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Budgeting for a brand

Creating and managing a brand can cost you as little or as much as you want it to. The cost of your time to set it up and manage it is the only area of expenditure that is guaranteed.

But it's a good idea to set a budget, otherwise it's easy to spend money unnecessarily. A budget will focus the mind and force you to prioritise your spending on your branding effort.

The key areas you could budget for are:

* Design needs, such as a logo, signage, business stationery or product packaging.
* Your premises.
* Your advertising.
* Time you'll need to spend with employees to make sure they understand your brand.
* Any resources you'll have to provide for employees to enable them to carry out what the brand promises.
* Changes to your company website.

You don't need to do everything at once. As long as employees understand and deliver what your brand promises, it stands a good chance of success. Stationery, logos, packaging and advertising can follow later if the budget is tight. But it's worth planning to bring them into line within a reasonable period of time to give your customers a visual representation of what your brand means.