Your brand is your company’s identity. It is the instant, intuitive association your customers have upon hearing your name, the feeling evoked when they think of you. For that reason, a brand is a slippery concept—it is hard to nail down because it is comprised of all the intangible qualities that set you apart from your competition, starting with the emotional experience your product generates in a customer. Read on to learn more about the importance of brands and how to find the right branding agency for your company.
If you’re wondering about the importance of brands and why it is important to have a brand, what is branding, how to build a brand, what is a branding agency, and what are the top branding firms, you’ve come to the right place. An effective branding agency can help improve awareness of your organization, distill your work down to its essence, change the public perception of your company, differentiate it from others on the market, and breathe new life into even the dustiest of old concepts. The brand determines your customers’ willingness to engage, buy, patronize, evangelize about your company, and their willingness to associate your product with their own personal brand. It’s a relationship that you want to start long before the customer is contemplating buying your product or using your services. A potent brand will exist in their subconscious, waiting for the opportunity to be useful.
As we’ve established, brands do a lot of heavy lifting on your behalf. They play a crucial role in the success or failure of your business. Like any essential component of your business, if you want it done right, you ought to consider hiring a professional—in this case, a branding agency.
What does a branding agency do? In basic terms, a branding agency helps create, launch, or re-imagine your brand. They act as your own personal Don Draper, helping to build and define your brand through decisions about everything from your name and logo to the font on your website and its URL. They might start with conceptualizing your brand, testing its reception, and planning for its public debut—defining the themes of an advertising campaign and strategizing for the most effective campaign to reach your target audience. The scope of a branding agency’s work might range from a radical reimagining of your company’s identity to the subtlest, almost imperceptible tweaks that change the way your company is received.
The benefits of hiring a branding agency
Now that we know what a branding agency does, let’s get down to brass tacks: what are the real benefits of hiring a branding agency? And what exactly are you paying for when you bring on one of the top branding firms?
1. Competitive edge
The right branding agency will give you an edge over your competition. As a business owner or service provider, you are competing for a finite number of customers, and you have a limited amount of time to make an impression on them—to create that emotional connection that will linger in the back of their subconscious, waiting for the moment when they need your product or service. A top branding firm will help make sure that it’s your brand and not your competitor’s that springs first to mind when your customer or client is ready. The right agency can help ensure that your customer knows why your business is superior to others on the market. They will help your company build trust—create that emotional bond ahead of time—saving your customer time and money when they are ready to make a decision.
2. Sales time
The right branding firm can help cut the amount of time it takes to sell your product or service. If your brand is doing the work it should be doing, it has a preexisting relationship with your client or customer, and it is in their mind long before they need you. Think of it this way: when you have a task you can’t complete yourself, the first thing you do is search your mind for the people who might have the skills you need to accomplish it—a friend you can call to ask for a favor. Your brand should behave the same way. Ideally, your customer will already be acquainted with the concept, have a positive association with the brand, and an inclination toward using it. If your brand is at the top of your customer’s mind when opportunity strikes, you can cut sales time dramatically and increase the chances that your customer will seek you out when they need you. When the customer is ready to buy, you’ll spend less time convincing them of your worth or value and more time understanding their needs and the ways your company can serve them.
3. Turn customers into advocates
If your customers or clients have a positive experience with your brand, they become your free-of-charge branding and marketing team, telling everyone they know how great you are and how much your brand has improved their experience. People trust people more than they trust advertisements—they crave authenticity and a genuine connection. The right branding firm can help transform your organization into one that people are excited about, a brand they personally want to be associated with. The better your customer knows your brand and the more positive they feel about it, the more likely they are to tell others.
Now that you are sufficiently convinced of the importance of hiring a branding agency, let’s discuss the things you should consider when selecting among the top branding firms that are competing for your business.
When choosing a branding partner, consider your priorities such as, for example, communication, expertise, quality, speed, and value. Do they have a strong brand themselves? Can they articulate the value that they’re bringing to your company?
You’ll also want to think about each candidate’s track record: what brands have they successfully worked with before? Do those brands align with your vision of your own company? Do those examples demonstrate a history of success? Seek out information from their previous clients: were they satisfied not just with the ultimate product, but the process that got them there? The right branding agency should be able to effortlessly enumerate all of the advantages to working with them as opposed to their competitors. At the end of the day, the gut feeling you have about their brand is a pretty good barometer of the gut feeling they will be able to produce in your customers about your brand when you’re done working together.
Finally, here is a handy list of questions you should ask to help you narrow down the right branding agency:
If you’re not sure where to begin looking for the right branding for you, start by checking out the curated marketplace at Rocketplace!