A good brand agency is one which you have no doubts in handing over the foundation of your business to, so that they can optimise the capability of your brand. To do this well, they need to back what you believe.
If you’re looking to find the purpose of your brand it isn’t going to happen if the agency itself does not relate to your business’s beliefs. A good branding agency will study exactly, with you, what the purpose of your brand is and where it comes from, rather than plucking an idea from a trending Instagram post which aims to please the masses, it needs to be something that is sustainable and true to the business. There’s an elemental way of thinking, what’s the problem here? What are the opportunities? The best brands are built on truths, historical, present and future, not something that is everything to everyone. Too many brands and agencies, fall into this trap and forget that they must deliver it to the consumer beyond a marketing campaign. If a purpose is what you’re looking for, be prepared to be unpopular with some audiences, you cannot appeal to the masses, but you will build a positive association with the people who are integral to your brands future. You have to do things differently to stand out.
Finding an agency that can relate to your business’s belief will help the smooth transition of the brand into its new self, as the purpose of the communications created will trickle naturally off the back of each other. If the purpose is good, the outcomes should not feel disjointed or erratic. The last thing a brand needs is to look as though it’s undergoing a permanent change of shape, under stress.
A good agency is relatable, human and better than the jungle of jargon out there. They are able to guide a business through a positive brand development journey and create a powerful brand transformation. A strong branding agency will challenge a business to do things differently, a client asking for a transformational brand should start to feel uneasy – not uncomfortable, but apprehensive to take up a new challenge and better themselves. A good branding agency should be able to confidently guide the client with a vivid vision and, in response, the client should be able to feel this strong lead and soon see the potential value it brings.
The ability to build a cohesive and effective brand which factors in the continually shifting conditions of the consumer world is important. Such as being able to anticipate and respond to technological changes, as they approach, all whilst delivering the promises – within the agreed deadline. It’s no good hiring an agency that’s all icing and no cake. Projects should all be delivered through tried and tested processes, these are fundamental to soften the uneven terrain a branding project can provide. Clients need the security of knowing that they are hiring a courageous and reliable agency who is excited, but prepared, to ride the wave of change.
From strategy and concept, through to design and development, artwork and production, the relationship should not stop there. A good branding agency won’t drop their invoice through to your inbox and that be the end. They would be proud of the outcome, you would see it on their social media feeds, entered on design award competitions and a highlight on their website which engages consumers and starts the conversation.
Chemistry. Not only between the client and the agency, but within the agency itself. A good brand agency should cultivate creativity with a well collaborated, united set of minds within an enthusiastic work environment all whilst keeping an eye out on the bigger picture. I’m not a big believer in ‘chemistry meetings’ between clients and brand agencies. I think it’s good to get to know a client on a less formal basis, such as over a coffee or a pub lunch. At Fogg, we aren’t a corporate consultancy, we work with clients who we have helped scale globally, but the people at the foundation of the businesses we respect, trust and like.
Don’t forget to retain a sense of fun, the design industry is incredibly broad, there’s a plethora of aspects of a brand which can be explored – this is the exciting part! Don’t dismiss an idea because the agency you are working with doesn’t currently have something like that within their portfolio – agencies aren’t afraid to work with other people – it builds up black books and can open up further opportunities.