9 Tips for Choosing a Branding Agency

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Your brand is the cornerstone of your business. No matter whether you are a solicitor, a plumber, a beauty salon, a retailer, a fashion label, a café, a construction company, or anything else in between, who you are and what you stand for are as important for your business success as the specific product or service you offer.

Your brand is so much more than your name and logo. It is the entirety of a consumer’s experience with your business. And, chances are, you’ll need some help in both defining just what your brand is and conveying this to consumers.

The right branding agency can be invaluable for you to achieve this.

The Role of a Branding Agency

Branding is an aspect of marketing that defines and communicates a business’s voice, values, and points of difference in a visually appealing way. It also creates specific feelings in its audience. The right approach to branding will create and develop the business’s presence in the marketplace, showcasing its identity and appealing to and influencing its target consumers.

The right branding agency for your business creates not just an eye-catching logo and visually appealing website. It will also:

  •     Establish how you are perceived in your market
  •     Define and convey your values
  •     Present your identity to the world
  •     Tell your brand’s story across numerous mediums and channels

How does it achieve this?

The branding agency will work with you to understand who you are, what you stand for, and what you offer. They will work with you to develop and implement specific identifiable features to enable consumers to associate themselves with your business and your “brand”. It will increase consumer recognition of who you are and what you offer, ultimately giving you an essential competitive edge where your target consumers are concerned.

Benefits of Working with a Branding Agency

Branding can be a complex, sometimes tricky puzzle and it has many pieces to combine. The right branding agency specialises in the creative, strategic work needed to shape business perception both internally and externally – it simplifies these processes for you so that you can not only focus on running your business but also succeed.

The right approach to branding, which can only be delivered by an experienced, professional branding agency that’s a good fit for your business and niche, will create a bridge between your products or services and your target customer. This, in turn, helps to streamline and accelerate the buyer’s journey between discovery and conversion.

Branding incorporates:

  •     Name, logo, and tagline
  •     Design elements
  •     Brand voice
  •     Brand values
  •     Brand mission or goal
  •     Brand story
  •     Consumer experience with the brand – every interaction including as a customer, employee, supplier, social media audience, or bystander

Branding and marketing are not the same thing – but they do work together. Branding properly improves marketing – and marketing communicates your brand and its products/services tangibly to engage target audiences and drive conversions (sales).

9 Tips for Choosing a Branding Agency

Choosing the right branding agency for your business and goals is essential for your success and peace of mind going forward.

You need to first understand that effective branding takes time, money, and certain risks, but is a very savvy business investment.

How do you choose the right branding agency?

  1.     Do your research – ask family, friends, and associates for recommendations; look online; try to identify who your competitors are working with and what’s working for them. Also, be inspired by who provides branding services for other brands you admire.
  2.     Consider the experience, capabilities, and processes of each prospective branding agency – read their blogs, testimonials, and look at examples of their work.
  3.     Make a shortlist of professional branding agencies that can demonstrate proven expertise, cross-industry experience, ongoing brand management services, and which appeal to you. Meet with at least three to discuss your needs and consider their unique proposals for your business.
  4.     What’s your first impression of the branding agency? Do they demonstrate genuine passion and commitment? Are they enthusiastic about the prospect of working with you? Are they reliable, easy to communicate with, and demonstrably understand your needs? Do you get a good “gut feeling”?
  5.     Do they have a diverse portfolio of previous work? Is it of high quality? Do you like their style? Can they offer you a fresh perspective with creative ideas?
  6.     Are their processes well-defined? Methodologies should be evidence-based, clearly articulated, of high quality, and delivered on time and budget. A hit-and-miss approach is not the right way to go.
  7.     Does their culture align with yours? Do they share your values? Do you feel a genuine connection with them?
  8.     How’s the agency’s reputation within its industry? Have they cultivated a great identity for themselves with favourable brand recognition and loyalty? Look at client testimonials on their website as well as reviews on social media and Google Reviews.
  9.     Is the price right? Solutions on offer need to not just work – they need to suit your budget. Automatically going for the cheapest alternative is not the best idea, because if they don’t get it right the first time, you’ll be starting from scratch later on. Also understand that, while you do get what you pay for, the most expensive option is also not necessarily the way to go, and some providers charge enormously without delivering on their promise. The right provider for you will be able to work with your budget.

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For example, an expert professional local Orange County branding agency will be a great choice for businesses in Southern California – and a great agency with experience across industries will also potentially work well for clients throughout California and nationwide – even internationally!

Do some research and chat with a few branding agencies to get a feel for how they work and whether they will be a good fit for you and your business. A great option could be an agency that offers a comprehensive pool of services – from branding to design, digital marketing to SEO, and advertising to public relations. If you can get everything you need in-house from the same agency, your job should be a lot easier – and you will reap the rewards of a higher return on your investment.