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How Much Does Brand Design Cost? A Complete Pricing Guide

Your brand is your story. The story of how your company’s history, skill, and people converge to create the product or service you sell.

Digging out that story—your brand—and sharing it with the world is complicated, but it’s worth the effort.

So long as it’s authentic.

50% of consumers surveyed by Stackia ranked brand authenticity as “very important” when deciding which companies to support. (Almost 90% rated it as “important.”)

Sometimes, what’s authentic to your company isn’t immediately apparent. Unveiling authenticity requires a lot of time, specialty tools, and the expertise of branding professionals. Expect a steep price tag for well-executed, impactful brand design services.

We’re talking the low thousands to tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars.

What makes branding—good branding—so expensive? Below, we break down the brand design process into management chunks, discussing what each step entails and where your money’s going.

Read on to answer the question, How much does brand design cost?

Market Research

infographic showing the market research and pricing comparison between market reports & custom research

Diving into a project without taking stock of the market you’re entering will get you somewhere—but it’s not where you want to be. You’ll end up expending resources with little to no positive results.

That’s a fast track to bankruptcy.

Before you launch a new product or service or revamp an existing one, you need to conduct thorough market research, comparing what’s already out there to what you plan to offer.

Market research is the first step in the branding process, so understanding this stage will help you answer the question, How much does brand design cost?

You’ll determine:

The team doing the research needs to know, first, how to find all this information. Then, they need to interpret and build strategies with that data. Accessing in-depth, reliable market data and insights requires a suite of (often pricey) digital tools and subscriptions—and a lot of time and human power.

How much all this will cost you really … depends. It depends on:

In short, expect to spend an average of $3,000 (CAD3,900) on a full-market report from an agency. Custom research could set you back $30,000 (CAD39,600) and counting. For a bit of perspective, even the biggest companies reserve less than 1% of their annual spending for market research.

Brand Strategy

brand strategy infographic definition and a blue circular graphic in a round rectangular shape showing the range of pricing between 5,000 and 80,000 dollars

The next step in the branding process is to take all the information you’ve gathered and start planning. This is easily one of the most important parts of the process.

The strategy you create now guides all your branding efforts, keeping you on track to hit your goals and ensuring the end result is cohesive brand representation.

Without a proper brand strategy, it’s easy to stray off course. When you do that, you:

It’s a mess. None of these mistakes are easy to reverse.

Creating a brand strategy worth implementing takes time, data integration, and, of course, experience. This is what it takes to avoid mistakes at this crucial stage.

According to TrendCrunch, a brand strategy project will set you back between $5,000 and $80,000 (CAD6,600 and CAD105,800). The difference in these figures depends on whether you hire a freelancer or a firm.

Brand Naming

brand naming definition infographic in white letters on a navy blue background and two graphic elements with blue circles and white rectangular shapes

What’s in a name? Everything, it turns out, at least in business.

One study found that almost 80 percent of consumers bought a product because of its brand name, not the name of the product.

Your company needs to embody the purpose and ethos of your business. It should be memorable. It should elicit curiosity.

A name like that is hard to achieve.

First, you need to understand how customers respond to language—and that takes training. You also need to know how to navigate the legalities around naming, such as the complexities of copyright and trademark law, to ensure any name you come up with is original. After all, you don’t want to get sued at the start of your business journey.

On average, a freelancer might charge you $3,000 (CAD3,900) for this service; a firm could cost as little as $15,000 (CAD19,800) but usually significantly more. Another way of looking at it is reserving 5% to 15% of your budget for this portion of a branding project.

Brand Identity Design

brand identity design infographic definition written in white letters on a navy blue background with two other elements including a circle around the word Brand Identity and a rectangle around two types of prices

Your brand should be a lot more than just your products or services and the name you market them under. Your company needs an identity just as complex as a human being’s.

People have their own looks, personality quirks, and ethics.

Your co-worker might be funny, value frugal living, and love knitting. The mechanic who fixes your car gets to the point in business but is passionate about their classic car collection. Your kid’s teacher might have excellent attention to detail, enjoy the finer things in life, and talk your ear off at PTA meetings.

Your business needs the same level of nuance if you want to resonate with your customers. And your brand identity is the umbrella all those traits sit under. This process includes packaging, logo design, typography, socials and website design, and more.

The team creating your brand identity will use your perspective on your company and the target audience data collected during the market research phase to craft something unique.

Brand identity creation can be as simple as a single logo designed by a freelancer or as complicated as a comprehensive brand identity package created by a branding firm. So, depending on your needs, expect to pay between $2,000 and $250,000 (CAD2,600 to CAD330,000).

Market Implementation

Market implementation infographic with one blue circle around statistical wording about brand design

Finally, how you implement—release into the world—the branding work affects how much brand design costs. A lot of things might need to be changed so they reflect your new brand identity.

You may have to:

And more! The goal with implementation is to reinforce your new identity everywhere and guide all your business decisions going forward.

Since this is where the bulk of the hands-on work takes place, and it can go on indefinitely depending on when you’re ready to take it over on your own, it’s open-ended in terms of this aspect of the price of brand design.

Putting a price tag on market implementation is tricky because there are so many moving parts. The scope of this project varies wildly from business to business. It may even be itemized as a separate project altogether.

It’s best to discuss market implementation costs and scheduling (and lock that in) with your branding partner before beginning a project with them.

Answering How Much Brand Design Costs

It’s always challenging to answer a nebulous question like, How much brand design costs? What’s needed for a branding or rebranding project depends on so many factors that it’s hard to provide more than generalities with pricing.

If you plan on investing in brand design, work with a partner that listens to your needs and goals and provides fair, accurate pricing based on what you need to do to reach them.

That agency is MK Way—the #1 digital marketing agency in Toronto.

At MK Way, we have the know-how to tackle all aspects of a brand design project, from market research to logo design, at a price you’ll like. Schedule a free consultation with an MK Way branding expert now.

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