Creating a brand from scratch


He advises entrepreneurs to come to a branding agency without too many pre-conceived ideas.


“Just because you think the brand is a good idea, that isn’t to say that everyone else will think it’s a good idea,” he advises.


“We have people come to us all the time who want pink in their branding or a particular image, but once we go through the branding process we often find it’s not at all relevant to their brand and have to advise against it.”


The Leading Edge has worked with household name brands such as KFC, the Commonwealth Bank and on branding projects for George Weston Foods.


Bateman says a rigorous branding launching process would cost upwards of $100,000 with his agency.


“Although it does depend on what the client wants,” he says. “A branding process with serious rigour would cost that, but it can be done for less than that.”

Doing it on a shoestring

However, there are countless success stories of brands that have launched a brand on the smell of an oily rag.


Tarquinio says spending more money during the brand set-up phase doesn’t earn you greater success down the track. “You do see the average punter come up with a great brand from time to time,” he says.


Australian entrepreneur Justin Herald is living proof of that. He built T-shirt brand Attitude with a borrowed $50 note. When he sold the business six years ago it was a multi-million company with products sold in Australia and throughout the world.


These days Herald claims an interest in 18 businesses and speaks publicly on how to launch a brand.


His latest venture is sunglasses brand Intimidate, which he says cost him just $150 in trademark costs to launch.


“I asked a manufacturer if they would manufacture sample sunglasses for me, and they agreed to,” he says. “I took those samples to retailers and went from there.”


A background in marketing made it easier for Anastasia Lambadaridis, who launched her skincare brand, Save Our Skin, four years ago.


But she didn’t have much money to spend on the brand launch phase. “I begged, borrowed, bartered and offered contra deals to launch my brand.”


She sought opinions on her brand, but says that everyone had a different view. “You’ve got to do what works for you and understand that there’s no right or wrong. It’s all about having faith.”


Top tips for launching a brand:

  • Make sure you do your research on your competitors, the size of the market and your potential customers.
  • Understand that a brand is more than just a logo. Be sure your brand communicates what your business stands for via your website, business cards, logo and marketing.
  • Consider if you have the experience or background to create a brand yourself. If you don’t feel confident about the process, seek out an expert and explain your vision.
  • Get several quotes from agencies experienced in launching brands. Ask to see their credentials and consider speaking to a couple of past clients.
  • Keep your branding simple. Don’t overload your website or logo with too many fonts, colours or images.
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