What is a branding agency?
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.
References: Traders Message Board, Forbes, Pam Marketing Nut, Group High
Picture from: Advancedrt.com
This is a great article with good info! A lot of success of your project also depends on how well you trust your branding company. Here are some ways to avoid project failure written by Nice Branding – https://nice-branding.com/trust-branding-company-hired/
Great info and explanations! The bulleted list in number 3 is excellent. So much valuable thought and effort goes into assembling all of this in a powerful way for both B2B and consumer brands alike.
You know a really well-situated brand when you remember how it makes you feel after you have been away from it for a period of time. I love the final line “finding out what makes you, you.” And the comment above regarding trust is absolutely critical.
Thank you for sharing!
Great article, very well thought out. A wise person once told me unsuccessful people say “if you want something done right, you should do it yourself,” and successful people say “if you want something done right, hire an expert to do it right the first time!”
Hoping more people catch onto this idea!
That’s interesting that having the right branding for a company can help them gain a competitive advantage, define their brand for communications strategy, and even increase and widen the target audience. It definitely seems that hiring a branding agency would help the company determine which direction they should go in order to grow their brand and get more people to notice it. Partnering with a branding specialist can help the company take their idea and give it shape and a plan which they’ll know is done well since that is what the specialist focuses on in their work.
Thank you, Amanda, for the helpful insights. I really liked your article and learned a lot. Especially the highlighted points inside the point “Why is it important to use a branding agency”. I really found them important to keep in mind before choosing a branding agency.
Thank you for this informative article Amanda, I am noticing many branding companies are starting these days a lot of social media personalities and blogger are also starting branding companies so I am just wondering that choosing the right branding agency specific to the brand will be difficult in years to come.
This is a great explanation into what a branding agency is and what they can do for your business. Thanks for sharing!
Great article! Clarity on agency services. Would have loved to see some more information on why an agency is a better option than piecing together various brand assets from different vendors and providers. That could also Segway into the idea of a brand identity system as being greater than the sum of its parts.