When a Startup Should Hire a Branding Firm

We often are contacted by start-ups about designing a brand identity for the new concept.  Sometimes we take these clients on, sometimes we tell them they shouldn't hire us.  I usually break down for them when they should or shouldn't hire us, so after doing so time after time, I figured it was time to blog about it.

A start-up should NOT hire a branding firm…

When you are investing a large portion of your start-up capital on the brand identity.  A great product alone is worth way more than a great identity that represents a half-baked product.
When all you have is an idea and no real product or service that has even been tested. Create something worthy of being branded first.
When raising initial funds.  If your idea needs an expensive brand identity to get initial funding to create an minimum viable product, it's probably not the best idea.
A startup SHOULD hire a branding firm…

  1. When time is more important than money. This would typically be a well-funded start-up that wants to go to market quickly.
  2. When you have a proven product/service and are ready to make the investment and go to the larger market.
  3. When you are moving into a space that has other more seasoned competition and you want to immediately catch the market's attention.