The hard work that it takes to create and cultivate a brand cannot be overvalued. Protecting and ensuring your brand long term, however, takes more than a great logo and well thought-out tagline. Despite the expenses it may incur, investing in your brand will help your company sustain growth and appeal in an industry that is constantly moving on to the next big name.
A long-lasting way of keeping your brand alive and well is by hiring PR professionals. Their entire skill set is devoted to helping companies such as yours to cultivate and then maintain a good brand reputation by interacting with the community and connecting you with the media in positive ways. Often, they can see your brand from an outsider’s perspective and help identify its weaknesses and strengths while also providing advice and an action plan on how to protect your brand from pitfalls it would otherwise suffer.
The practical side of having a brand involves getting it trademarked. The cost of trademarking a name or a logo varies, also depending on whether you do it at the federal or state level, but regardless is a part of the budget that can’t be omitted. Once this is paid for, preferably with the help of a trademark attorney, there is still the need to ensure brand protection legally long term. There are many brand protection tools that can help you identify online entities exploiting your company’s revenue and reputation. As many can and do exploit businesses online, this expense is worth the protection it gives to your brand’s value.
Marketing means more than buying ads and posting on social media. To protect your brand, you need to put money into not only how often you market, but the quality and distinctiveness of the marketing content used. Brand marketing is a term that describes a way of marketing that focuses on building a relationship between the customer and the brand, instead of simply including logos on everything. While putting in the extra time to make long term goals and strategize marketing can ultimately cost more, the investment returns twofold when customers begin to buy your products not simply because they like the product, but because they also trust it coming from you.
Narrowing in on the less thought of expenses that go into protecting a brand, marketing costs can also include smaller costs for things such as company vehicles. Putting information and brand imaging on even the things your company uses as transportation can be costly but worth the expense if researched properly and spent on quality materials. You can save thousands in repairs by applying paint protection to your vehicles, for instance. You’ll have a much longer lasting return on your investment of branding what the company drives. On a more general level, of course, investing in products that will lengthen the lifetime of a marketing ploy can apply to any unconventional method of marketing you use.
In this new digital age, one of the first and possibly last places people will encounter your brand is online. What your main web page and overall website looks like will determine a lot about what people think of your brand or whether it is memorable at all. At times it is tempting to look up a few tutorial videos and try the Do-It-Yourself method, but in the respect of protecting your brand from being misrepresented or forgotten, hiring web design and management professionals is costly but essential. Branding your website takes a lot of skill and can often be the difference between a forgettable experience with your business and a remarkable one.
Along with design, unless you yourself are a master wordsmith, it is likely you won’t be able to maintain and improve upon a brand voice for your website and print content the same way a professional copywriter can. Especially in the genesis period of a business, you simply have had to make do with auto-correct and google articles as you composed content to attract customers. To protect your brand from becoming inconsistent between one piece of writing to the next, however, the expense of hiring a seasoned writer who knows about voice and how to emulate the goals of your brand can make all the difference.
Though online content is becoming more and more essential, it has yet to completely replace the value of print material—and printing can be expensive. Telling a person to check out your website is generally less effective than giving them a card with the website details on it, and physical visuals of what your brand looks like and is associated with often feels more substantial than online images. Whether you need to make flyers, brochures, catalogs, business cards, or any other kind of marketing print material, it will require expense that digital content does not, especially if you invest in getting them designed consistent with your brand.
Many of the things previously stated can only be made or accessed online, and that requires equipment. Printers, cameras, monitors, computers or laptops, projectors, and many others depending on your specific company, must be included in the costs of developing and sustaining a brand. Don’t forget about this expense, and especially do not try to cut corners or purchase subpar equipment if you are hoping for your brand to be professionally and memorably designed. The manpower behind the cultivation of a brand cannot make up for bad quality photography or substandard printed material. Everything that is produced surrounding and contributing to your brand should reflect the quality of the business it is attached to.
Branding is a long and never-ending process if you want to stay in business. To protect your brand, explore what parts of your budget can be maneuvered to invest in the costs of professional work and planning that goes into making a brand long lasting. While overspending can lead to many problems in a company, underspending on protecting your brand will more than likely mark it for an expiration date.
Read this next: How Your Website Can Strengthen Your Brand
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