5 Things to Look For When Choosing the Perfect Brand Agency

B2B Social Media

By Julia Koh & Syira Junaidi
October 2019
So you might think it’s time to rebrand, or have a branding campaign to plan, execute, monitor, and evaluate. It’s time to look for a brand agency to help you make it a smooth sailing. Brand agencies are professional partners whose sole existence is to serve businesses in any areas relating to your brand.
Hiring a brand agency is a huge deal. You’re going to work with one for at least a few months, spending valuable time for meetings, discussions, reading and replying emails, and it all requires a fair amount of budget. If you have to choose, you want to make sure you’re choosing the right one for the job.

How to start looking for brand agencies?

These are the common ways to look for agencies and start listing out potential candidates:
  1. Word-of-mouth
    You can start by asking your inner-circle or other businesses if they’ve worked with a brand agency before. What was the project and how did it go? Do they recommend the firm? Were they satisfied with the process and results?
  2. Online Search
    That’s what Google is for! A lot of branding and marketing firms can be found on search engines. You can use specific keywords pertaining to your location or campaign such as ‘brand audit in Klang’ or ‘digital branding in Penang’.
  3. Successful Campaigns
    Heard or read about a viral campaign that became a success? Look up at the agency who worked behind the brand.
  4. Databases & Networks
    If your company joins databases or networks like SAP Ariba or The Drum’s RAR, you can source for firms from there. You may even get credentials and contacts faster from the network.

What to look for in a brand agency?

So, now that you have a list of candidate firms to start calling and meeting, how do you decide which one is right? Here are several things you need to look for when researching and shortlisting brand agencies:
  1. Portfolio

    One of the first things you should look at is a brand agency’s past projects. You can usually find a brief portfolio on their website. While it is a plus if you can find a past client from the same industry, it’s not a deal-breaker if you can’t find one. Instead, look for the creativity of the work, and the final results. Are you impressed with the work? Are the campaign results convincing for you? Are the designs consistent with the message?

  2. Communication
    Okay, so you decide to reach out to them and start the conversation.

    What was your first impression based on the introductory email or call? Were they reachable? After the first meeting, was there good chemistry between you two? Did they give you a clear step-by-step process on how they work? It’s important that both parties have clear communication so the project can run smoothly according to your needs.

  3. Understanding
    A brand agency’s role is to find the right solution for your brand while understanding your hopes and concerns. They will listen to your feedback and try to tailor the deliverables to how you want it to be. They will take time to learn about your business through audits and interviews. Essentially, a good brand agency will match their expertise with what you want.
  4. Expertise
    At the same time, you would need to trust their expert knowledge towards improving your brand. Brand consultants are experts in their field with years or decades of experience. You can look up their backgrounds and learn about their expertise and strengths. Brand agencies would also advise you and have good insights that will help you understand your brand better.
  5. Branding

    Finally, a brand agency should possess exemplary branding. Based on your interactions with them, how convinced are you with their professionalism? You can also look at their social media postings, website, blog posts, advertising, and brand designs to gauge their branding and use your best judgement to decide.

In Conclusion

When deciding on which agency to help with your brand, look for their portfolio, background, expertise, and see if you’re convinced with their branding and communication. A good brand agency would have a clear process and they’ll invest time to understand your brand and meet your needs.
Take your time looking and finding the perfect brand agency for you. It could be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make as a brand owner or CMO.
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