Listen, we get it: budgets are
tight. Most people run a tight ship (we sure do). The economy isn’t always
friendly. And sometimes, cheap is easy. (Cheap is always easy.)
But, if saving a buck doesn’t help you make more bucks, it’s really not worth it.
Sure, we're a marketing collective that believes in the value of branding, but this isn’t coming entirely from a place of bias. After all, I’m also a small business owner who knows what it feels like to have banks breathing down my neck and a list of revenue targets hit.
is an investment.
True fact: You can get a brochure designed for $250 or you can get one for $10,000 (and anywhere in between, below, and above).
The difference is this:
The $200 option is a piece of paper with words, maybe some amateur pictures and clip art, and your logo. It looks cheap. It feels cheap. It reads cheap. Because it is cheap.
Still, it has all the elements of a brochure. So you got what you paid for: a brochure.
The $10,000 option is a strategic brand initiative with words crafted into a story scripted to resonate specifically with your target audience. Imagery is procured professionally to appeal to the right people. The paper stock matches the essence of the brand in touch, tone, and texture. All of the brand elements come together to truly tell—and sell—the story.
With 15+ years (eeps!) in this biz,
I can tell you factually these two things about the above:
The $200 option almost always gives back just about as much as you put into it: Nothing.
It will succeed only in educating prospects to expect cheap things from your brand. Gross.
The $10,000 option gives back exponentially. The upfront cost is paid off with back-end value that keeps on giving.
The more you put in, the more you get out. It's simple math. The investment pays for itself, and then some with long-term loyalty, sales, and brand awareness. It requires you to be brave.
Proof that it pays off:
In 2014, Love Child Organics closed the biggest deal in Dragon’s Den history. They made it look like child’s play. This start-up from Whistler, BC didn’t just show up with a great product; they showed up in front of the Dragons with a brand. They had invested 40% of their upfront starting cost in marketing. 40-flippin'-percent! Nearly half of all their money went to marketing. A HUGE risk and a BOLD move for a start-up with no capital.
It paid off.
They got noticed on supermarket shelves even before they showed up on the show. They stood out. They had customers. A following. And they left Dragon's Den with a $750,000 investment for 7.5% of their company from the country’s most respected VCs and an opportunity to build one of the best baby food empires on the planet. Marketing gave the brand chops.
There is a time and a place for “cheap”. Absolutely.
However, if your goal is to see impressive ROI, you need to be impressive in your marketing first. Crap marketing attracts crap—usually in the form of misinformed prospects who don’t value your work because, well, clearly you don’t either. Incredible marketing, on the other hand, attracts incredible possibilities. And that’s hard to beat.
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