So you are looking to hire a brand agency, but where do you start? How do you ensure that you are choosing the right agency for your business? Here are 10 tips to help you choose a brand agency that is right for you.
The first step is to define your needs. What do you want to achieve with your branding project? Do you need help with rebranding, creating a new brand identity, or refreshing your existing brand? Once you know what you need, you can start to look for agencies that specialize in those areas.
But if you are not sure what it exactly is you need, don't worry. Discuss this with the agency. A good agency will be able to help you explore your options and figure out a solution that is right for you.
After an introductory meeting, a kickoff session or exploration meeting with the agency is the perfect opportunity to get more insight into formulating the right roadmap for your brand development needs. This is also a chance for you to get to know the agency and see if there is a good fit.
At this stage, it is important to be clear about your budget and timeline for the project. Once you have that information, you can start to narrow down your decisions.
Do be respectful of the agency's time. Some agencies are very extensive in researching your specific company needs. It is not uncommon that the more specialised agencies ask a fee for this. So ask about this upfront, so there are no surprises later on.
Before you start reaching out to agencies, it is important to do your research. Look at the agency’s website and ask yourself if it feels like the right fit. Who will be working on your project and what kind of people are they?
What is their process? How do they work? It is important that you find an agency that you can trust and that you feel comfortable working with. Take the time to get to know them before you commit to anything. As a result of the high level of communication and back-and-forth, make sure there's an open collaboration where everyone can have their say. It's as simple as that.
Furthermore, look through their portfolio to see if they've done work on projects with similar challenges to yours before. And if not, ask what their ambitions are and why your project is of interest to them. It is not always so important that they have worked in your sector before, because at the end of the day it is about a certain process and methodologies they follow that ensures you get the right result. If they can’t answer this question, it might be a sign that they are not the right agency for you.
Last but not least, don’t forget to ask around and get recommendations from people who have worked with branding agencies before. A personal recommendation is always a good indicator that an agency is trustworthy and does good work.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a brand agency is your budget. Be realistic about what you can afford to spend on your project. Then, reach out to a few agencies and get estimates for their services. This will help you narrow down your choices to the agencies that fit within your budget.
When you're considering an agency's price, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. A more expensive agency may be able to provide a higher level of service and better results than a cheaper one. So, don't just focus on the bottom line. Instead, consider the value that an agency can bring to your project.
The amount of experience an agency has should also be a factor in your decision. An experienced agency will likely be able to have a better understanding of your industry and your specific needs. They'll also be able to provide case studies or examples of their previous work. This can give you a good idea of what to expect from them if you hire them for your project.
And ultimately, it is not about the number of deliverables but a certain guarantee they can give based on their experience that what they produce is what is really good for you. A lot of people can make a beautiful logo or brand, but there is more to a good brand than just how it looks.
It is about the research that goes into understanding your target audience, what they need and want, and how to best reach them. It's about developing a strategy for how your brand will be positioned in the market. And it's about creating consistent messaging that resonates with your audience .
An experienced agency can provide all of this and more. So, don't let price be the only factor in your decision. Instead, consider the value an agency can bring to your project.
Another factor to consider is the location of the agency. If you are looking for a local agency, then you will want to choose one that is based in your city or region. However, if you are open to working with an agency from another area, then the location may not be as important to you. Either way, it is worth considering the location of the agency to ensure that you are able to easily communicate and work together.
Nomadic work is becoming the new norm. With the rise of the gig economy and the flexibility that it affords, more and more people are choosing to work remotely. If you are considering working with a remote agency, then there are a few things that you need to take into account. First, ask what their experience is working in this way. Do they have a dedicated team of remote workers? How do they handle communication and collaboration? Make sure that you are comfortable with their process before moving forward. Secondly ask at which milestones can be done online and which need to be done on location? You need to be able to trust the agency you are working with, and if there are aspects of the project that can only be done in-person, make sure to clearly agree what locations are workable for both teams.
But ultimately, this is the future, so do consider that this approach wil be the norm, and agencies working in this nomadic manner might just be the cutting edge agency you are looking for.
Once you have narrowed down your choices, it is time to schedule a consultation with each of the agencies. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the agency and their process. It is also a chance for you to ask any questions that you may have about your project.
During the consultation, be sure to find out how they would approach your project and what their timeline would be. Every agency has a certain methodology they follow, and understanding the methodology your agency uses and why can be helpful in deciding if they’re the right fit for you.
Additionally, find out what the agency’s policies are regarding changes and revisions. Make sure you are clear on what their process is for making changes to the project midway through and how they handle revisions after the project is completed.
By the end of the consultation, you should have a good idea if the fit is right.
When you are meeting with an agency, be sure to ask for references. Also consider the types of clients they have worked for in the past. If they have worked for large enterprises and brands, this demonstrate that they know how to conduct business in a professional manner. Furthermore, they are likely to have a wealth of experience and knowledge that can be applied to your project.
On the contrary having worked for smaller non-famous companies and brands means they have an understanding what it means to work with passion. Helping the smaller agency across the road means they are willing to help the smaller clients because they love what they are doing, instead of just hunting the big bucks.
So consider what is important to you and discuss their views on the matter. After all, they will be working on your project and you need to make sure that you are compatible.
When looking at an agency, consider how long they have been in business. This is not always an indicator of quality but it does show that they are doing something right if they have been around for a while. It is always worth checking how long the team members have been with the agency too.
Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to review the contract carefully. Make sure that you understand all of the terms and conditions. And, if there is anything that you are not comfortable with, be sure to ask questions or raise concerns before signing.
If you're not sure what something means, don't hesitate to ask for clarification. It's better to get everything in writing and be clear on the expectations before proceeding. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a difficult situation down the road.
Some agencies, or perhaps your own corporation has fist thick contracts outlining all the small details. But be realistic about it: who reads all of those words, let alone comprehends them? Yes, conducting business in a professional manner is important, but the fact is that not all businesses have large legal departments to go through these documents. At the end of the day, they are only required when things go horribly wrong. As a result, you're better off knowing and agreeing on the agency's guiding principles and ethics. This should prevent you from ever having to deal with the fine-print contract on the table as an unwelcome surprise.
You are best off, planning an extra meeting to run through the contract together with the agency before signing it, than expecting and assuming both sides understand all the fine print.
In order to avoid any surprises, be sure to get a timeline from the agency for your project. This will help you plan and prepare for the different stages of your branding project.
And remember this timeline is a two way thing. Yes agencies need to do the required work in the right time, but you the client also need to be available when they need you. Delays on your side can quickly lead to a domino effect that pushes the project timeline of course. So do keep that in mind!
If there are important deadline be sure to communicate them and explain why they are important. Ask what there experience is and if they are flexible to put in the extra hours if needed.
If you have the luxury of time on your side, this is an equally important factor to share with an agency. Creativity can take time, and if an agency is struggling to get that perfect result they are looking for, if they are not under pressure of a deadline, they might be more comfortable taking the honest road to ask for a little more time because they are striving for a certain standard.
Either way, timelines can be a tricky thing for any project and therefore make sure expectations are clearly communicated in advance.
Throughout your branding project, it is important to keep the lines of communication open with your agency. Be sure to provide feedback and ask questions along the way. This will help to ensure that your project is on track and that you are happy with the final result. If at any point you are unsure about something, or have concerns, be sure to bring them up with your agency. The more open and honest you can be, the better the final outcome will be.
Keep in mind that agencies are experts in their field, so trust their judgement and expertise. However, don't be afraid to speak up if you have any questions or concerns. After all, it's your brand, and you want to be sure that you're happy with the final result.
Once your branding project is complete, be sure to check in with the agency. Thank them for their hard work and let them know if you are happy with the final result. And, if you ever need help with your brand in the future, be sure to keep them in mind.
Discuss the next steps and wether or not you want them to be an active part in the further development of the brand. They can make the material throughout the year, or they may check in as an art director to keep things on track.
An agency should be a thought partner and an advocate for your brand. So, don't forget to nurture that relationship even after the project is complete. It could be the key to keeping your brand on track for years to come.
And if you're still not sure what you need, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would be happy to help you explore your options and figure out a solution that is right for you. Contact us today to get started.