Branding Agencies Relationships.
As with any other relationship, what you get out of it depends on what you put in.
Branding agencies will always do their best work with clients that work with them and not see them as service providers or temporary.
In the design industry, there has been a fragmentation that has seen the creation of boutique agencies offering incredibly niche services in every aspect of design, branding and marketing.
The ability to pick and choose and have multiple agencies that you use as and when you have a need has changed the connection some clients have with their designers.
This ‘Tinder’ approach to working with design professionals has, not surprisingly, made agencies less likely to truly engage with clients who are not looking for anything other than a transactional liaison.
This, unfortunately, is reflected in these companies’ brand strategies.
What is brand strategy?
Brand Strategy is:
A business-critical asset that needs the recognition and support it deserves. A well-defined branding strategy offers insight and understanding of the market you operate in, the position you and your competitors hold, and the needs and wants of your customer base.
This is taken from another blog we wrote, ‘Why top brands invest in brand strategy.’
What should you look for in a branding agency?
It all depends on what you want to achieve, and you must have a clear idea of what you want the agency to help you fulfil.
If you are unsure, let the agency know, which can be part of the ongoing strategy.
Before you even start looking at agencies that you would like to work with, we recommend knowing what kind of relationship you are looking for, as this will influence the size and capabilities of the agency you select.
Suppose you are looking for an agency where you can build a longstanding relationship over several years. In that case, it is key to choose an agency capable of delivering that level of engagement.
Many niche boutique agencies are neither equipped nor desire to work on anything other than short-lived, standalone branding projects.
They may specialise in a particular sector, such as food or automotive or only want to work on brand creation. These agencies may lack the skills, experience or desire to deliver on long-term strategies or ongoing projects.
Agencies that are looking for long-term working partnerships are happy to match the enthusiasm and commitment of their clients, which is essential for delivering branding projects as they grow and mature.
Dedicated designers will get to know the client and their brand and bring this accumulated knowledge to every branding project they take on.
As with any short-term relationship, success depends on both parties having the same understanding. If either party expects anything more than short-term benefits, it can lead to issues and problems. If both are on the same page, then projects can be turnaround quickly and efficiently.
Niche projects may be delivered by different designers chosen for the specifics of each project. Every project will be approached from square one.
As outlined above, outcomes depend on the choice of agency, and the choice of agency depends on the relationship you are after. The best result is the one that matches your expectation.
Suppose you are looking for added value, deeper understanding and appreciation of the entire brand strategy lifecycle. In that case, you should seek an agency that values long-term relationships and the benefits it delivers.
Suppose you are looking to deliver a specific branding project that stands alone and benefits from a fresh unrestrained approach that doesn’t need to consider within a broader branding environment. In that case, a boutique agency may be precisely what you need.
Talk to us.
Toast has worked with both types of clients over the years. Most of them have been looking for an agency that can deliver a whole range of branding services from logo design, Branding and Corporate identity. Some clients were looking for us to create the brand but have stayed because they appreciated our commitment and passion for their brands.