Top 10 Branding Agencies in the World — April 2024

An in-depth list of top brand design firms and brand consultancy companies to hire for your next brand identity project.

Chelsea Greene
17 min readDec 13, 2022

Updated: April 1, 2024

Because branding is no easy task, many businesses try and do everything themselves and ultimately fail. This is why bringing a branding agency on board to help with everything from graphic design to social media marketing is crucial for ensuring a consistent brand personality from start to finish.

Research has shown that a compelling brand story can increase the likelihood of a purchase by 55% among consumers. Trust also plays a crucial role in consumer decision-making, with 81% emphasizing its importance when choosing a brand to support. 80% of male and 76% of female customers prefer to purchase from familiar brands. This emphasizes the need to establish strong brand recognition through visibility across various media platforms.

Just so there’s no confusion about how to separate the good from subpar branding agencies during your search, in this article, we’re going to explore the following:

  • Common questions on picking the right branding company
  • Our picks for the best branding agencies in the world (all ten brand design agencies listed companies are equally awesome)

5 Questions to Ask a Branding Agency Before Hiring

  1. What is your approach to brand development? You should be looking for information regarding the process and branding strategy of how a brand design company goes about creating an effective, recognizable brand. It’s important to know their research and creative approach when developing logos, visuals, and brand messaging to ascertain whether the company fits your needs. Ask them about their process, timeline, and any additional branding services they offer outside of traditional logo/visual design — such as brand strategy and positioning, copywriting, social media marketing, etc. — to ensure your brand is developed most effectively.
  2. Do you specialize in any particular industry or area of branding? You want to know if they deeply understand your specific industry and target market, which can be a significant factor when deciding who to hire for the job. Ask them about their past projects and which sectors or areas of branding they have the most experience in so you can understand whether or not their services are suited to your particular needs.
  3. How do you measure the success of a branding project? A good answer should focus on both quantitative and qualitative metrics. For example, a brand strategy firm might measure success by tracking website traffic and conversion rates before and after a campaign launch or by surveying customers to see if their brand perception changes after the project. Additionally, a good brand consulting agency should be able to explain how they track progress and set goals during the branding process. This could include monitoring customer feedback or satisfaction surveys on an ongoing basis throughout the campaign. By asking these questions, you can better understand how your potential partner approaches their projects and whether they can provide the results you’re looking for.
  4. Are there any additional costs outside the initial project fee? Depending on the scope and size of the project, additional costs could include research and analytics to understand better your target audience, creative content (such as video, photography, or illustration), software licenses for graphic design tools, and consulting fees with external partners during the project. Be sure to also ask about ongoing maintenance or support services, as well as any fees associated with them. It’s also important to remember to factor in taxes when budgeting for a project. This can be an often overlooked cost when hiring a brand design company.
  5. What is the estimated timeline for a branding project? When asking a brand strategy firm the estimated timeline for a branding project, it’s essential to understand that each project is unique and has specific needs. A reputable firm should be able to provide you with a realistic timeline by considering several factors, such as project scope and complexity, resource availability, potential constraints or limitations, and internal processes and workflow. It’s also important to ask about their flexibility when it comes to timeline changes due to unexpected developments or changes in expectations. Reliable branding specialists should provide an estimated, realistic, and achievable timeline. Finally, be sure to ask about their plan in case the project needs to be completed ahead of schedule or if there are any potential delays. Knowing how a firm handles these issues will help you understand how they prioritize and manage projects to ensure timely delivery.

The World’s Top 10 Branding Agencies — April 2024 Ratings

We understand the importance of thorough evaluation when it comes to selecting the top branding agencies in the world. Our criteria consider various factors, including press mentions, awards, industry recognitions, and social media presence. We also consider their Google rating and search engine optimization efforts. Additionally, we assess the agency’s executive leadership, team size, and client feedback and reviews to ensure they have the necessary capabilities to meet industry-specific needs and deliver tangible results. Location, client diversity and caliber, hourly rate, team size, branding expertise, years in the market, range of services offered, and industries served are all important components we consider when rating the best branding companies worldwide. We aim to provide a comprehensive evaluation that showcases each agency’s strengths and helps potential clients find the best fit for their needs.

1. Clay

The firm is primarily a UI and UX design and brand agency, but it can carry out the full range of services related to brand development and the digital experiences to go with it.

Clay has worked with some of the biggest names in tech and business from the heart of San Francisco, including Cisco and Facebook. They are also interested in fintech and web3/crypto companies and have worked with leaders in the space, such as Coinbase and Grayscale.

Best for: Experts in implementing the brand experience across digital products and websites, they specialize in serving large tech companies, SaaS startups, and mobile apps.

Branding services offered: Brand strategy, brand architecture, verbal identity, visual identity, brand guidelines, brand experiences, web design, interactive experiences, art direction, illustration, graphic design, iconography, animation, photo & video production, 3D design.
Based in: San Francisco, CA
Year Founded: 2010
Company size: 80+
Hourly rate: $175-$225
Top clients: Amazon, Google, Slack, Facebook, Coca-Cola, Coinbase, UPS, Cisco
Industries: Fintech, B2B & Enterprise Software, Crypto & Web3, Technology, E-commerce & Fashion tech, Electronics, Food & Beverage, Startups & VC, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Telecommunications, Mobility, Logistics
Online portfolio: https://clay.global/work
Social networks: Twitter, Dribbble, and Instagram

Clay is a UI and UX design and full-service branding agency

2. Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv

Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv is an independent design company that has been around since 1957. Although based in New York, it has clients across the world.

The agency focuses on trademarks and brand identity programs that build its clients’ global brands. Still, in the past, it has helped with diverse projects, including art in architecture and exhibitions at cultural institutions.

It has helped many major clients with their logos and identity, such as National Geographic, Chase Bank, and Warner Bros Discovery — you can find many more on its website.

Best for: Complex development of iconic logos, trademarks, and overarching brand identity programs

Branding services offered: brand identities, exhibitions, print and motion graphics, and art in architecture
Based in: New York, NY
Year Founded: 1957
Company size: <25
Hourly rate: $350-$500
Top clients: Warner Bros. Family of Brands, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Harvard University Press, MoMA
Industries: Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Media & Telecom, Culture and Education, Healthcare, Logistics, Consumer Goods, Financial Services, Energy / Utilities
Online portfolio: https://cghnyc.com/work/logos/
Social networks: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv is an independent logo design company focusing on trademarks and brand identity programs that build its clients’ brands

3. Pentagram

Pentagram may be another independent design agency, but it differs slightly from its competitors. Instead of separating its owners from its employees, the business owners deliver work to clients, meaning all partners are designers. This gives them the incentive and motivation to provide a high level of commitment and service to clients and reassures those clients that they’ll always be working with the best.

Put together, its team has more than 50 years of experience spanning different sectors and areas. They’re located worldwide, mainly in London and New York, and provide various creative services, including sound and motion, websites, communications, and marketing strategy.

Best for: A perfect selection for a versatile rebrand, particularly within conventional sectors like education or public services, where innovation is key.

Branding services offered: graphics and brand identity, strategy and positioning, products and packaging, exhibitions and installations, websites and digital experiences, advertising and communications, data visualizations and typefaces, sound and motion design
Based in: London, New York City, San Francisco, Berlin, and Austin
Year Founded: 1972
Company size: 450 people
Hourly rate: $300–400
Top clients: New York Magazine, Amazon, Virgin, Waze
Industries: Financial Services, Technology, Retail, Startups & VC, Sports, Education, Media & Telecom, Design & Architecture, Fashion & Beauty, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Hospitality & Leisure, Manufacturing & Industrials, Logistics, Real Estate, Not-for-Profit
Online portfolio: https://www.pentagram.com/work
Social networks: Instagram, LinkedIn, X, Facebook

Pentagram is the world’s largest independent design consultancy

4. DesignStudio

Its name might sound like a straightforward company, but DesignStudio is anything but. As part of the team’s commitment to pushing themselves to do things differently, DesignStudio has made some bizarre moves, such as becoming Deliveroo riders temporarily and visiting 14 countries in a week together.

So, it shouldn’t be surprising that the team prays itself on delivering unconventional solutions.

DesignStudio’s primary services include brand strategy, visual identity, interactive experiences, and organizational design, and it can also deliver anything in related areas.

Past clients include British Airways, Penguin Random House, and the Premier League, and the company is based in London (although it also has offices in New York, Sydney, and Shanghai).

Best for: Ideal for expansive international endeavors, given the agency’s brand studios are globally positioned.

Branding services offered: Branding strategy, brand architecture, digital strategy, employer brand strategy, visual identity, verbal identity, motion identity, sonic identity, naming, brand launches, brand campaigns, brand films, digital products, interactive experiences, environmental design
Based in: London, New York, Sydney, and Shanghai
Year Founded: 2009
Company size: 230 people
Hourly rate: $300–400
Top clients: Airbnb, Premier League, Alipay, League of Legends, UEFA
Industries: B2B, Beauty & Personal Care, Charity, Education, Gaming, Fashion, Finance, Food & Drink, Healthcare, Professional Services, Property, Retail, Sports, Technology, Travel & Hospitality
Online portfolio: https://www.design.studio/work
Social networks: Instagram, X, LinkedIn

DesignStudio is a creative agency that crafts beautiful, unique, and exciting designs to help people

5. Prophet

Prophet aims to be a disruptor, offering its clients creativity and originality. But it also takes an empathetic approach and wants to be a faithful “ally” by providing solid support and advice. The agency has previously worked with names like UBS, Chick-Fil-A, and Gatorade and won over 100 awards. It now has 15 office locations across the world.

Thanks to these diverse experiences, Prophet has served many industries — its specialisms include aerospace, B2B, consumer goods, education, energy, entertainment, financial service, healthcare, industrial products, retail, technology, and travel.

Best for: advertising and marketing strategy, including brand rollouts and various production needs

Branding services offered: brand strategy, brand transformation, brand launch and activation, brand valuation and measurement, digital marketing strategy
Based in: San Francisco, CA
Year Founded: 1992
Company size: 500–1000
Hourly rate: $250–350
Top clients: Metlife, Samsung, Electrolux, Polestar, UBS
Industries: Aerospace, B2B, Consumer Goods, Education, Energy / Utilities, Entertainment, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrial Products, Retail, Technology, Media & Telecom, Travel / Hospitality
Online portfolio: https://prophet.com/work/
Social networks: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn

Prophet is a growth and transformation consulting firm

6. Droga5

Regarding design, Droga5 (part of Accenture now) adheres to a simple yet effective ethos — use creativity to solve problems effectively. Occupying the intersection of artistic ingenuity and technical know-how (along with professional precision!) has helped Droga5 make a name for itself in the branding world. The company’s studios in New York, Dublin, London, São Paulo, and Tokyo have overseen extraordinary projects for seminal global brands like the New York Times, Chase, and even HBO’s Game of Thrones. Droga5 creates and maintains purposeful brands through definitions of mission and purpose that are action-oriented. Droga5 turns innovative branding solutions into an indispensable tool for enhancing performance by honing in on each client’s specific and unique business challenges.

Best for: Multifaceted brand strategy and design project, often connected to brand launches and advertising (they’re an ad agency originally). They’re known for igniting business growth by infusing brand purpose into every aspect of a brand, from value proposition to customer experience.

Branding services offered: Brand purpose, brand experience innovation, integrated campaigns, performance marketing strategy, brand identity and naming, brand strategy, packaging, design language systems, interactive production
Based in: New York City
Year Founded: 2006
Company size: 500–1000
Hourly rate: $350–500
Top clients: Ancestry, Belstaff, Blue Apron, Chase, CoverGirl, Danone, ESPN, Georgia-Pacific, Google, Heineken, Hennessy, Johnsonville, MailChimp
Industries: Technology, Media & Telecom, Sports, Travel / Hospitality, Consumer Goods, Entertainment, Non-Profit, Beauty & Personal Care, Healthcare, Retail
Online portfolio: https://droga5.com/work/
Social networks: LinkedIn, X, Facebook, Instagram

Droga5 is a global advertising agency headquartered in New York City with offices in London and Tokyo

7. BBDO

BBDO was founded in New York City in 1928. Since its humble beginnings, BBDO has grown into a thriving network of over 200 studios across six continents. Although its global headquarters is still in New York City, each affiliate studio upholds BBDO’s values and vision within the regional ecosystems and industries its clients inhabit. This large network does not sacrifice quality because of its size, but rather, such a wide-reaching and diverse team of people gives BBDO its unmatched brand consistency, quality, and premium output. Mega brands as diverse as AT&T, Guinness, and WhatsApp to Pepsi, Snickers, and Cannes have worked with studios in the BBDO network, clearly showing the latent potential already established and beloved brands have to be reinvigorated with just a little creative attention. BBDO’s regional networks boast award-winning advertising and communication solutions that keep even the biggest brands returning for more.

Best for: global brands and campaigns that require advertising because they’re one of the world’s largest ad agency networks

Branding services offered: advertising, brand management, brand launches, interactive marketing, direct marketing, campaign strategy, and design services
Based in: New York City
Year Founded: 1928
Company size: 15,000
Hourly rate: $250–500 (depends on office location)
Top clients: Bank Of America, Bayer, Gillette, Ikea, KFC, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nike, Oral-B, Pepsi-Cola, Pfizer, Pizza Hut, Total Fine Elf, Toyota, Visa
Industries: Food & Beverage, Electronics, Non-Profit, Healthcare, Consumer Goods, Media & Telecom
Online portfolio: https://bbdo.com/work
Social networks: Facebook, X, LinkedIn

BBDO is a worldwide advertising agency network, with its headquarters in New York City

8. Mekanism

Advertising and branding studio Mekanism claims their approach to design is where “soul meets science” — and they mean it. Modest in size yet bold in output, Mekanism’s nine-step design process masterfully blends soulful creativity with professional, technically focused skill. It goes as follows: (1) Research; (2) Insight; (3) Strategy; (4) Performance Optimization Agenda; (5) Brand DNA & Toolkit; (6) Creative Iteration; (7) Production; (8) Testing; (9) Optimize Creative. Through the particular elements and circumstances of each project, Mekanism, time and again, creatively unearths unique forms of visual and emotional communication for brands. By honing in on brands on their terms, Mekanism can isolate and build upon a brand’s strongest elements to creatively strengthen visual communication and deepen all kinds of user and customer experiences. Mekanism’s campaigns for established companies as diverse as OkCupid, Quaker, and Alaska Airlines have been overwhelming successes. Mekanism also works closely with “insurgent brands” to help them become more stable and see their position improve and do so with an unforgettable bang!

Best for: brands looking for an end-to-end creative agency that understands business strategy and drives results. Their focus on unusual creative campaigns would suit any brand looking to disrupt the market.

Branding services offered: brand architecture, brand activation, brand design, development and production of marketing campaigns, digital ecosystem strategy, commercials, and branded entertainment
Based in: San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles
Year Founded: 2000
Company size: 51–200
Hourly rate: $350-$500
Top clients: Peloton, OkCupid, Jose Cuervo, Fanatics, Inc. and the NBA App, Ben & Jerry’s, Alaska Airlines, Charles Schwab
Industries: Healthcare, Travel / Hospitality, Sports, Food & Beverage, E-commerce & Fashion Tech, Media & Telecom, Consumer Goods, Technology
Online portfolio: https://mekanism.com/work
Social networks: Instagram, Facebook, X, LinkedIn

Mekanism is an award-winning creative agency that intersects technology, design, culture, and brand stories

9. Wolff Olins

Wolff Olins is a unique agency committed to transforming the impact of organizations and their brands. The agency’s services fall into three categories: strategy, design, and change. Strategy diagnoses industry dynamics and the specific environment within the brand or organization. This allows Wolff Olins to define positioning and the right target audience more accurately. The Design category includes everything related to visual communication, experience, identity, and expression — brands are a form of communication, and Wolff Olins believes intimate yet creative forms of visual engagement are the key centerpiece to advertising and design. The category Change is a unique set of services in advertising and the branding industry — it is all about transforming organizations from the inside so that employee engagement, internal structure, and culture are aligned to perform at new and heightened levels. Wolff Olins often combines these services into comprehensive packages to reinvigorate brands and company structures, to make entire organizations both internally and client (and potential client!) facing the best they can be.

Best for: brand transformation projects that require combining the brand identity with culture and digital brand experiences.

Branding services offered: purpose and brand strategy, brand architecture and portfolio strategy, verbal identity, visual identity, insights and measurement, activation and governance, workplace branding and experiences
Based in: New York City, London, San Francisco, and Los Angeles
Year Founded: 1965
Company size: 150
Hourly rate: $300-$450
Top clients: LG Electronics, TikTok, Uber, The Economist
Industries: consumer goods, culture and education, energy, financial services, fintech, food and drink, health, manufacturing, media and entertainment, mobility, non-profit, professional services, retail, sports, tech, telecoms, travel and hospitality
Online portfolio: https://wolffolins.com/work
Social networks: LinkedIn, X, Instagram, YouTube

Wolff Olins is a global brand consultancy and a pioneer of industry trends in corporate identity

10. Dentsu

Sometimes, aesthetic trends change faster than they can be identified, defined, and understood. This is where the award-winning advertising agency network Dentsu comes in. Boasting 85 of the world’s top 100 advertisers, 11,000 clients, 143 markets, and 46,000 employees, Dentsu is a globally-reaching network that creates future-oriented creative solutions in a rapidly changing design and cultural landscape. Dentsu’s solutions and services help unlock new opportunities for businesses to transform across customer journeys from start to finish. Central to Dentsu’s approach is harnessing creativity’s power to reimagine and transform brands. Beyond brands themselves, media strategies and user experience are also central planes of communication that Dentsu focuses on. Foregrounding data-driven branding strategies, Dentsu’s network has seen success with some of the world’s biggest brands — Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, and Philips, to name a few.

Best for: any brand looking for a comprehensive creative and marketing approach on a global scale. Their network has multiple agencies, so finding a good fit for your needs would be easy.

Services offered: branding, media strategies and user experience
Based in: Global (pretty much in every large city in the world)
Year Founded: 1901
Company size: 35,000 people
Hourly rate: $200-$500 (varies based on project and agency location)
Top clients: Philips, P&G, Microsoft, Jaguar Land Rover, LVMH, Kao Corporation and Netflix
Industries: Food & Beverage, Media & Telecom, Sports, Logistics, Entertainment, Technology, Healthcare & Life Sciences, E-commerce & Fashion tech, Electronics
Online portfolio: https://www.dentsu.com/us/en/our-work
Social networks: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, X, YouTube

Dentsu International is one of the largest global marketing and advertising agency networks in the world

More Tips On How to Choose a Creative Brand Agency

Maybe you want to understand how we made our choices or if you’re going to find a specific type of branding agency partner or expert for a particular project and need to research independently. To help, we’ve provided tips for finding the right branding agency for you and how we created our very own list of the best brand consultants in the industry.

Look Beyond Prices

It is also important to remember that just because a company charges more doesn’t necessarily mean it’s providing better services. To determine if you’re getting your money’s worth, make sure you’re clear on who exactly you’ll be working with, what they’ll be doing, and how long the project will take. Suppose you’re a tiny startup and want to work with a big-name branding firm or agency. In that case, you’ll likely end up with junior designers or recent college graduates, and it may not feel like you’re getting the best possible value for your investment.

Just because a company charges more doesn’t necessarily mean it’s providing better services. Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Meanwhile, a smaller consultancy is more likely to put you in the hands of its top people and is unlikely to have many (if any) junior designers on its team. But small branding firms and agencies also have their downsides — if you want help with various branding services, they might not be able to handle everything for you. Often, smaller branding agencies specialize in particular services instead of providing anything and everything.

This is why it’s always a good idea to check out any team member/designer’s LinkedIn profile before you agree to work with a company. Also, ask agencies who their past clients were, including the same tasks they performed and how big the brands were. Sometimes, branding agencies will even provide prospective clients with case studies from previous projects to review.

Determine Your Priorities

Before contacting creative branding agencies, ensure you’re clear on what you want and which elements the brand consultants can help you with. In some cases, you may wish to work with an agency that specializes in your industry, but this should not necessarily be your top priority — an agency experienced in working with firms across a wide array of industries may be more creative due to the more varied experience it can tap into.

Ultimately, choosing a firm based on the tasks it does best is usually better than focusing on the industry it has experience working in. Does an agency focus on market research, naming, graphic design, marketing, or something else?

Request Information

The steps outlined above help shortlist a few of the best potential candidates. To make your final decision, you may want to request information (RFI), which involves asking each branding company how it would approach your specific project.

Don’t expect them to give you free suggestions about how you can improve your existing brand — but they should be able to tell you the process they’d use in your project, how they’d measure success, and why they’d be a good fit (including relevant past clients), along with a rough idea of expected costs and project schedule.

You may want to request information (RFI) to make your final decision. Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

But there’s still one final aspect to consider.

It’s All About the Chemistry

Although you should consider practical things like the skill and experience of a branding company, don’t be afraid to make a final decision based on soft factors, such as how well you connect with the staff. After all, you’re entrusting a branding agency to execute your brand’s vision — you need to be sure they understand what you want to see and have a genuine passion for your new brand or business.

This is one of the most apparent advantages of working with a minor team — they are often more responsive to clients’ immediate needs than to the wishes of higher-ups far removed from the design process.

Before signing a contract to begin a project, it is always best to organize a meeting or video call, ask any questions, and get as much information as possible.

The Bottom Line

A professional brand design agency may offer slightly different services for different companies. Still, ultimately, everything comes down to telling a story that resonates with the brand values, emotions, and motivations of a firm’s core audience — and being able to consistently emit that brand message throughout all the channels and products a business offers.

Thanks for reading!

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About the author

Chelsea Greene is a creative problem solver who loves empathizing with users and designing web solutions that are easy and engaging to use. Interested in human-centered design, branding, and web design, she enjoys writing about these topics in her spare time.

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Chelsea Greene

I’m a designer that loves UX, fonts, and sunny beach days