You’ve come to the conclusion that in order to gain more credibility and visibility, your business needs a brand. Right on! Now you’re ready to start learning how to best build that brand for maximum exposure and profitability.
But where will you find the best help and advice?
Two of the most common questions we hear are, “What makes a good branding agency?” and “How do I choose the best branding agency?”
These are great questions, because not every branding agency is created equally. And some branding agencies are “in it” for all the wrong reasons (e.g. their own profit).
It’s also important to remember that not every branding agency is right for building every brand. In order to find just the right one (one that will take the time to learn about your brand, digest it, and provide a brand strategy that is not just pretty or brilliant, but that will appeal to and motivate your target audience) you’ll have to do some digging…
and we want to give you the right tools as you break ground in your search.
Your Search for a Branding Agency
There are some things that no business should compromise on when it comes to choosing a branding agency. Every point listed here will either directly or indirectly affect the results of your branding strategy. From brand conceptualisation to brand building, a branding agency that passes these tests will be your best choice:
- Does the branding agency look for uniqueness in your business? Your brand, its building, its marketing…will all be rooted in your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Without it, your brand will drown in a sea of competition. It will struggle to connect with ideal clients. It will not be memorable. Are you working with a branding expert who is not only studying your competition, but looking for what makes you different?
- Are its branding experts more concerned with what’s above or below the water? The part of a brand that consumers see is really the smallest part of the brand. It’s the result of lots of research and dedication that occurs out of the public eye. If a branding agency seems to be preoccupied with a “cool-looking logo” or a “beautiful webpage,” they may not being thinking in-depth…and the results are sure to be shallow.
- Do the branding agency’s professionals have a background in consumer psychology? Understanding how and why consumers do what they do can aid in predicting what will capture and hold their attention; and when a professional with a background in psychology is leading the development and marketing of a brand, the brand is more likely to make contact with the right people—and stick.
- Is the artist well-versed in the impact of visuals? Every colour, line, shape and font sends a message to consumers, and ensuring that the person creating those visuals is aware of those messages is crucial. Ask for a reason behind every proposed visual, and ask yourself if that reason aligns with your USP and brand vision.
- Does the branding agency focus on strategy? A spray-and-pray or wait-and-see method is a formula for brand failure, and anyone who proposes building a brand without a unique, focussed branding strategy will not lead your brand to visibility or profitability.
- Is the branding agency eager to get intimate with your brand? Nothing kinky here, just a question about the agency’s commitment to your brand and its success. Does the branding expert assigned to your account want to experience your brand culture? Does he or she ask sincere questions about the story, vision, mission, and WHY of your brand? If there’s a lack of interest, there will also be a lack of results.
- Is the agency asking you difficult questions? If not, they should be. Let’s get real. If no one is asking you new questions that require introspection or research to answer, then you could do what they’re doing for yourself. The branding and brand-building process is largely about discovery.
- Are they experienced and flexible in cross-channel marketing? Every brand needs a unique marketing plan, and no two plans will work identically for their respective brands. For these reasons, a branding agency should be able to demonstrate agility in all channels (social media, print, online, pay-per-click, radio, television, direct mail, and more) and likewise be able to compose a mix based on research into your target audience’s needs, preferences, hang-outs, problems and emotional triggers.
Where are you in your branding and brand-building journey?
Are you just starting out, and wondering which branding agency to choose? Or maybe thinking that you want to do the work yourself, with the help of a branding consultancy?
Maybe you’re working with a branding agency now, but you aren’t seeing the results you had hoped for—it’s not passing the branding agency test.
Or, do you just want to learn more about how branding your business can increase its credibility, visibility and profitability?
The branding experts at How to Build a Brand have all these answers, and much more, in the full-day, fully immersive branding experience known as B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp. Learn more and register here.