Branding is a powerful tool that can shape the perception of your business, build customer loyalty, and drive growth... That's why Fortune 500 companies—and even governments—invest sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars into brand design and strategy.
However, many businesses struggle to quantify the return on investment (ROI) of their branding efforts, and it remains one of the most underutilized sales, marketing, and brand strategy tools available.
While branding encompasses both tangible and intangible benefits, understanding the financial impact of branding services is crucial for making informed marketing decisions. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore how to calculate ROI for branding services and why this often-underutilized component of marketing strategy can provide some of the best long-term ROI possible for brands.
First Things, First: What is Branding?
Branding is the process of creating and shaping the identity, image, and perception of a business or organization in the minds of consumers. It encompasses all the elements that define how a brand is perceived, including its name, logo, visual design, messaging, values, and overall customer experience.
Effective branding helps businesses differentiate themselves from competitors, build strong emotional connections with their target audience, and establish a recognizable and trusted presence in the market.
A well-defined brand serves as a roadmap for all marketing and communication efforts, ensuring consistency and coherence across all touchpoints. It is the foundation upon which businesses build their reputation, attract and retain customers, and achieve long-term success.
Examples of branding: colors and typography
What Are Brand Guidelines?
Brand guidelines, also known as brand style guides or brand identity guidelines, are a set of rules and standards that define how a brand should be presented and communicated across various channels and platforms.
These guidelines provide a framework for maintaining brand consistency and ensuring that all brand elements are used correctly and cohesively.
Example Brand Guidelines:
How to Perform a Cost-Benefit Analysis for Branding Services
It's important to understand what your business goals are, first.
As an example: if you want more high-ticket clients (and less volume of low-ticket clients), does your current branding appeal (to your target clients) and repel (your not-target-clients), accordingly?
If your current branding does not help you attract the right clients to meet your goals, should you consider professional branding?
Does your competitors' branding look exactly like yours? Should you differentiate your brand design to get a competitive edge?
If you are currently working with a marketing agency, does the agency offer the quality and expertise of brand design you need, to meet your goals, or do you need to look elsewhere?
How many clients/projects/subscribers a month would it take to not only pay for the branding, but also represent a sales increase? For service-based businesses like law firms, accountants, public insurance adjusting firms, and more, would one more client a month pay for the branding and represent an increase in profit? For businesses selling goods like brick-and-mortar, eCommerce, and more, what would be the dollar amount of sales that would pay for the branding and produce new profits?
To formally calculate ROI, use the following formula:
To calculate ROI, use the following formula: ROI (%) = [(Financial Benefits - Cost of Branding Services) / Cost of Branding Services] x 100
For example, if the cost of branding services is $10,000 and the financial benefits amount to $30,000, the ROI would be: ROI (%) = [($30,000 - $10,000) / $10,000] x 100 ROI (%) = 200%
This calculation indicates a 200% return on investment, meaning that for every dollar invested in branding services, the business gained a return of two dollars.
It's important to note that branding is a long-term, and long-lasting investment, and the full impact of branding efforts may not be immediately apparent. However, over time, a well-executed branding strategy can lead to sustainable growth, improved customer relationships, and a stronger market position, all of which contribute to a positive ROI.
The Intangible Benefits of Branding
In addition to quantifiable financial outcomes, branding also offers intangible benefits that contribute to the overall value and success of your brand. These benefits include enhanced brand reputation, increased brand awareness, and stronger customer loyalty. While these benefits may not be easily quantified in monetary terms, they play a vital role in shaping customer perceptions and building lasting relationships with your target audience.
Assessing the intangible benefits of branding can involve methods such as customer surveys, brand perception studies, and tracking changes in brand awareness over time. By understanding both the tangible and intangible benefits of branding, businesses can make more informed decisions and maximize the impact of their branding efforts.
Take Control of Your Brand's Future
Branding is a critical component of a successful marketing strategy, and understanding the ROI of branding services is essential for businesses looking to drive growth and stay ahead of the competition. By investing in branding and developing comprehensive brand guidelines, businesses can cultivate brand recognition, foster customer loyalty, and establish a compelling brand narrative that aligns with their values and mission.
While calculating ROI for branding services can be complex, the long-term benefits of a thoughtfully crafted brand are substantial. Whether you're a startup or an established enterprise, a well-executed branding strategy can unlock new opportunities, enhance your brand's visibility, and position your organization for success in an ever-evolving business landscape.
If you're ready to elevate your brand and unlock the full potential of branding services, reach out to our team of branding experts. We're here to help you navigate the branding process and achieve your business goals.