So you want branding, eh? What seems to be a little known fact is that branding is collaborative…meaning you as the business owner are responsible for contributing to the process. Branding is more than just a logo, and there are many important factors go into designing a brand. Once you’ve gotten a grasp on what branding really is, you can either DIY or hire a pro. There are plenty of sufficient tools available for DIY-ers, but if you really want to boss up with a cohesive and polished brand design, consider investing in professional services. With the abundance of amazingly creative brand designers to choose from, you may be wondering where to start. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out our list of 5 things to do before choosing your branding agency:
First and foremost, the most important step in the branding process is for YOU to identify your goals. You may or may not need a complete brand identity suite, so it’s important for you to determine which components you’d like to invest in. This is especially important if you have truly specific needs, such as packaging design, because you’ll need to be sure you’re researching agencies that can accommodate.
Branding is well worth the investment, but we must also mention that it can be very expensive. With that being said, you have to be realistic about how much money you can afford to spend. The cost of branding can vary greatly from agency to agency, and establishing your budget up front will help you narrow down your options.
The branding process can take weeks, even months, depending on the services you’re seeking and the agency’s estimated turnaround time. Being flexible on your timeline will certainly allow you to explore more options. If you’ve got a rigid timeline, like for example if you need your branding in place prior to a product launch or event, you’ll only be able to consider agencies that can meet your deadline. One fact that’s commonly overlooked is that timeline also depends on YOU — the business owner — because branding is a joint effort between the client and the branding agency. There will likely be times when you are required to provide information or feedback, and failure to do so results in an extended timeline.
You may already have your heart set on this one particular branding agency, like the House of 334, but what if that agency is booked up? What if they don’t fit into your budget? Or what if they don’t offer a particular service that you need? This is why steps 1-3 are so important! Don’t put all your eggs in one basket because until you really do your homework, research and inquire, you can’t be certain that any one particular agency is right for you. You may even discover that you want to hire multiple firms or brand designers for different aspects of your branding. For instance, you may hire one designer to create your logo, and hire another to design your website. Ultimately, you’re empowered to make those types of choices, and having a good understanding of the components of a brand will allow you to make informed decisions.
Even if everything seems like it’s going to work out, do not make your final choice until you have requested a consultation. Yes, technically you can get all of your questions answered via email. However, what you won’t get a great sense for via email is if you’ll be able to work well together. Remember, a good branding process will be collaborative, so your ability (or inability) to vibe with your agency can make or break the project. Think of it like a job interview. Would you hire someone based on their resume or portfolio only without ever speaking to them on the phone at the very least? Probably not…
Do you feel like your brand is truly representative of your business? Or are you asking yourself, what branding? If it’s the latter, we’re here to help. Contact us for a consultation today. It just might be time for you to step into the House.
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