If your company were a celebrity, who would they be? Upbeat and headstrong Reese Witherspoon? Cool girl Selena Gomez? Warm and fuzzy with some “street cred” like Martha Stewart?
This is a fun game to play when discussing your company’s brand identity with your internal team. It poses the challenge of describing your brand as if they were a person, which can help you hone in on your voice and vibe. It can also help you describe your target audience.
But branding is not all fun and games. Defining your company’s brand identity is important work. The truth is no one knows your company better than those with boots on the ground. A company’s employees have an undeniable connection to the brand.
Sometimes, though, the messaging gets muddled or the look and feel doesn’t resonate with a target audience. The good news is that this is fixable.
A branding agency can provide in-depth research and flawless creative execution. The question is, who do you hire?
Knowing what to look for in a branding agency will not only protect your brand, but also your time and money. Get it right the first time by asking yourself the following questions on your hunt for an agency.
Does their company culture fit with you? It’s great if an agency knows how to have fun with ping pong tournaments and snow cone machines, but can they get down to business? Do they value the same things you do? Having that natural chemistry is a sign that you’ve found the right partner. Be cognizant of communication style.
What’s their process? Like I mentioned above, no one knows your company better than you do. The job of a branding agency is to soak up all that knowledge. This usually happens through a strategic process that should include in-depth market research. Make sure that process makes sense to you before you jump in.
Do they offer cross-channel experience? When developing a brand identity, it’s crucial to think big picture. How will your brand be executed online versus offline? Consistency and exposure are key to a successful brand. An agency that has strategic cross-channel experience is to your advantage.
Are they a natural leader? If you’re looking for meaningful results, find an agency that can lead. To achieve excellence, you might have to get out of your comfort zone. A good agency will do what you want, a great agency will push you to something better.
If you’re on the hunt for a branding agency, take the courting process seriously. Know what’s important to you, understand what success looks like, and look for that natural chemistry. My best advice? Don’t settle or run the risk of your company turning into half Jim Carrey half Beyoncé.
After you’ve hired a branding agency, the next question then becomes: how do you deliver an engaging brand experience? Don’t worry, we have the answer here.