My Brand is Bigger than Yours

Ammar Mahmood
Jul 17, 2019 · 4 min read

Why spending money on ads before branding is burning your loot.

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A common question we get from our small business and startup clients is “why do I need to spend money on branding?” Followed by, “I want to focus my budget on advertising.”

This is especially a common fear with small business that are working with small budgets. They often feel they are too small to focus on branding. Ironically, the truth is, they are the ones that need to lean even heavier into building a strong brand.

So, we were going to write a post on the subject until we realized that everyone has written something about this. If you’re a small business or startup struggling with this question, we’ve sourced some pretty great posts and articles to answer your questions:

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s address the 5 reason’s why you should stop burning your money.


If your ad looks like it was created on Windows 94 with Times New Roman font and 8-bit color depth, then you’re burning money.


If the color scheme in your ad is red and yellow, and color scheme on your website is blue and purple;

If you use cartoony illustrations in your ad, and your website features high style photography, you’re frying your bag.


If your brand promise is to provide top tier service with the fastest turnaround times in the biz, and you don’t have the means to achieve both of those things consistently, then check your Yelp reviews — you’re grilling your loot.


If you’re targeting a Gen-Z audience with interests in music and fashion, and you’re placing ads on NPR and Wired, then check your brand strategy — you’re torching your funds.

And finally,


If you don’t have a distinct, bold, and consistent perspective that sets you apart from the thousands of competitors in your space (and yes, whatever you’re doing, you have thousands), then you’re going to fade into obscurity — right after you bake all your dough.

Think about it. If you’re already in a crowded market, trying to make a name for yourself, does spending all your extra cash on ads make sense, if nobody is paying attention to them? If nobody reacts emotionally or senses that they can trust you as an unknown entity to them? Here, give me your money, I can burn it for you. To make this more clear for you:

87% of consumers will purchase a product solely because of brand values

Branding is the summation of your customers’ perception of your brand. That includes everything from you logo, your advertisements, your brands voice and attitude, your mission, your values, your customer service, the consistency of your brand promise, your social media content, your website, your corporate culture — everything!

A strong brand SELLS ITSELF. And allows your advertising strategy to be more efficient, and cost effective — saving you thousands, if not millions of dollars in the long run.

Always, and forever more, the most effective kind of advertising for your brand is word-of-mouth. And what propels effective word-of-mouth is your ability to maintain a consistent identity in the marketplace that develops trust, reliability, and RELATABILITY with your target consumer.

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This is Sriracha.

That’s why some of the most successful brands in the country, like Sriracha, Costco, Zara, Trader Joe’s, and Krispy Kreme (to name a few) have spent little to NO money on advertising.

So, just to sum this thing up. Invest in branding. Don’t burn money.

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