Have you delved deep into the realm of business or are you just starting out? Either way, you may already have a lot on your plate. Your business is an extension of your personality and values; it is all of what you stand for. Nothing describes your business better than the functional and emotional assets of your core product or service.
Yes, we are talking about your brand! A brand is the soul of your business; without it, your business is lifeless. Growing your business depends, in part, upon building your brand.
Choosing a Branding Agency
There can be many choices when it comes to selecting a brand agency. You need to make sure that you are thinking realistically and not hastily.
You need to remain steadfast and get your priorities straight. You need to have established goals, time horizons and a budget for your branding exercise. After all, good brand building doesn’t come cheap.
You can start with getting referral from colleagues and other businesses or family members who worked with a branding agency and had a good experience.
Listing and elimination criteria
Prepare a list of agencies that are in your consideration set and keep crossing them out on the basis of the following criteria:
- Agency’s Style: Does the company have a portfolio of projects under their belt that makes them stand out? Do they have any accolades to their name that reflect their ingenuity? Do their website design and logos are part of a theme? Does the copy on the page seem to gel with the overall website design?
- Agency’s Quality: Are the previous website designs appealing in aesthetics and practical to go through? Go through websites they have designed and let the user experience be your guide.
- Your budget and their cost: Do you just have a budget of $25k and are looking for a large agency with notable clients? You may not get your money’s worth. They may not have the time for new customers and will assign the new intern on the project. You can get a better bang for your buck with smaller agencies who are dedicated and will offer you a better level of service.
- Level of Customization on services: Do all the projects of their portfolio have the same underlying tone and style? Or does the agency offer different style of work for their clients that makes their brand unique
Choosing a marketing agency to partner with is a crucial investment for remaining abreast of your marketing needs. By following these basic guidelines, you will be able to find and partner with the right one.
Interviewing and initial interactions
Just as you would do when hiring a candidate for a job opening, start the interview with the infamous “tell us about yourself?” Look for hints that they give you insights about what the agency believes in and aspires to become, what is their origin story and if it has a rich history and culture for increased creativity.
Also look for their core strengths and specialization and what is the agency’s x-factor related to their service. Then ask “how do you do what you do?” This sort of question should give you insight into the strategies they employ to get the quality of work that they have. Allow room for them to show you their acclaims and accolades and check the websites they have designed for previous clients to see how good a job they have done with the website in making it work for form and function (mobile optimization, theme etc.) Ask about leadership and creativity in their teams, and how has their experience been with companies and businesses like yours. Narrow down with budgeting questions and how they plan to stay there.
Last but not least, you will realize during the initial interactions through emails and in details if they are a compatible match for you (responsiveness and enthusiasm). Let your instincts be your guide.