Post No. 50

The Difference Between Cheap & Cost-Effective Design

If you’re like most small business owners, you don’t have an unlimited budget when it comes to building your brand. When you invest in a logo refresh, a new website, or marketing services, you expect to see a good return on investment. You want some level of assurance that your investment will work, and by “work” you mean grow your business. That’s not too much to ask, but the success or failure of your brand investment comes down to your perspective. A short-term perspective falls for cheap design, while a long-term perspective invests in cost-effective design.

Falling for Cheap Design

Business owners who have a short-term view of their businesses are more likely to fall for the cheapest option. We see it all the time. Instead of looking at the big picture, they see their brand as a series of isolated projects to farm out to the cheapest providers. They throw small handfuls of cash at one-off projects, paying little attention to the long-term ramifications of a sub-par brand. Over time, they wonder why their business isn’t growing like they expected or why they can’t attract ideal clients.

Sadly, the business owners who fall for the cheapest price today usually end up paying more money over time than their peers with a long-term perspective. Worse yet, their brands are typically unpolished, inconsistent, and ineffective. In their quest to find the cheapest logo designer, website developer, and marketing team, they’ve cobbled together their brand using several freelancers or companies. The tell-tale sign of these piece-by-piece brands is inconsistency. A brand with misaligned elements, such as brand colors, fonts, and messaging, is a forgettable brand. Suddenly they have an expensive brand with a muddy message. They struggle to attract and retain quality clients. 

TIP: We recently explained why cheap design is expensive. It’s worth the read if you’re looking to avoid mistakes other small businesses owners have made when building their brands.

Investing in Cost-Effective Design

To avoid some of the pitfalls of near-sighted business owners, broaden your view of your brand and the impact it can have on your business. Instead of looking for the cheapest option today, look for the investment that will bring you a great return tomorrow. It will cost you more today, but it will save (and make) you more in the long-run.

Small business owners who have a long-term view when building their brands understand:

  • A quality brand attracts quality clients
  • A slow and strong brand is better than a quick and cheap brand
  • A strong brand pays for itself many times over

If you have a long-term view of your business, you would rather pay once to build your brand the right way. You understand that saving a nickel today might cost you a dime tomorrow. With the right perspective, you can invest the time and money needed to build a strong brand that looks great and helps grow your business over time.

TIP: The Small Business Administration (SBA) suggests small businesses invest 1% to 12% of revenue in marketing and graphic design services.

Are you serious about finding the right long-term brand partner who is committed to setting you up for sustainable success? We would love to hear from you. Book a time to talk with Sarah, our Co-Founder & Brand Strategist, to see if we may be the right branding team for you. If we’re not a fit, she’ll at least point you in the right direction. We want to see you and your business succeed—with or without us.