No matter what your business is about, you need to have a strong branding for it to stay relevant in the competitive market. If your brand positioning is weak, or non-existent, then you’re likely just wasting your time.
Distinguishing your brand from the competition calls for strategy and finesse that you can only achieve with the right branding firm at your back.
Picking the right branding agency, however, comes with its own set of challenges. With so many options to choose from, you’ll need to ask the right questions to find the perfect fit.
What is a Branding Agency?
Branding agencies offer specialised services that help you create, improve, and maintain your brand identity. Agencies will identify your goals and objectives and work to develop an intimate understanding of your business. This information is used to create a plan that strategically positions your business and helps spread brand awareness.
On top of helping a business establish their brand, most agencies also offer marketing and advertising services. The primary goal of a branding agency is to help a business identify its brand message and communicate that message through various campaigns.
How to Choose a Branding Agency?
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when you first begin your search for a branding agency. What you need is to have a method in place to find the best option for your organization.
Here are a few tips to help you identify an agency that is the right fit:
- Right expertise – Ensure the branding agency you decide to work with specialises or has experience in your business’ niche. This will make it easier for the agency to craft an effective brand development strategy.
- Good portfolio – What kind of results has the agency achieved for past clients? A good track record means they know what they are doing.
- Research the agency’s industry’s reputation – Every agency leaves a digital footprint whether they like it or not. One of the easiest ways to identify an agency’s reputation is through testimonials. The experiences of past clients will provide a firsthand account of what an agency can bring to the table for your business.
Top Questions You Should Ask A Branding Agency
Once you have your final choices, you’ll still need to find an agency that’s just right for your business. To help you make an informed decision, here are seven questions to ask the branding agencies you’ve narrowed your list down to.
1) What kind of agency are you?
This may seem like an overly broad question, but there are thousands of different agencies and every one is a little different than the last. Allowing each agency to explain, in their own words, how they classify themselves will help you understand their unique capabilities, approaches, philosophies, and areas of expertise – all the little and big things that can impact the outcome of your branding project.
2) How would your branding approach help us achieve our goals?
More than any other aspect of marketing, your brand identity should be unique to your organisation. The branding process should never be a one-size-fits-all solution. Share your goals and challenges with the agencies you’re considering, and ask them to explain how they would approach your unique project to ensure they are thinking strategically with your needs in mind.
3) Do you have case studies that reflect projects similar to ours?
When vetting through agencies, many companies make the mistake of asking to see case studies representing work done within a specific industry vertical. Your agency of choice should be able to do their job well enough that they can dig in and understand the marketplace and audiences in almost any industry. It’s more important that the case studies demonstrate their ability to execute on projects that align with your needs and objectives. Don’t just find similar examples from the same field, look at how they work on projects that are of similar challenges instead.
4) How far will you take us in the branding process?
Some agencies develop beautiful brands and impressive strategy documents only to abandon you just before launch. If you have the right internal team in place, this may be all you need. But if you’re strapped for time and talent like most companies, you’ll want to partner with an agency that can take you through the implementation, assisting with launch strategies, measurement, benchmarking, and more.
5) What capabilities do you offer beyond branding?
In the same vein, you may want to work with an agency who can run with your brand all the way into ongoing marketing efforts. For example, your website is one of the most important focal points of your brand. It can be beneficial to entrust this key component of your marketing to the same agency who built your brand identity. After all, they will literally understand who you are inside and out. Who better to execute on ongoing brand content and storytelling, to ensure that branding is carried consistently across all your touchpoints?
6) Can you walk me through your strategic process?
The earning potential of branding companies is wholly dependent on their level of creativity. What is their creative process like? How will this creativity be used to boost your brand? Is there anything unique about the way they perform market research?
A good branding agency will be able to walk you through their strategic process. If what you hear resonates, then that’s a good sign they may be the right firm for you.
7) Why are you interested in working with my brand?
When you ask this question, take note of the language used from each agency. Do they have a firm grasp of your industry? Do they speak industry jargon? Do they truly understand what your brand brings to the table?
If their answer is too generic, you may want to move on to the next agency.
This list of questions to ask a branding firm is a good primer to identify genuine experts based on their language and behaviour. Non-verbal communication can say a lot about the fit between you and a branding agency, so engage in person if possible.
It’s All About The Fit
Learning how to choose a branding agency takes time and patience. The time you put into your search will ensure you’re matched with a firm that’s perfect for your organisation. Rush the process, and you may end up with a brand that doesn’t quite suit your company.
If you are on the hunt for a creative agency to assist you with establishing and promoting your brand, be in contact with I Concept Singapore today. We’re a leading branding agency in Singapore, offering a range of services and digital solutions, from website and e-commerce store design, digital marketing, and more.
Talk with our branding consultants to see if we make the right fit for your business.