You’ve probably heard of the popular belief that it takes 5 hits to acquire a customer and only one mistake to loose him. Well, I think most of us can probably agree that this is true in most cases; though in the end it always rests on the specific threshold of the client and how much they believe in you. You’ve also all read articles and pieces about how important your branding is, how it is more than just your logo, it is how you present yourself and your company at every turn.

Today, instead of talking about the importance of branding or the value it can bring, I want to bring it home and present the reality of how much bad branding or bad design can cost you.

1. Irrelevant Branding

Definition: Branding that doesn’t communicate well what the company’s purpose is – applies to generic branding, branding based on fonts only, unprofessional branding.

Cost: Prospective customers can miss the opportunity to work with you by not seeing your brand amongst the competition. Current customers my not feel proud to share your logo or brand identity with their contacts or clients.

2. Outdated Design

Definition: design that looks outdated (these days 90s influence is favored for outdated graphic design). Often characterized by too many effects (3d, shine or gradient, funky fonts).

Cost: You will be looked at as outdated as a business and have the potential to loose touch with your audience if it includes younger people or if you sell products or services that are meant to keep up with the times.

3. Low-quality Aesthetic

Definition: logo design that is not provided in the correct format (i.e only comes in .png and .jpg), graphic design that has small glitches, design that generally looks “cheap”. For graphic design in general, a good sign of a cheap looking design is when it looks like it could have been made using tools in publisher or paint. A bit like outdated design, think useless effects, funky fonts and shadows or gradients.

Cost: You will be looked at as a company that sells ‘cheap’ services or products, your customers might feel like you don’t represent them well enough as a brand.

Don’t forget that good branding can justify a price premium on your products or services!

When you spend more on lovely packaging for your products it is normal to add a premium on your prices – and this goes up as your brand’s reputation develops. I know it’s hard to invest the necessary amount to hire a good designer when there are so many ads out there for $5 designs. By going down the cheap route you risk wasting a lot of time – which as we know is money, especially when we are talking about promotional designs for your business. Even if you end up with a design you like, you may not be provided with the files necessary to use the logo or graphic later on larger scale media. And again, you may not see it straight away but you may end up with a design that looks irrelevant, cheap or outdated!

Like any service or product you pay for what you get and design no different: invest in a good designer and set your mind at rest or have the cheap version and be prepared for some major headaches.