Full Brand Strategy + Website: How It Works & How Much to Budget?Feb 10, 2022
Whether you’re just starting out or deciding to rebrand, figuring out how to brand your website is a difficult process. Once committed, going about it in the right way, in the right order, will determine if you sail into the sunset spreading rose petals behind you or if you sink into the abyss of wasted time and money.
A solid brand strategy is the critical first step.
This is the foundation you lay, and your guiding truth going forward when making all your other content and design decisions.
How much does a business website strategy cost?
A good business website strategy can cost anywhere between $3,500 and $15,000, depending on many factors.
There are a multitude of ways - as you’ve likely discovered - to get this done and most comes down to what stage of business you are in, and what you have budgeted for your marketing.
From self-guided DIY programs, the weekend workshops, or the traditional done FOR you Brand Project, they can take 2- 9 months to implement depending on the complexity.
Let's take a closer look at brand strategy costs including the website.
This house illustration represents the construction of a brand.
Building your brand is like building a house--you wouldn’t start by buying paint for the bedroom. You would build a foundation first. You would make a plan.
Can you imagine the contractor going to your land, and getting the dirt-digger to just break ground without a plan?!
It would be a mess. Not to mention all the wasted money having to fill in where it wasn’t supposed to dig, and rework the foundation once you realized you wanted the kitchen bigger by one foot.
Unfortunately, this is a pitfall for many businesses.
Often people come to me having built a website and wonder why their business isn’t growing and they are not making any sales.
Here’s why: They started “painting the bedroom when it wasn’t even there.” They built the website before they had a clear message and a great customer experience.
It’s doing the logo and a ‘weekend’ website with GoDaddy or Hubspot since they gave you a package deal when you bought your domain name.
Now there is nothing wrong with GoDaddy or Hubspot - they are both excellent at being a hosting and domain site and a CRM (client relationship management) platform respectively.
But it’s no longer enough to just have a website presence — and design is only part of the equation. There’s got to be a purpose for every page and every section within that page. You need a plan for users to find what they are looking for while reaching your goals for revenue and lead generation.
As awwwards perfectly states:
“When trying to design a great website it is very easy to focus on making something aesthetically pleasing while forgetting to make sure that the website also achieves your business’ online goals.”
This is so true.
What is website strategy and why is it important?
Basically, a website strategy is a well-thought-out plan to achieve a specific set of goals for your site. A solid strategy takes many components into consideration such as your power positioning, your ideal customer, team resources, and search engine algorithms.
Please don’t skip this critical step if you want to save time, money, and resources. What works for one company, may or may not work for yours. Customized Brand Strategy tailored to you, and the vision you have for your company is key -- it is the solid foundation that guides all other content and design decisions.
Why work with a brand strategist on website strategy?
That’s great - you’re considering going for it and building a high-functioning website.
You probably have all kinds of ideas and visions but have no idea what to do first.
By merging your vision for your brand with the expertise of a brand strategist, you can develop a reliable plan to achieve your business goals. There are three important reasons that hiring a firm specializing in brand strategy can boost your success:
1. An Objective View
The first is that it can offer a unique, third-party perspective who has fresh eyes on your business. Your website is the first place people go to discover you or learn more when they search online.
And you are incredibly close to your brand!
Like David C. Baker says in his book, The Business of Expertise,
“You can read your own label from inside the jar.”
When you engage with someone who specializes in brand development and digital marketing, you will gain an objective and knowledgeable view; someone who knows what your customers are thinking.
Getting started is made so much easier when you have a guide who is experienced in the brand journey, from concept to offers to website.
2. Accountability and guidance
A brand strategist will walk you through the process step-by-step and ask the right questions at the right time. Action items and meetings will be scheduled on a predetermined timeline so the project stays moving forward and won’t fall by the wayside. There may be ad hoc calls for clarification, so you will want to make yourself available for all calls to keep things moving.
Your brand strategist may serve now as creative director overseeing that the brand directive is carried out throughout the team and that tasks are completed.
3. Experience and expertise
You can’t beat having an expert in your corner. Someone who keeps track of things - especially when it comes to marketing! Marketing firms specializing in brand strategy have learned what works and what doesn’t work, and stay on top of current trends and innovative tools. They often have a team of professionals who can carry out a complex creative project such as a brand website build.
Sure you could do all this yourself - there are some great DIY programs. It depends on where you are in your stage of business.
The general guideline is:
If you are a solo-prenuer just getting out there with your new idea, then you can probably get by with a website you build yourself - especially if you have the guidance of a group program you can invest in.
There are many group programs offered at a fraction of the cost of a private full communications program where you get clear on your message and learn how to write story copy like we do in our Language That Lands course that starts you at the beginning and takes you to the Business Jumpstart Blueprint course where you build your website and sales funnel.
But if you have been a business for a while, and have some level of growth and success, then you are probably at a stage where you are ready to invest in a full communications program. Many will hit a revenue ceiling around 5 years or $500k annual revenue and can’t break through. That is a sure sign that you are right on time for a rebrand.
Overall, you can certainly try to develop a strategy yourself, but it makes the process much easier, less time consuming, and more likely to produce results with a team of experts supporting you.
Even just starting out, if you are serious and ready to invest, then earmarking $7000 - $15,000 will get you far in a private customized program.
The process of a brand journey
Congratulations! You’ve decided to go for it and do it right this time!
Your strategist will likely task you with a few assignments like a clarifying questionnaire before your first interview.
This first phase of a brand journey requires your participation. This is your business - your effort on these assignments will provide your strategist with the raw material to create your masterpiece brand and strategy!
They will want to uncover your:
1. Power Positioning
This is how you differentiate yourself in the marketplace. Chances are there are others who say they do what you do, and your buyers can’t tell the difference unless you tell them clearly.
2. Client Clarity
With market research and competition analysis, understanding your ideal client or customer is paramount in writing a compelling brand story. Your messaging should be clear and articulate how you are going to solve your client’s problem and how that will make your client’s life better.
3. Tailored Go-To-Market Playbook
This is where you put all your great clear messaging to work. Distributed as the copy on your website, your social media posts, and your emails, workshops and talks, your Brand Story comes alive across all channels, consistent, cohesive, and clear.
“Brands who are consistent across all channels with their message can expect up to 33% increase in revenue, [and stakeholder buy-in,] year over year.” - Forbes, 2020
What’s the bottom line to get a high-functioning website?
A private done for you rebrand or brand strategy can cost your company between $8000 and $19,000.
There are many elements that guide the costs of a full brand project.
Deliverables of a brand strategy
The more deliverables you receive from your brand firm, the more your strategy will cost.
The three foundational brand project elements of a Soul Story Impact Brand are:
1) Brand Story:
Your clear, cohesive message to broadcast consistently across all channels. The compelling stories that bridge your customers to your brand.
Your brand story is the strong foundation expressed through your distinction, your power positioning. It also includes your ideal customer's struggles and desires, your key messaging from which to create all your marketing copy and collateral.
2) Signature System Content Library:
Unique to your and your proprietary process, your signature system is your roadmap that allows you to consistently – and predictably – help your clients achieve results. All contained in your content library full of the words, phrases and paragraphs speaking to your thought leadership content - what you stand for.
Your complete, actionable marketing plan. From email marketing strategy, to social media platforms appropriate for your brand and lifestyle, your playbook initiatives are designed to build your list and make conversions, increase revenue.
Other website build considerations:
The most successful brand strategy and website build projects alway begin with a clarifying process to emerge the true brand and business plan.
From interviews with stakeholders, to market research and assessment, this is the foundational step that when done correctly, you will feel 100% in alignment with the results. There should be no question in your mind about what you bring to the table in skill and wisdom and what you are offering and to whom.
Keyword research has evolved and can be quite laborious, so this will be a feature of the higher-end packages. Your strategist will research keyword relevancy, search volume, and how competitive a keyword is (how much traffic is going to other websites?) Then they will assign a unique primary keyword to each core page of your website. The primary keyword will be used in the page title, header tag, URL, meta description, and page copy.
A fundamental step in any brand strategy project is creating the sitemap. This consists of your main site navigation, as well as any other pages on your site that don’t live in the main menu. Ideally, your sitemap will be set up as a diagram or in a table, with boxes representing each page. Being able to see exactly how the pages link together allows for a greater understanding of how the finished site will look. This also ensures the search engine algorithm can gain an understanding of your website with ease and be more likely to rank high in search queries.
User flow - Customer Experience
User flows are excellent for planning the paths you’d like users to take on your site - to guide them exactly where you want them to go.
How can you lead users from point A to point B in a way that works for them and you? Attention given to navigation that is logical and efficient will bring rewards in lead generating and conversions. Don’t skip this step!
Page strategy through wireframing
Wireframing your website pages gives you a great visual and allows you to work through more of the customer experience.
Wireframes include the copy, the image placement, and the general design.
To sum it up for you
As you can see, the process of creating a website isn’t what it used to be.
If you’re in the market for a new website, you’re about to spend a significant portion of your marketing budget, so it’s imperative that you eliminate as much guesswork as possible. A solid foundation must be laid if you want your website to reach its maximum potential.
The brand strategy is the first step, allowing you to gather data, establish your content positioning, guide your SEO plans, and determine the architecture for your site.
An upfront investment in a product like our Impact Brand will set your website and business up for success and real results.
So, before you dive into your new website project, pause, and consider working with experienced brand strategists to build a solid strategy and achieve your business goals.
It’s gonna be great! You will LOVE your website and get to sleep at night knowing that your website is working while you are dreaming.
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