This article looks at the basics of what a branding agency is, what they can offer and what particular elements they specialize in and focus on.
We’ve talked about what is branding and why it’s so important for business. Today we are going to explain what actually is a branding agency – what do they do/offer and what makes them different to the creative and advertising agencies out there.
1) Definition of a branding agency
These agencies are extremely specialised in the services in which they offer. Their primary focus is to help create, develop, maintain and improve brands. Creative, design and communication may also fall under their overarching banner, but their main focus will be on brand strategy by either developing or refreshing brands.
A branding agency will support your brand, by developing an understanding of your business, clarifying your goals and objectives and communicating this in the right way to the right audience. From this information they will help provide a strategy to grow your brand and provide you with the right toolkit to embed your brand purpose, values, promises, positioning, and identity into your organisation.
So if this is what you’re looking for than a branding agency is for you. A one off advert to promote one of you long line of products or a specific promotion, is probably not best placed with a branding agency but more a creative or advertising team.
2) Responsibility of a branding agency
A branding agency can be many things to many people. They can be your strategist, your creative, your design team. But overall the role of a branding agency is to create, plan, manage, and measure your branding strategy.
It is about them becoming an additional “department” within your organisation, they have to know and understand everything about you. They have to get under the skin of your organisation and find out what really makes you tick. What are your objectives, values, promises, how do you communicate with both your target audiences and your employees?
They also need to understand your market, your competitors. What are their brands doing, are they stronger, do they work, how your brand stand/look alongside the competition and the market.
It is from all of this information that a coherent brand strategy can be pulled together and a direction of growth can be accomplished.
3) Specialising in brand strategy and brand identity
There are a number of areas in which a branding agency specialise in, here are some examples:
- Research & analytics
- Brand architecture and portfolio
- Brand positioning
- Brand identity
- Design of the brand visual identity (includes logo design)
- Brand guidelines
- Brand strategy & management
- Brand communications
- Brand experiences
- Internal branding
- Packaging design
It is these specialised areas that set them apart from your day to day design and advertising agencies. They have explored your brand and looked to develop your name and business, not just a particular advert at a particular time. Everything has been considered from the colours uses in logos, to the tone of voice used throughout communications.
Click here to read our selection of the top branding agencies in the world.
4) Why is it important to use a branding agency
Throughout many of our articles we have highlighted why having a brand, maintaining a brand and developing and growing your brand is important. What’s important to note about all of this is that sometimes you can’t do this alone and that specialised help is a welcome one.
Your brand is what allows you to gain competitive advantage, define a robust brand communications strategy and above all increase your reach and widen your target audience.
Choosing a branding agency to work alongside you can help you to achieve all of these things and more. You need to find the right branding agency for you, and sometimes this isn’t always the one that will tell you what you want to hear.
Some things to think about when choosing a branding agency:
- What is their experience, who are their past clients and can they show you their work
- Do they have processes, procedures which they follow to help guide you through the branding process
- How do you interact with them and how do they interact with you
- Budgets – everyone needs to be upfront and honest when it comes to what a brand development could and will cost
A branding agency in essence will help you finding out about what makes you, you. It will also shape your company’s reputation, boost employee motivation and inspire them to work for and support the brand. And because branding is so important for the growth of a business, having brand specialists working for you can only make your business stronger in the long run.