Branding doesn't have to be expensive, but it does need to be strategic. If your brand feels like it's 'just a logo', you need a brand strategy. Branding requires a significant amount of expertise that extends well beyond logo creation. Nike for example, didn't become Nike because it had a cool tick. It became Nike because its founders invested heavily in advertising campaigns that emphasised their brand attributes. For example, aligning themselves with high-profile athletes. If they'd just invested in ads that say something like, '$80 runner, buy now', that's all their brand would ever be - a bland price spiral in the wrong direction - down. Instead, they invested in positioning their brand, not just their product, as the representation of athletic innovation.
If you truly want to scale your business, there will come a point where you'll evolve your brand from a transactional product or service, to a desirable one. Need help evolving your branding? You may be interested in brand development services for small business.