First of all, what is a brand? Technically, a brand is the total sum of all functional and emotional assets of a product, service, or group that differentiates it among its competition. Still, ultimately a brand is something more emotional – it is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s a gut feeling because at the end of the day, despite our best efforts to be rational, we are sensitive, emotional beings. In the end, individuals, not companies, markets, or the general public, define brands. Each person creates a personal version of precisely what a brand means. Whether the beliefs a customer holds about your company are accurate or inaccurate does not matter. Ultimately, they comprise the image of your brand and influence how your customer thinks and buys.
In essence, brands are promises. Audiences believe in them through consumer trust and emotional relations. Great brands aren’t merely known; people trust them. When people are aware of your brand, they are aware of the positive things for which you stand. Long before they are ready to make a purchase, customers feel like they know who you are and the unique values they can rely on your company to deliver.
All of this is more than a single creative idea. A reliable, solid brand is the summation of understanding, knowledge, professionalism, and experience. According to Clay, a top UI/UX design company is one of the only solutions you’re likely to find someone able to put these parts together into one unique brand.
Defining the Advantages of Working with a Brand Design Company
Bringing in a brand expert is a great way to get a fresh outside perspective that resolves the issue of “being too close to the problem to solve it.” A great expert can work alongside your company to identify and assess branding shortcomings, as well as identify opportunities to better position your company’s message in the marketplace. The result of a well-received brand can lead to the advantages described below.
Shorter Sales Period
Whether you’re selling products to consumers, providing investment opportunities to stockholders, or giving job opportunities to applicants, a brand paves the way for success by establishing awareness of your unique and meaningful promise before you ever even present your sales proposition. As a result, when it comes time for a consumer to make a decision, the company can concentrate on the wants and needs of consumers, rather than wasting valuable consumer time trying to explain their company’s unique attributes. Without a brand, you have to build a case for why you deserve the consumer’s business every single time you’re ready to make a sale.
Society has moved from an economy of mass production to an economy of mass customization. Therefore, a person’s buying choices have multiplied. Due to the Internet, competition is now global. Consumers have become information-rich and time-poor. Comparing the features and benefits of products or services between competitors is time-consuming and frustrating. Even worse, competitors often copy each other’s features immediately upon introduction into the market. For this reason, developing the trust of consumers is critical. It determines purchases more than even the utility of a given product.
Companies all over the world are developing compelling ways to share their brand to customers such as trade shows, websites, advertising, and marketing — these are positive brand touchpoints for customers to experience the company’s brand truly, and more importantly, make it memorable. The more informed and positively affected a customer is about a company brand, the more inclined they are to share the correct information and positive attributes to a friend, family member, or colleague.
Choosing a Branding Design Firm
Essential Factors to Take into Account
The process of taking your company through a proper branding design is very personable. Remember, the company you select will, on some level, know your organization better than you do. They will tell you, “who your company is and how consumers should perceive it.” For them to achieve this, the agency should be one that fits well within your organization, has experience in successful branding initiatives in different industries. Remember, though, part of successfully branding is the ability to solve problems with a fresh perspective. Thus, industry-specific specialization may hinder an agency’s ability to gather new ideas. It is also vital that the agency be forthright with the information they find, and work as part of your team to find solutions to achieve branding success creatively.
Writing a Request for Proposal
You must have determined what and who you want before you put pen to paper on a request for proposal (RFP). Once you’ve obtained a clear vision for what the result of this process will look like, you’ll be able to write an RFP with ease. The format should model the following:
- Project Requirements and Budgets
While the index is generally self-explanatory, the introduction should contain valuable information about your company, as well as why you are submitting an RFP in the first place.
Your requirements section should leave nothing to the imagination. Include every detail of the task at hand. If you want a print version only, specify it. Have a specific budget? Name it. Make everything clear and concise, so you get a proposal back that suits your particular needs.
Your timeline can take two approaches. If you have a deadline for the completion of your project, list it here. However, if you’d like to see what each agency thinks is realistic, then leave this open-ended on your company’s end, and ask for a quote.
Last but surely not least is the process. Anyone can have a great idea. But deployment strategy is the essence of branding. Be sure to ask how an agency intends to develop your new brand and then implement it.
Final Interviews and Brand Agency Selection
During the interview, there are some key questions you should ask. Start with who the agency is, what they specialize in, and what is unique about their particular agency. Then, ask how they do what they do. What kind of strategies do they implement to be effective?
Next, allow the agency to share their accolades with you. Their awards and formal recognitions will give you valuable insight into their credibility. Ask questions about their leadership and creative teams. What kind of experience do they have with companies and tasks similar to yours? See what they do for brand overhauls. What is their process? How do they plan to stay within your budget? Last but not least, follow up on their case studies and references, so you know exactly with whom you are working.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right brand design company is not a simple task. You have to consider many variables and make sure that you can work things out with the agency if something doesn’t go according to plan. Moreover, you must understand this before signing the contract. But, if you take it seriously, talk to your staff, and consider at least some of the critical tips described above, you will increase your chances of finding the brand design agency that is right for your business.