Branding Packages For Small Businesses! (Explained)
Having worked with small business owners many times before I know how confusing it can be to pick a branding package for your small business. In this blog post, we’ll therefore explain thoroughly what you can normally expect from the different packages. First a quick answer:
In general, a small business can select one of two branding packages. The first package is normally a smaller package that includes the basics such as a mood board, logo design, color palettes, font choices, and a brand guidelines. The second package is larger and also includes a favicon, social media post templates, an extensive brand guide, and one or two collaterals such as business cards or e-mail templates.
However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ll explain in detail what every branding element actually means for you as a small business owner. Furthermore, we’ll also discuss how much these packages normally cost, what fits you best and how long they generally take to be completed. Read on!
Small Business Starter Package
Let it first be clear that every small business is an entirely different beast. Therefore, there’s never a one-size-fits-all package. For this particular reason, you’ll normally see that brand designers have 1 – 3 packages from which small businesses can choose. Most likely you’ll always find a starter package in there.
A starter package is a package for new entrepreneurs who are in the process of setting up their small business. This starter package provides you with a visual identity that serves as the foundation for your business. It will be the branding you will use in the upcoming years to speak and connect with your audience while also providing you with the necessary elements and guidelines to not worry about your branding in the future.
In general, a starter package will include the following deliverables:
Every, and I mean every, branding package should start with a proper foundation. This foundation is almost always a proper brand strategy and visual direction. A mood board is, as the name suggests, a visual board with a collection of inspirational elements that serve as the general guideline for the branding process. This works as follows.
Before a brand designer can start working on your brand, he/she should always have a clear starting point. Normally a brand designer will send you a brand questionnaire with multiple questions about the values of your brand, your target audience, your vision and mission, and visual elements that you find inspiring.
Next, you and the designer will discuss this questionnaire thoroughly so that the designer has a clear image of what you would like your brand to represent. From here on a mood board is created which includes fonts, colors, patterns, and textures.
Once the designer is done creating this mood board, you’ll have a thorough talk about it to see if this is indeed the feeling you want your brand to radiate. The mood board is a very important element of a branding package because it serves as a backbone for future branding decisions.
Primary Logo & Logo Alternatives
After the creation of the mood board, the designer will start on the actual brand identity of your small business. One of the first elements that will be created is a logo. For many business owners, this is one of the most important brand elements because it’s the ‘flag’ of your business that will be seen everywhere.
However, where a great branding package separates itself from an average one is the variety of logo’s that you get.
You see, many new business owners don’t realize that one logo is normally not sufficient. A logo appears on many different platforms and in a large variety of sizes. A logo that’s displayed on the header of your website is going to look a lot different when it’s also displayed as the profile picture of your Instagram.
Normally a brand designer will create three logos for a new small business owner: one primary logo, one alternative logo, and one sub-mark. Besides these logo’s a brand designer should also always give you guidance about how to use each logo in different situations. More on that later in the ‘style guide’ section.
A well-thought-out color palette is another important element for any branding package and especially for businesses that are just starting out. The reason for this is that colors are not only a very visual aspect of your brand, they also evoke and represent certain emotions.
It’s therefore very important that you think about the values you want your small business to represent and what colors match this goal (Don’t worry though! A good brand designer will do this for you).
Besides making sure that the values and colors match each other a brand designer also makes sure that the colors work together as a whole. As a general rule of thumb, a brand designer will provide you with a primary color, secondary colors (which are based on the primary color), and neutral colors (which, for example, are used as background colors).
Once you’ve got a logo and colors you’ll also need fonts. Most of the time a brand designer will pick the fonts and colors while simultaneously designing the logo.
Just like colors, fonts also express certain emotions and should once again match the values and goals of your new business. Also, a font should simply be readable and understandable in different situations. Therefore, it also serves practical use.
Expect a brand designer to deliver three fonts when you opt to go for a ‘starter branding package’: one font for headings, one for sub-heading, and one for the body of the text.
Branding Style Board
Finally, a brand designer should always give you a branding style board at the end of the branding process. This board is basically a very practical board with a clear overview of all the deliverables that have been created.
For example, it will include the fonts and the font names, and the colors with the color codes. This doesn’t only make it easier to create your own branding elements (such as social media posts) in the future. It also allows you to hand it over to somebody else who will immediately know what specific branding should be used.
What Does A Small Business Start Package Cost?
In general, this kind of branding package for a small business will cost anywhere between $500 – $1,200. Anything lower than that and you’ll most likely not get the results you’re looking for. If the price is higher than this you’re most likely not looking at a starter package anymore.
Personally, I charge $650 for the starter package which you can check out here. From my experience, this is a price that allows small businesses to get the results they want while also not breaking the bank!
Small Business Premium Package
If the starter package sounds a little too ‘light’ for you and your small business then you’re most likely looking for a premium package. Premium branding packages are ideal for small business owners who have been around longer and now want to invest more heavily in their brand. It’s also ideal for small business owners who know they need a strong visual identity for their brand from the get-go.
Before we dive into this, let it be clear that this package already includes everything a ‘starter package’ has. Everything that’s listed below is therefore an add-on to the starter package.
Remember that we talked about logos? Well, in a premium package you should also expect to get a favicon. A favicon is a little logo that’s displayed in your browser next to your URL when you visit your website. Since most small business owners that opt for this package have a website a favicon is, therefore, a very needed branding element.
Social Media Post Templates
In my blog ‘How To Rebrand On Instagram’ we already discussed the importance of branding on social media. These days every brand has a presence on social media and at the same time, this is also one of the best places to let your branding come to life.
Chances are that your small business does indeed have a presence on social media. Why would you try to figure out how you can best brand your business on these platforms when you can have an experienced brand designer do it for you?
Let it be clear that social media templates are not ready-to-post content. Rather, a designer will hand you a template and examples of how to use the colors, fonts and logos in what situations. For example, an Instagram story and an Instagram post could need different branding decisions to make sure they work flawlessly with the format.
Also, a brand designer can make several different variations of these templates to make sure there’s a select variety of options to choose from while still being ‘on brand’. However, this depends strongly on your small business and your needs.
Want to know how to give your brand a unique twist and how to make it stand out from all the other small businesses? Using patterns in your branding is definitely one of the options!
Patterns are an optional part of this branding package but they’re great for small businesses that have actual physical products. These kinds of products look much more visually appealing with a pattern on them. Since people base their decision on whether or not to buy physical products on the way they look this can actually be a very smart business decision.
Pattern design is an optional part of this branding package and depending on your specific needs you can also swap it out for another marketing collateral. Let’s see what the possibilities are here!
One Marketing Collateral
Marketing collaterals are the flexible part of this premium package. The reason for this is that when it comes to these kind of premium packages there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. I mean, a lifestyle coach is going to have different branding needs than a small physical business selling premium handbags.
If you want to read more elaborately about these marketing collaterals, please read a blog I wrote earlier called ‘What’s Included In A Branding Package?’. In that blog, I explain all the collaterals in detail.
Marketing collaterals include:
- Business cards
- E-mail templates/signatures
- Presentation templates
- Package design
- Media Kit
In the starter package, we talked about a ‘Brand Style Board’ which is one A4 that helps you guide your brand in the right direction in the future. If you opt to go for the premium package this brand guidelines becomes much more elaborate.
The reason for this is that there are many more branding elements to take into account. A good brand designer will know the situations which you’ll encounter and provide you guidelines on how to use the branding elements in the right way and context. This guide includes visual guidelines on mistakes that should be avoided (unclear colors/fonts, logos that are too small, etc.).
Basically, this guide helps you make future design decisions on your own. This way you can carry out the message of your brand in a way that’s visually pleasing while not having to worry about what looks good and what doesn’t. Therefore, it’s also a huge future timesaver.
What Does A Small Business Premium Package Cost?
The price of a small business premium package can vary a lot. Think about $900 – $3,000 for the whole package. Some companies charge even more but personally, I feel that this falls way outside of what most small businesses are capable of. Personally, I charge $995 for this package which you can check out here.
What Brand Designer Should A Small Business Pick?
Furthermore, it’s also important to consider who you want to work with. Every brand designer is different and based on your choices you’ll receive very different results. If you’re a tech start-up you’ll mostly want to look for brand designers/studios that have experience with this kind of branding.
On the other hand, if you’re a female entrepreneur in the creative, social, or coaching sector then I can advise you to go for a designer that has experience with this. Personally, I work with female entrepreneurs and, if I can say so, have had great results in doing so. Check out my portfolio here!
No matter what your choice is, it’s always a good idea to schedule a call first with the designer to see if your small business and your characters match before you make a commitment. The last thing you want to do is end up with a difficult branding process or branding you don’t like.
How Long Does Branding Take For A Small Business?
It’s very likely that you also want to know how long branding for a small business usually takes. Of course, this depends on many factors. As a general rule of thumb branding for a small business takes between 2 – 4 weeks. This depends on the size of the branding package as well as the availability of the designer and the response rate of the client.