How to Choose the Right Branding Agency
Entrepreneurship means investing your heart and soul into your newly-established business. Your venture is often an extension of who you are and of the things you believe in. Branding is an important part of growing your business, so people involved in the whole process are crucial for the success of your project. Once you start thinking about branding, you will realize there are many options available – from freelancers to renowned agencies, the mission of choosing the right branding partner can be overwhelming. What should you look for? How much should you invest? How to find someone compatible with your ideas? Here are some useful tips to help you in this challenging journey!
Invest in the pre-pitch process
Before you begin looking for a branding agency, do your homework. Focus on your objectives and take your time to create a clear brief that should act as a project outline. You do not need a comprehensive plan (because the successful agency can help with this), but setting some clear goals will definitely give both parties a great starting point. Once you have obtained a clear vision for your desires, you will be able to write a RFP (Request For Proposal) with ease. In the meantime, ask for recommendations and research each lead thoroughly. Do not forget that, though working with a local agency might sound comfortable, modern technology enables you to work with companies anywhere in the country, or even the world. You should not let geography limit your choices. On the other hand, you should look carefully at previous work. Do they mention return on investment in their study cases? In order to be really successful, branding projects should be more than out-of-the-box – they need to bring results, too.
Check challenge compatibility
The topic of branding is unknown to many business leaders. Many fail to understand what they are looking for until they speak to an expert. However, in order for this to happen, the other side should fully understand the challenge as well. If you approach the wrong kind of specialist, you might be led down a route which could take you even further away from the optimal solution. To avoid this, make sure you clarify the problem for yourself before asking for help.
Hold a “chemistry” meeting
Having an initial meeting is compulsory for an excellent collaboration. It is the ideal opportunity to discuss your goals and receive answers from branding experts. Such meetings can save you an important amount of time in the long run. On the other hand, do not waste too much time by scheduling too many meetings. Three agencies to pitch at this point should be more than enough. Before the meetings, you should decide whether you would like to see their creative ideas or you would just want to find out how they would approach the brief. In case you would already like creative ideas and proposals, it is fair enough to offer a fee for their time.
Note: Do not expect creative solutions in the pitch phase! Unless you have specifically agreed upon creative work to be provided, do not expect such solutions. In the pitch phase, agencies will only suggest how they would approach your challenges. They will also make some financial estimations.
Recognize the standout agency
The standout agency is the one that will rely on research in the initial phases of your collaboration. Your primary goal is to identify a professional partner that you can develop a strong relationship with. Many will have great ideas, but if you have communication problems, they might still not be what you need. Even if you are only looking for a short-term collaboration, you should keep a long-term relationship in mind. Because if the chosen agency delivers the expected results, it is very likely you will also need them in the future for your future projects.
The price should not be decisive
Do not forget that you are paying for the level of service. You cannot expect much care and dedication for a very small amount of money. There is a saying in the design community and it is so true – the sweetness of a low price is rapidly forgotten, whereas the bitter taste of poor branding and design will long-linger. Think about it and do not hesitate to contact the KO by Karina Ochis team for further questions.