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bruce

Bruce Smith

Anecdote founder

How much does branding cost in the South East

Welcome to another helpful dose of marketing insights. 

Today we are talking about branding and the costs associated with it.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with or would like a better understanding of the process of branding then please read the article below.
 
 
When I think of the essence of branding, I always have this picture of a farmer in America stamping his cows with a branding iron.
 
Can you imagine clients having to do that! “Right, good we’ve created your new brand identity, the logo is on this branding iron, bend over for a minute, you might feel a slight burning sensation!”

You’d 
be surprised, some clients may deserve that kind of process! But we’re sure anyone reading this, is not in that camp. We can all sit nicely around the branding campfire together.
 
I digress. Let’s get down to business, the business of how much branding costs.
 
Well, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to the cost of branding, it depends on a number of factors. But in this article, we will provide you with broad numbers to help give some context.
 

The cost of branding in London

Typically
, in London for a sliding scale of agency outfit, you’ll be looking to pay between £20,000 all the way up to £150,000+. £20,000 being your smaller, less well-known agency and £150,000+ for the biggest agencies out there, global brand experts.

 

The cost of branding outside of London

Outside of London, the costs can vary 
wildlyThere are still a number of world-beating brand agencies across the country, in Bristol, Taxi Studio, Birmingham, Purpose, and Manchester, Robot and Love, but generally, costs are lower than you would expect to pay in London.

Why are branding costs much higher in London?

The main answer is talent. 
Don’t get me wrong, rent and costs of running a business are generally higher in cities as a whole but a brand agency is only as good as the talent that creates the ideas and executes them with real energy and intelligence.


Depending on which brand agency in London you commission, you will be dealing with experts with a lot of experience at a high level
Having worked in London for 6 years at a very reputable brand agency and then spending time outside of London there is a difference. 

Maybe
 it’s the energy, the scale of the city that makes you feel that way but generally, the clients and projects are bigger and with that brings certain expectations.

Now, I’m not saying all agencies outside of London don’t have the skills to pay the bills. 
In fact, what we are seeing especially with Covid and the reality of not having to commute each day is that there are a number of really good regional agencies who are cutting into the London market.

The talent is now realising they don’t need to pay the £5000 train ticket, and once they offset it against a London salary, and spending 15 hours a week on a train 
suddenly, driving up the standards in a regional agency becomes very appealing.

How are branding costs calculated?

Branding costs 
are linked to the agency brand process. All agencies have their own take on the branding process and some provide ridiculously bullshit terms to dress up the process to charge more.

‘Let’s wow the client with some wanky name for our branding process’, they may even claim to trademark it, oh dear.

Depending on the kind of client you are, you may feel like this is right for you because it’s different, ‘they’re giving me something different
.’ Sorry to burst your bubble but they’re not, it’s just clever marketing.

Put 
simply, the process of branding consists of the strategy part and the creative part. My old agency calls this Logic and Magic.

Logic bit

  • Researching, evidence gathering, and understanding the business
  • Understanding what the business stands and defining a verbal framework and structure to explain it

Magic bit

  • Using creativity to bring the logical bit to life.

 

Sounds really easy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not and it takes time to do it properly and get it right.

How much should the logic bit cost?

Outside of London in the South East where we are, you would expect to pay between £2 – 5,000 for the logic part of the branding process
It is the foundation of how you deliver the visual aspects of the brand, without it, the visual part is just window dressing.

These costs can vary depending on the size of the business and the industry they are in.

How much should the Magic bit cost?

Again outside of London in Kent, where we are, you would expect to pay between £3 – 6,000 for the magic part of the branding process
. This is where the strategy comes to life visuallyIt’s a really exciting bit for the agency and the client, as long as the standards are there and the process has been followed correctly.

 
Creativity is subjective, but the skill of a really good brand agency is to reassure and listen to feedback from the client to make sure everyone is all-in on the chosen idea. The client has to love the work and want to get it out there.
 
You always know you’ve done a good job when the client starts coming up with their own ideas of a route you have shown them. They are excited and can’t wait to get it out there.

How many meetings should a branding project take?

Depending on the size of the business and the industry you’re in on average you would be looking at around 5 meetings
. It really all depends on the relationship you have with the agency.

How the meetings break down.

 

  1. Meet the agency at their offices to see if the chemistry is right between both parties, (ask to look around the studio to see how they work)
  2. Brand discovery session would generally take half of a full day of your and your colleague’s time
  3. Meeting to present back strategic thinking
  4. Meeting to present initial creative concepts
  5. Meeting to discuss creative development and final iterations


What should I receive for the investment I make in branding?

At the end of the branding process, your business should 
be given a comprehensive set of brand guidelines that encapsulates your business’s story and why and how you are different.

It should then explain how to put in place the visual part of the brand across all necessary touchpoints from print collateral through to website and PowerPoint templates
.

You will also 
be given all logo files as well as some application assets. These could be email signatures, PowerPoint templates, stationery artwork, and other elements agreed on in the budget.

Bigger items, such as a website, digital campaigns, or printed collateral would 
be costed separately.

Well, that’s it. Was this useful? Please let us know. We want to create content that better informs you and helps you in the long run. If you need any further support please get in touch.

Thanks for reading right to the end. 
We know you’re busy and we really respect your time so hopefully, the fact that you’ve got to here means that you’ve found it worthwhile.

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