Branding is an Investment not an Expense
A lot of business owners think that your brand is your logo. It is so much more than that.
You need to know who you are, who your customers are as well as what your business stands for. This includes attributes you want for your brand and the feelings you want to elicit from your clients when they work with you. In essence, you need to create a personality for your brand.
Customers experience a brand from the bottom up but creating a brand is a top down process. At the top, you have your vision, values, attributes, points of difference and brand promise. The personality of your brand will relate to it's interaction with your clients. Does it have the same values? Does it reinforce the lifestyle choices? Do those elements align with your vision for the brand?
Think of branding like dating. If your branding is just logos and website that looks good but doesn't necessarily function too well, all you have is your outfit, hair and makeup. You wouldn't want to go on a date with someone who was basically a beautiful empty shell. They are nice to look at but would you actually enjoy spending time with them? Similarly, what if every time you go on a date, the person portrays a different personality each time? On the first date, everything felt just right and then then on the second date it feels like you are out with a completely different person. This would most likely put you off and start questioning if this is the right person for you. If your branding isn't consistent, you will drive away customers. You need to give your brand depth, but also a clear direction.
Your brand is who your business is. Your marketing is how you present yourself to the world. You need to know who you are and what your brand represents before you market it.