Finding the right branding agency can be a lot like dating. Just as you wouldn't want to rush into a relationship with someone you don't know very well, you also don't want to jump into branding your business without taking the time to get to know the agency first. Just as you want to make sure the person you're dating is compatible with you, you need to know whether or not the branding agency is a good fit for your business.
The brand you'll create will impact all aspects of your business, from sales to customer retention. In this article, we'll share with you some tips to help guide you in finding a branding agency that's right for you.
Step 1: Set Smart Goals and Know Your Why
First, you might want to clarify your goals. Once you have a clear outcome in mind, you can start looking for branding agencies with a proven track record of achieving those goals.
Here are a few questions to jump-start your brainstorming:
• Why do you want to increase brand awareness?
• How will your brand help to improve the quality of your leads?
• How can my brand contribute to building better relationships with my
• If you already have a brand, what exactly do you want to accomplish by rebranding?
• Do you need a new website to complement the identity of your new brand?
• Once you've answered these questions, you can start looking for agencies that align with your vision and goals.
Secondly, you'll want to make sure your ambitions and goals are clear enough to you and the future agency. For example, why would you like to work with a branding agency in the first place? What is motivating you to change your existing branding? Understanding your motivations will help you stay focused on the end goal and avoid making rash decisions.
Step 2: How to Research Branding Agencies
Now that you know what you want to achieve and why you need to partner with an external team, it's time for some good old-fashioned research. First, you might compile a list of potential branding agencies, paying attention to both their size and their areas of expertise. Next, it's essential to find a team with which you feel comfortable working. After all, you'll spend a lot of time together, so you better get along.
Some questions you can ask yourself as you're researching branding agencies include:
• What branding styles do they specialize in?
• Do they have experience with companies similar to yours?
• Is the branding agency large enough to give your project the attention it deserves?
• Do they have any case studies or testimonials from past clients?
After you've compiled a list of potential branding agencies, it's time to start reaching out and scheduling some consultations.
Step 3: Schedule Consultations and Ask the Right Questions
When meeting with branding specialists, it's essential to come prepared with a list of questions. It will help you get a better idea of what each agency is like to work with and if they would be a good fit for your project. Here are a few questions you could use in a conversation:
• "Could you tell me more about your branding process?"
• "How are you doing your brainstorming, and how will I get to participate?"
• "How much direction do you need from me, and what kind of input will I
have throughout the branding process?"
• "Are you able to do things like social media branding, website design, and logo design?"
• "Can you provide me with a timeline for the project?"
• "What is your policy on revisions?"
• How original are your creations? Do you work from a template? How do find inspiration when working?
Asking these questions will help you get a feel for the branding agency, and it will also help you determine if they are a good fit for your project. Next, you can start narrowing your list to the one you feel most comfortable working with.
Step 4: Ask the Agency to Introduce You to Previous Clients
When vetting branding agencies, it's a good idea to ask for examples and case studies from previous clients. This way, you can get an even more comprehensive understanding of what it would be like to work with them. Here are some of the questions you could ask their previous clients:
• How did the branding agency help you achieve your goals?
• What was your overall experience working with the branding agency?
• How much did you spend on the branding project?
• How long did the branding project take from start to finish?
• Do you see significant growth since you released your project?
If the branding agency cannot provide results for past clients, that might be a red flag. However, most reputable branding agencies are happy to boast a long list of satisfied clients and a wide range of successful branding projects.
Step 5: Check Out the Agency's Own Branding
Did you ever get a haircut from a hairdresser who has a terrible haircut? You probably wouldn't feel comfortable if they even touched your hair, right? The same goes for branding agencies. You want to work with an agency that knows how to brand itself exceptionally well.
So, have a look at the visual identity of the agency itself. Is it professional and up-to-date? Or does it look like it was created in the early 1990s?
If the branding looks outdated, there's a good chance that they might be behind the times as well. This could mean that they're not updated on the latest branding trends and might not be the best fit for your business. On the other hand, if the look & feel is professional, it's a good sign that the team keeps up with the latest branding and digital marketing trends. This means they're likely to be able to provide you with fresh ideas that will help your business stand out from the competition. Another thing to consider is their values. What does the branding agency stand for? Do their values align with your own? If they don't, likely, you won't be able to create a strong relationship with the agency. After all, how can you work together effectively if you don't share the same values?
Step 6: Make Sure They're Invested in Your Success
If the agency isn't invested in your success, likely, they won't be able to help you achieve your branding goals. So, how can you tell if the agency is invested in your success? One way is to ask them about their goals for your business. Do they want to help you grow your brand, or are they just looking for a one-time project? Another thing to look for is how involved the agency is in your branding process. Are they taking the time to learn about your business and understand your core values and branding goals? Or are they just throwing ideas at you without taking the time to get to know you?
Bonus Step: Trust Your Gut, and Get a Feel for the Agency's Culture
When choosing a branding agency, it's vital to get a feel for their culture.
After all, you'll be working with these people day in and day out, so you want to make sure that the agency's culture is one that you can mesh well with. Do the people seem friendly and welcoming? Or do they seem like they're too busy to talk to you? Are the offices neat and organized, or are they cluttered and unprofessional? These things will help you get a sense of the agency's culture. And if the culture doesn't feel like a good fit for you, likely, you won't be happy working with the agency. Another critical thing to consider is the branding agency's team. What is their experience and expertise in branding? Do they have the skill set necessary to help you achieve your branding goals? Make sure to ask about the team's
experience and knowledge before making your final decision. Finally, it is essential to feel comfortable with the people you will be working with.
Observe their communication style and whether or not they are willing to be flexible to meet your needs. Can you can have a fluid and easy conversation with them. If you're unable to communicate effectively, it will likely be challenging to get your message across. And that could lead to big problems down the line.
A branding agency can have a massive impact on your business - from advertising to customer retention and everything in between. So, finding the right digital agency is essential. In this article, we've outlined some of the steps to help you find a digital branding agency that will work well with your needs and budget. Following these tips should help you find an excellent branding partner who can get your business where you want it to be