As a brand owner or marketing professional, you come across numerous branding agencies who promise to improve your brand awareness and increase sales.
In a quest for finding a new brand design partner, it is challenging to navigate in the abundance of such globally. Agencies might come as quite similar in their offering and methodology.
These simple points might guide you in finding the best match:
Yes, we all want to be on the international scene, with many branches and brands in every physical store or online platform. In reality, brands thrive where your marketing team is. They would appreciate somebody close to them — physically close by, having an understanding of the same jokes, speaking their language and being intuitive of their requests. When it comes to branding, personal relationship and proximity matter.
It is certainly doable to work digitally and from a distance. Additionally, if you want to export to foreign markets as well — it is an asset to be in contact with an agency that has a network and might support you internationally.
2. SIZE OF THE AGENCY
Choose an agency that is relevant and comparable to your size. If you are a smaller local or regional player, it might be tempting to work with the global agencies, but this comes with a price tag. Smaller agencies have many charms — more reactive, more affordable, and more willing to give you added value and treat you better!
3. YOUR ACCOUNT MANAGER
Usually, in the introduction meetings, you get to see the business development or sales team or even more so — the agency management team. They could be convincing, but you will not work with them daily.
Get to meet your account manager. Organise lunch for your marketing team and their potential account (SPOC = single point of contact). Create a bond before the project has even started. Sometimes, the click is just missing. Your team must get on well with the account. You will forgive them if they are late with delivering a file; they will support you in creating the presentation for the management board. It is just this personal click that we need in our working life as well.
I dare to say that experience in your category is not a must.
In that sense, why don’t you try to be open to a new agency, fresh in your field and creative to use their knowledge more excitingly? Perfume project experience might be relevant for your new mineral water in a glass for the HoReCa channel. Alternatively, it could be complementary for the fabric enhancer that you want to launch. Previous experience for salted snacks might be crucial for your cider or sparkling beverage, as there is substantial knowledge accommodated for the same target group, for example.
Challenge the agency to share with you one case only that they find triggering enough for your brand, target audience and market. Let’s see how creative they are!
Sometimes the client requires some creative work before committing to a project with a particular brand design partner. If you are in such a scenario, you should secure some budget and provide a compensation fee. It will certainly not cover the invested design hours entirely. Nevertheless, it will indicate that you are serious in your quest for finding the best partner.
Another critical moment is to make it clear from the very beginning what the success criteria will be. How do you plan to evaluate the proposals — internally with your team or with consumer tests? Transparency is crucial when setting the base for a successful collaboration. Any attempts to play it smart with pitches will certainly backfire at some point. It’s a small world, and people talk and know each other.
Preparing the right and thorough brief is the essential part! A new partner requires inevitable involvement from your side and considerate onboarding with your brands.
Make sure that before moving to creative work, you have prepared and provided all necessary information.
Do you have more tips on choosing the right brand design agency?