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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Some things to consider if you’re starting a new business without a branding exercise.

I was recently hired by the founder of a new business to do the brand. How new, you ask? He didn’t even have a name for it yet. That was part of my job.

I’ve also been hired to do brand development for established businesses that are young and my position is that this actually counts as a rebrand. I’ll explain why in a mo.

The brand already exists. Whether you curate it or not…that’s the question.

When you launch with a “just for now” brand, there’s nothing just for now about it…that’s the brand. From the moment folks meet you, they see the logo as THE logo. They read the tone of voice as THE tone of voice. They begin to identify the colors you use as YOUR colors. It may be a placeholder in your mind, but they don’t know that. So when you’re ready to invest in the brand, you’ll be facing a rebrand—which is a slightly different animal.

Why does any of this matter? Or does it?

It does and it doesn’t. Obviously, I’m a brand designer for hire so it probably wouldn’t surprise you if I said that you absolutely must pay for a branding exercise—or else! On the contrary. Like everything, it’s just a matter of having the information you need to make the best decision for your situation.

Can you start a business without #branding? Kinda. Tweet this

I’ve captained a number of branding adventures for new brands and businesses rebranding after a whirlwind first year. In all of these cases, things went very well so I don’t begrudge a business that wants to wait until revenue allows for a comprehensive branding exercise.

As long as you know that there’s no such thing as a “just for now” brand and that customers and onlookers will be getting attached to whatever you roll with as your brand (and that rebranding will present some challenges with an audience who have already met you) then keep calm and carry on.

On the bright side, the process of rebranding a year-old business taught me that pivoting into a full-fledged, polished, scroll-stopping brand after a year spent with a homemade logo can speak volumes about the success the business has experienced in its first year. And this, in itself, can garner the attention of prospects and envy from your competitors.

And those, my friends, are things I think you need to consider before deciding if you’re going to put branding on the back burner.

I hold up a mirror for my
customers to see their own
brand.

I guess you could say I’m like
a therapist for businesses.
No smoke.
Just mirrors.

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