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The Branding Agency Profile

Sep 3, 2008
So you are looking for just the right branding agency? The trick is to understand what branding is and how it will work for your business first. Branding is not a logo, ad, direct mail piece or website. It is much more than making a pretty picture or graphic.

Branding and specifically brand identity is the soul of your company. It is everything you believe in and strive for as an organization. It is how you want to be perceived by your customers, prospects, employees and anyone else interested in your firm.

The first thing you need to do is establish a brand identity. A good example of a great brand identity is Volvo and their safety identity. If you ask ten people on the street what they think of when they think of Volvo you will probably get 8 answers with safety in it. What happens when you ask 10 people that know your company?

Now let us say that you have chosen an appropriate identity, what is next? You need to develop strategies and tactics that leverage your new brand platform. The biggest problem most companies make is developing strategies and tactics that are unrelated and they end up wasting valuable budget dollars. Wasting money is a big mistake when it comes to branding.

If you cannot develop your own strategies and tactics now is the time to look for a branding agency. This is complicated as every ad agency; graphic design company and marketing company say they do branding. This is not the case. You need to look for signs of what their real motivation is.

If they seem to be recommending TV, radio or any type of media buying they are probably an ad agency. If they are recommending a lot of graphic changes like logo, website etc. they are probably a graphic design firm. A true branding agency assesses the situation and develops long term integrated strategies that leverage the brand identity.

Research is always recommended especially if none has been done recently. Why companies do not go out and talk to customers and prospects is beyond belief. There is so much information you can learn by doing simple research. A good branding agency will conduct this research in house. Outsourcing the telemarketing aspect if necessary is fine as long as the survey design is done by the branding agency.

The last thing to consider is the internal branding required. A real branding agency will point this out upfront.
About the Author
Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru a leading branding agency. and market research firm located in Boston, Massachusetts. As a branding company we specialize in strategy and creative.
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