levi Entrepreneur
Digital Entrepreneur - Hiring
Hi Keira, congrats on your new journey:)

I would not advise you to spend to much of your efforts (and $$) on branding/logo/design stuff. I know it makes a great 1st impression but as you go along meeting investors, you would have to change everything - your messages, your positioning and might even need to pivot the product - this makes all branding $$ go to waste and it is a shame. Keep your $$ to provide for yourself during that time and impress investors with who you are and what your skills are - they don't expect anything more then that :)
Cesar Aya
0
0
Cesar Aya Entrepreneur
Partner
Our experience has led to work with a simple framework. (1) B2Bs can be worked in-house initially, (2) B2Cs the sooner we engage a branding consultant (not an agency) the better.
Now, B2Bs working out complex or new technologies that the market does not fully understand, refer to (2).
It seem you have already thought through what you stand for and purpose, we felt the same with some ventures. Once we worked a full branding strategy the message was much clearer and effective.
Regarding budget, we have invested between USD4k and USD10k for brand analysis, brand strategy, a couple of specific pieces (digital templates, logo, packaging), and brand books.
You can start small and refine your message as your customers begin to respond.
Happy to provide further details anytime.
Dimitry Rotstein
1
1
Dimitry Rotstein Entrepreneur
Head of R&D at SafeZone
I wouldn't waste more than a bare minimum, which in my case would be maybe a few stock images (~$10). Everything else you can and should do yourself. Yes, it won't be very professional, but in the early stages it makes little difference.
If your product solves a real problem/pain for a lot of people, then branding and strategies are nice things to have, but nor essential. If your product doesn't solve a real problem/pain, then all the branding and marketing won't help you much.

In any case, don't worry about making a bad first impression.
Unless you're planning on having a mega launch event a-la Apple (if you do then you obviously have too much money), the amount of people who will be turned off because of bad branding will be a drop in the sea, so you will have a chance to make a first impression again and again and again, even to the same people, because they will have forgotten all about you (and the bad impression you made) within a few months, if not weeks.

In short, don't pay for anything until you can really afford it, i.e. you can pay that amount without thinking twice (or asking advice about it :-).
Susan Solomon
1
2
Susan Solomon Entrepreneur
President, Women's Entrepreneur Festival & Co-Founder, DriveThru Branding
In my experience, NOT starting with the right story will make everything you create - your logo, website, and all other content - more difficult, and more costly. At Drive-Thru Branding we believe everyone - even boot-strapped startups deserve a great story. We provide on-demand branding to quickly get you on the road to creating compelling, concise and consistent content. We know you don't have lots of time or money. Our process was specifically designed to get you exactly what you need to move forward, and at a price you can afford. Check us out: http://www.drivethrubranding.com Sent from my iPhone
Join FounderDating to participate in the discussion
Nothing gets posted to LinkedIn and your information will not be shared.

Just a few more details please.

DO: Start a discussion, share a resource, or ask a question related to entrepreneurship.
DON'T: Post about prohibited topics such as recruiting, cofounder wanted, check out my product
or feedback on the FD site (you can send this to us directly info@founderdating.com).
See the Community Code of Conduct for more details.

Title

Give your question or discussion topic a great title, make it catchy and succinct.

Details

Make sure what you're about to say is specific and relevant - you'll get better responses.

Topics

Tag your discussion so you get more relevant responses.

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
Know someone who should answer this question? Enter their email below
Stay current and follow these discussion topics?