There’s a lot to focus on for businesses when it comes to making yourself visible and connecting with your target market. Consumers are bombarded with a growing amount of information and messaging each day from thousands of brands, and with the digital marketing space becoming increasingly complex, it’s never been more important to stand out from the crowd.
Despite the many changes that are affecting how we connect and communicate with potential customers online, at the heart of any digital marketing strategy you’ll find a strong focus on aesthetics. Humans are still visual creatures – we will make decisions based on emotions triggered by what we see and how it makes us feel.
Influencing people on a deeper level requires specialist skills and a considered approach when it comes to the visual identity of your business. This is why brilliant branding is still essential and should always be the core focus underpinning any company’s marketing activity.
It’s not always easy to know where to go when looking to develop a brand – but for best results getting specialists on board is key. This is where branding agencies offer targeted expertise, with dedicated teams who will construct and execute a powerful branding strategy for your business whether you’re starting out for the first time or need a refresh.
What is a brand agency?
A branding agency is a marketing and design agency that specialises in building brands. Here in the UK (and in Europe) we’re fortunate to have many excellent branding agencies, ranging from boutique and niche organisations to larger full-service companies.
A brand agency will be powered by a group of professionals each with expertise in different areas of the branding process – from graphic designers and marketing consultants to copywriters.
Brand design agency services
Branding involves way more than just a logo – it’s the basis for the entire identity of your business. Your brand is often the very first aspect of your company a prospective client comes into contact with – it informs their view and how they feel about and connect with what you have to offer.
Branding isn’t just about making a good first impression, either – strong brands retain customer loyalty for years and continue to maximise a company’s profile and profits over its entire lifetime. With this in mind, getting it right (and getting it right first time) is crucial.
Services you’ll find offered within any good brand design agency include:
As one of the most important and foundational aspects of branding, your logo serves as an anchor for your entire identity. It should be designed to be instantly recognisable whilst grabbing attention and making a strong impression. As a logo will form a significant part of the first interaction a person has with your company, you want to be sure that it fully reflects your purpose, personality, vision and values.
Brand identity is an expression of your company’s personality and character – its purpose is to leave a lasting impression and simultaneously offer an instant idea of what you are all about. This is where visuals make an emotional connection yet again – much of this is subconscious, and it involves different elements such as colours, images and shapes which come together to form an impression of who you are.
Your brand identity should inform and inspire your audience, demonstrating the nature of your business alongside any products or services you offer. It also needs to be consistent and cohesive across all platforms and touchpoints to deliver fully.
Brand messaging = communications of all kinds – from website copy and social media content to blogs, packaging, printed marketing materials and more. Effective messaging influences audience perceptions whilst clearly conveying your values and identity.
Brand voice is closely related to messaging – but instead of what you say, this covers how you say it. We all associate a different personality and character with the brands we connect with – brand voice is the art of developing this so that it fully aligns with the individuals you’re looking to engage. Getting this right ensures that your target audience can quickly relate to your brand and what you offer, but if you get it wrong (an overly familiar and humorous tone for a bank, or a stale, serious voice for a kid’s company, for example), and you could quickly lose credibility and connection with customers.
Positioning relates to where you sit alongside similar or competitor brands in the minds of your target audience. This process is often uncomfortable for businesses but it’s important, because having an honest and clear understanding of what others offer and how you are different helps you to claim your share of your market – especially if it’s crowded. This stage involves thorough analysis of your sector or market and the companies who also work within your space. It then informs key elements which lie at the core of your business proposition such as value and pricing and how those are communicated to customers.
Once the brand itself has been created and established, it’s important to develop a set of guidelines which can then be followed to maintain consistency and credibility moving forward. These will cover many elements of your company’s marketing strategy such as social media, press and promotional partnerships.
This document is designed for professionals, but it should also be accessible enough and easy to understand for your internal teams to make sure everyone’s on the same page at all times.
Why use a brand design agency?
Branding is a specialist skill – it requires experience and a specific set of techniques to establish and set the tone for how your business will be received and grow moving forward. Through working with a brand design agency, you can be sure that your brand is getting the expert care and attention it needs to ensure that this fundamental element of your company’s outward-facing identity is properly taken care of.
How to choose the right brand design agency for your business
It can be daunting to consider choosing a brand design agency – after all, this is a crucial element of your business’ identity and will influence how well you are able to engage with your target audience for sustainable growth right from the start.
The first thing to consider is budget. Branding costs tend to start in the thousands – but prices between agencies do differ. It’s best to have an idea in mind about how much you’re able to spend before approaching agencies, so that you can get this aspect aligned before you explore what’s on offer.
Cost of course plays a role –but don’t allow money to get in the way of building a beautiful and effective brand – as this will form the foundations for your company’s success in the future.
You should also go with your gut and ask questions when exploring your options, such as:
‘Do they really understand our business?’
‘What is their track record? Do they have testimonials and examples of work (preferably within our sector)?’
‘Are they enthusiastic and reliable enough to fulfil our brief?’
‘Are their ideas and ethos aligned with ours?’
‘Do they seem trustworthy and have the capacity to deliver what we need?’
It can also be useful to consider whether your brand design agency has the capacity to support you beyond the branding stage. Many digital marketing agencies have specialist brand design teams within them, so they can also offer additional assistance with areas such as social media, website design and development and SEO. Keeping everything under one roof can save you the time and hassle of onboarding another agency and ensure complete consistency across your digital marketing channels moving forward.
Looking for the best Manchester branding agency to help establish and grow your brand? We’re a full-service digital marketing agency with specialist teams to help you get noticed and grow online. Speak to us today: email@example.com