DIY branding vs working with a design agency.

Insight – 11/01/2024

Branding is the process by which businesses create a unique identity that distinguishes them from competitors. It involves developing consistent messaging and visual representations of the company’s values, mission, and personality that resonate with customers. An effective branding strategy gives consumers a reason to choose a particular business over others in the market.

This process begins with research to understand the target audience, competitors, and trends in the industry. After identifying the company’s unique selling proposition, a brand identity and visual elements such as logos, colors, and typography are developed. Branding also involves crafting messaging that communicates the brand’s values and benefits to customers.

Consistency is key in branding, as it helps build trust with customers and reinforces the company’s visual and messaging identity. As businesses grow and evolve, their branding must adapt to reflect these changes and stay relevant in the marketplace.

One of the main reasons why businesses chose DIY branding is cost savings, especially for small businesses or startups that may not have the budget to hire professional branding agency or a brand designer.

If you’re new in business then you might have thought about DIY branding design. On the surface, branding is an easy thing to create yourself for your business right? Put some colours together, create a logo on Canva and you’re away. Branding is so much more than just a logo and when creating branding it’s so important to do so strategically and with your ideal customers in mind.

1. Affordability

You might be just starting out in which case hiring a designer or a design agency might feel like a massive expense. Even if your business has been going a while, you still might not have the budget to hire a pro or perhaps this simply isn’t a priority for you.

There are a lot of amazing tools out there that you can use to help you create your branding, so you don’t even have to be a wizard on Adobe Suite. Canva is an amazing resource that you can use for free.

One of the most appealing aspects of DIY marketing is its cost-effectiveness. By handling your marketing internally, you can save a considerable amount of money compared to hiring a professional marketing agency. This is especially beneficial for small businesses working with limited budgets. Cutting down on marketing expenses allows you to allocate funds to other areas of your business that may need attention or improvement, such as product development, employee training, or customer service.

On the other hand to create a brand, you need to invest time in understanding your target audience and their needs, defining your brand values and messaging, designing a logo and visual identity, creating a website and social media presence, and developing products or services that align with your brand’s values and purpose.

In short, creating a successful brand requires time, effort, and investment. While it’s possible to minimize costs by leveraging free tools and resources, there’s no way to build a brand without some investment of time and money.

2. Creative freedom

The DIY approach’s autonomy allows businesses to experiment and express their unique brand vision and design. Choosing fonts and colours and designing a logo is undeniably super fun and something many start-up founders enjoy doing.

However, this creative freedom necessitates a careful balance to ensure your brand aligns strategically with the business’s overarching objectives and mission, which can be easily forgotten when enjoying yourself with brand design. 

DIY branding can give you creative freedom in several ways. First, you get to choose every aspect of your brand, including the fonts, colors, imagery, and messaging, giving you complete control over your brand identity. With DIY branding, you also have the flexibility to tweak and refine your brand as you go, allowing you to experiment with different designs and content until you find what works best for your business.

Another advantage of DIY branding is that it can save you a lot of money compared to hiring a professional branding agency. This is especially important for small businesses and startups that need to watch their budgets and aren’t yet ready to invest in a full-scale branding campaign.

Finally, DIY branding can help you establish a deeper connection with your brand because you have invested your time and ideas into creating it. This can result in a more authentic and unique brand that resonates with your target audience and helps your business stand out from competitors.


3. DIY branding usually looks subpar

I don’t want to be there bearer of bad news, but more often than not,  DIY branding looks unprofessional. The branding you spent a few hours creating in Canva, using Shutterstock templates, or paid minimally for through Fiverr, there’s hundreds of other business using those exact same templates. It’s unprofessional because it doesn’t speak to who you are as a business, it doesn’t resonate with your audience and it certainly doesn’t inspire confidence that your business does things differently. No one wants to purchase products or services from a business that looks unprofessional.

Professional brand designers have studied and understood the logic and purpose behind meaningful branding for years. They have knowledge about updated tools and strategies used to create professional brand identities. And what’s more is that you actually get to have full ownership over their designs, no matter what! Professional brand designers are efficient and fast. On the contrary, a DIY branding can be fun to create, giving a sense of achievement, but it could lack originality since a DIY-er would want to take inspiration from other famous brands. DIY branding design may not stand out and could be ignored because of other professionally designed brand identities out there. Although DIY brand identities are not all that bad, for a beginner it is a great way to learn, but for a professional business or brand, it is not the right way to turn.


4. Lack of experiance

Designing a good brand identity requires an ample amount of experience in the field of graphic design and branding. Experience provides the designer with the ability to understand different industries, their audiences, market trends, and the brand’s personality. Without experience, designers can’t understand the intricacies of the design process or have a strong ability to think creatively.

A solid brand identity requires an understanding of color theory, typography, composition, and visual messaging. Knowing what works and what doesn’t can only come from hands-on experience. They need to incorporate the client’s goals, target audience, and uniqueness of the industry while designing an identity. Designers with an extensive portfolio have honed their skills, gained tactfulness, and mastered efficient timelines to create branding collateral that is effective and visually appealing. Therefore, it is safe to say that experience plays a significant role in designing a brand identity that hits all the right chords.

Designing a brand identity for your business requires certain skills to be able to create a visual representation that is effective and communicates your brand’s message. Firstly, you need to have a thorough understanding of your brand’s values, target audience, and competitors. This helps in developing a unique brand strategy and communicating it through the visual elements.

Secondly, a good knowledge of design principles is important in creating an effective and visually appealing design. This includes knowledge of typography, color theory, composition, and layout design.

Thirdly, proficiency in design software such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign is crucial in creating high-quality designs that can be used across different mediums. This software sometimes requires years to masters.


5. Time consuming

DIYing your brand may seem like a time-effective solution in the short term, but it can lead to significant delays and additional costs in the long run. Building a strong brand requires a combination of creative skills, marketing knowledge, and experience, which can be time-consuming to acquire.

As a result, attempting to design your own logo, website, or marketing materials can lead to subpar results that may not resonate with your target audience. Plus, if you have to redo your branding efforts down the line, it can be even more time-consuming and costly than hiring a professional from the start. Investing in professional branding services can save you time, money, and effort in the long run and help you build a strong, consistent, and recognisable brand.

Branding can be an extensive and time-consuming process. Designing and developing a brand identity requires significant research, strategy, and creative thinking. It involves determining the brand’s core values, target audience, unique selling proposition, and messaging. Designing the logo, selecting a color palette, and creating a brand messaging strategy are also important steps that require time and effort. Moreover, it is imperative to maintain and evolve the brand, which further adds to the complexity of the process. Consistently communicating and monitoring the brand can require significant attention and resources. It is essential for companies to invest adequate time and resources into their branding efforts as a strong brand identity can significantly impact the success and growth of a business.



DIY-ing your business branding may seem like a cost-effective and fun way to establish your company’s identity, but it may not be the best option for everyone. Branding is more than just designing a logo and creating a color scheme. It requires a deep understanding of your target audience, competition, and industry trends. If you lack experience or knowledge in branding, you may end up creating a brand that does not resonate with your audience or properly represent your company’s values. Additionally, a poorly executed brand can negatively impact your credibility and make it difficult to attract customers. In the long run, investing in professional branding services may be more beneficial for your business and help you establish a strong brand presence.

Hiring a branding designer or agency to help you with your branding can be an extremely beneficial investment for your business. A professional branding designer or agency has the expertise and experience to create a strong and cohesive brand identity for your business that will effectively communicate your message and values. They can also help to differentiate your brand from competitors and effectively target your desired audience. Working with a branding professional can save you time, money, and effort in the long run, as they can ensure that your brand stays consistent across all platforms and materials. Additionally, a well-designed brand has the potential to increase customer loyalty and improve the overall value of your business. When choosing a branding designer or agency, it’s essential to do your research and ensure their values and mission align with yours, so you can create the best possible match.

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M. +64 21 1306 713

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Branding & Graphic Design NZ

Say Hello!

M. +64 21 1306 713