Occasionally we hear from a new freelance designer who is confused about why they should invest in brand building. They feel that one of the reasons that they went freelance was to get away from the corporate and surely branding is just another corporate exercise? So we’ve got 5 good reasons to build a brand:
It Showcases Your Work
Author/Copyright holder: Get a Coder. Copyright terms and licence: All rights reserved.Img source
If you can create a strong brand identity; your customers can trust that you have the skills to create a strong brand identity for them. While freelancing isn’t a “corporate” role it does serve corporations, government bodies, charities, etc. and all of those clients expect to build brands. The first place they’re going to look to see if you can deliver on their branding is at yours
It Sets Expectations with Clients
Branding is a kind of promise to your clients. Great branding conveys a sense of your identity. Are you a young, funky and fresh designer with an awesome understanding of what plays out well with the teen market? Or are you a more conservative designer with the right insight into the financial system?
Author/Copyright holder: Challenge Program on Water and Food. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Branding is like a tentative contract for delivery. Clients that relate to your brand are going to feel more confident in your work than those that can’t. The good news is that if you get your branding right – you’re going to attract the kinds of client you want to work with and gently discourage those that you don’t.
It Delivers a Competitive Advantage
Author/Copyright holder: Dave Gray. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-ND 2.0
Brands should support your business strategy. They deliver the ability to quickly capture attention from your target audience, communicate the direction in which you’re heading, and set expectations. That makes it much easier to compete because it shows that you’re a business with a plan and not just drifting through life to carry out random projects.
It is an Asset
Brands are a tangible asset to your business. You may find as you progress in freelancing that you create multiple brands; each one designed to speak to a different audience (there is no rule that says you can’t design for youth groups and banks but they do need different approaches to win their work).
You may also find that in the event you want to quit freelancing or retire that you can sell a well-established brand when you quit. Even a little extra money is better than none.
It Delivers Tangible Financial Value
Branding has become considered as a proper intangible asset for a business. Can you imagine how much it would cost to acquire the brand “Cocal-Cola”? Recent estimates put it at near $100 million just for the name! That’s not the product – that’s the name.
Author/Copyright holder: FuFu Wolf. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY 2.0
We’re not suggesting your brand will be worth that much (though we genuinely hope that it will be) but we are suggesting that developing the brand brings financial rewards in the long-term. In fact a brand can bring 25% or more of the financial value in a company to its shareholders.
Header Image: Author/Copyright holder: Dave Harkins. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0