How To Choose the Best-Fit Branding Agency

How To Choose the Best-Fit Branding Agency
Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog
Giles Taylor, February 08, 2021

We know, a lot of work goes into finding the right branding agency for your business. And rightly so. If you make the right choice, you can have a happily ever after, (or at least, whatever equates to that in the marketing world,) and put your faith in them to take good care of your brand identity.

So, what points do you need to consider when searching for your perfect branding agency? 

It’s all about the research 

This is all about balancing up your time with the research needed to find the brand partner that will fit your business. Put it this way, you’re not going to want to interview twenty agencies in person. At the same time, if you have no basis for comparison you’ll be shooting in the dark.

Here are a few tips to get your search started:

  • Consider what’s important to you, be it location, portfolio, type of experience.
  • Get a shortlist going. Start with around 10, then whittle down to your top three. 
  • Set up an interview with these top three.  
  • Aside from the relationship side of work, there are some very practical items to tick off. For example, you need to think about your budgets and make sure they fit with the cost of their services. 
  • Find out about their process. If it feels like it has holes in it, that’s a warning sign. On the other hand, if you’re getting quality research and data, regardless of yours or the agency’s size, this is an important box ticked. 
Does agency size matter? 

No not at all, what you're looking for is intuition. This is more important than how many people are in the team. You want to have empathy coming from the strong creative direction inside the agency. Not ivory towers supported by many. 

Look at the clients to see who the design agencies are working with. This will help tell you whether your project fits into their client base. For example, if you're a B2B software client then you might look at a design agency working in this marketplace. 

You can assume large agencies tend to have the manpower to deal with large clients and their needs, smaller, boutique agencies are a good fit for smaller businesses. If you get either of these the wrong way around, you may feel like your needs are not being met. 

But we work with both large and small businesses in the US, UK and EU bringing expertise when required to deliver great value to the client (see our design work here).

Would you employ them at your business?

Some agencies think of this as a kind of dating exercise. Here’s why, it comes down to one big thing that can’t be faked. Chemistry.

We prefer to think of it as a hiring decision. If you could see the people from your agency in your business, you know you have a good fit. They align with your culture and innately understand your values.  

In conclusion …

Like any partnership, finding the best-fit branding agency comes down to defining what you want, and what you need as a business first and foremost. To get a successful result from your search, be picky about the agencies you interview. 

If you are a smaller, growing business, a boutique agency would give you the access to expertise and the care you need. You might not get a ton of onsite designers, art directors and developers. But if you want a more boutique experience an agency like ours might just fit the bill. 

Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog

Giles Taylor

Giles is the founder and creative director for W/Brand. A graphic designer from Reading in Berkshire, UK, he's a dad with two wonderful children who enjoys walking and playing the guitar.  

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