For some business owners, branding is an afterthought. It’s a quick cut-and-paste to have something, making time to focus on “more important” aspects of the business, like new product design and development or the overall marketing strategy.
The problem is that you can have an incredible product or service and a rock-solid marketing plan, but if you haven’t thought through the brand development process, you’re likely missing the most direct path to connect with the right people – your target audience.
Your brand isn’t just a flashy logo (though that is important). It’s everything, including brand visuals, brand messaging, and brand experiences, that informs the customer about your business. Your brand makes you recognizable and memorable, differentiates you from the competition, and attracts your target audience.
Essentially, a brand is a promise of an experience for the customer, and a brand development agency like Rocket Launch can make sure it’s the right fit from the start.
What Is a Brand Development Agency?
A brand development agency helps businesses conceptualize, plan, create, and improve their brands in a strategic manner.
Many entrepreneurs take a DIY approach to branding when they’re starting out, often using quick solutions like a freelance graphic designer for a logo, a template for a website, and a color scheme based on the colors someone on the team likes.
Startups are chaotic environments, so it’s reasonable that the business owner would want to focus more on product development, hiring, operations, or other aspects of the business before worrying about the brand.
But as your business grows, you will come to find that early branding shortcuts lead to more money and more work in the long run. Engineering a well-crafted brand from the beginning guides your business, resonates with your target audience, and grows your sales.
A branding agency offers expert guidance for brand development. Armed with the knowledge and skill of professionals, branding agencies can help you clarify your goals, identify your target audience, refine your business’ mission and purpose, and establish your unique value proposition.
Once this process is complete, the agency can help you develop the materials and assets that sell this message, including your logo, tagline, color palette, font, typography, brand guidelines, tone of voice, and other elements that communicate your brand personality and brand identity.
What Does a Brand Development Agency Offer?
A brand development agency may provide a full scope of branding services, or it may focus on specific areas based on interests, expertise, or experience. Your business needs will determine the type of agency you should partner with.
In the broad scope, a branding agency is responsible for conveying your brand’s unique story in a compelling and cohesive way across multiple channels to provide a brand experience for your customers. Together, the members of the agency’s team work on brand strategy, logos, copy, taglines, marketing collateral, a website, and more, coming together to form all that will represent your brand to a customer.
Some of the services include:
- Integrated brand strategy building
- Brand narrative
- Logo and brand visuals
- Style and brand guides
Why Hire a Brand Development Agency?
An entrepreneurial spirit that wants to learn and grow is unquestionably commendable, but DIY-ing your brand could be a serious misstep for your business. Here are some of the benefits of partnering with a full-service branding agency:
Create Cost-Effective Brand Elements
Bargain hunting and combining brand elements from different sources often saves money but leaves brands at a disadvantage when it comes to consistency. On top of that, you may miss out on making the best choices or understanding the “whys” behind your logo design, color scheme, and tagline.
Working with a brand partner is an investment that may cost more than doing it yourself or working with freelancers, but once your business’s branding is in place and cohesive, you’ll get return on that investment time and time again.
Generate Brand Recognition
Brand recognition is key to boosting a business’ credibility and being top-of-mind when a customer needs a product. When you think of global brands like Disney®, Pepsi®, UPS®, Visa®, and Amazon®, you can likely recognize them just based on their logos and colors.
Top branding agencies conduct thorough branding research to evaluate the elements attached to your brand, seeking to improve brand perception and recall. These two factors have a big impact on a customer’s purchasing decisions.
Get Fresh Perspective
One of the biggest mistakes many business owners make is viewing their brand through their own eyes. It’s natural, but that doesn’t put you in the shoes of your target audience to understand how to resonate with them. You have to be objective, and that’s a challenge when you’re too close to the experience.
A brand development agency is a neutral party, often experienced with having multiple brands under their purview, that can look at your brand through a fresh lens, without emotional connections or bias. They provide professional guidance and eliminate your blind spots regarding the target audience, competitive landscape, brand positioning, and visual assets. Without this expertise, you could waste a lot of time, money, and effort on brand elements that don’t connect with your customers.
Gain Brand Differentiation
Customers are bombarded with brands and information all day, both in person and online. It’s difficult to stand out, especially if your brand is vague, outdated, or broad. You can easily get lost in the shuffle.
A brand development agency has plenty of experience crafting fresh, bold designs that stand out from the noise. Your brand purpose, message, visual identity, mission, and values will be unique, targeted, and true to what you want your brand to be.
Minimize Common Branding Mistakes
A lot of entrepreneurs make branding mistakes when they’re creating a new brand or rebranding an existing business. At best, these setbacks can cost time and money. At worst, they can create a negative experience that damages your reputation with customers and creates obstacles to your success.
A brand development agency can leverage its years of experience and knowledge from businesses of all sizes across multiple industries to do it right the first time. No one can be an expert in all things, which is why a branding agency employs a crew of professionals with different specialties to work together to create a solid brand and avoid the common branding mistakes.
Work with a Diverse Team of Experts
Successful brand development involves professionals with a range of skill sets, including copywriters, strategists, graphic designers, brand designers, and market researchers. Instead of hiring and training your current team or searching for freelancers to handle different parts of your branding, outsourcing to a brand development agency gives you all these experts under one roof.
The teams at brand development agencies have a diverse range of skills related to branding, as well as years of experience and award-winning performance. They also have a professional network for other services, such as video production, SEO, web development, content marketing, UX design, or social media marketing, if they’re not offered in-house. Having a specialized team ensures that you won’t encounter any barriers in developing your brand and marketing campaigns.
Brand equity is the worth of your brand in and of itself. Essentially, this is the value derived from a well-known company name, such as world-class brands like Nike®, Chanel®, Coca-Cola®, and Apple®. These companies also generate revenue simply through brand recognition, since customers perceive these brands to be better than lesser-known competitors.
That’s all achieved through branding. The more familiar a customer is with a brand, the more they trust it. Branding doesn’t only affect your brand’s reputation, but your sales revenue. A branding agency can help you build a standout brand that’s consistent, engaging, and trustworthy to its audience.
Build a Strong Brand Foundation
Relaunching a brand or rebranding can be a good solution for some brands after major changes and disruptions, such as a public scandal, a merger or acquisition, a change in executive leadership, or a shift in audience or products.
But for most brands, the goal is to start with a strong branding foundation rather than making mistakes that can only be fixed with a rebrand. A rebrand is no small feat – it requires significant investments of time, money, and effort. With a branding agency partner, you can build a brand from scratch with a strong, consistent identity in place to fuel your future growth.
What’s the Difference Between a Branding Agency and a Marketing Agency?
The difference between a branding agency and a marketing agency lies in the difference between branding and marketing themselves. Branding is a specialized aspect of marketing, whereas marketing encompasses a wide spectrum of activities that a company does to promote and sell a product or service.
While a marketing agency may offer branding, advertising, or digital marketing services, their expertise is typically more general. A branding agency specializes entirely on branding initiatives, starting from a company’s earliest days. They conduct market research to determine perceptions, audience, and opportunities, then create the brand positioning for both short- and long-term success.
Why Is It Important to Work with a Branding Agency?
Building, maintaining, and growing a brand is critical to mission success. Your brand gives you a competitive advantage, defines your communication strategy, and helps you reach your target audience. Partnering with a brand development agency lets you tap into a wealth of talent and expertise in branding to launch from a strong foundation for your business.
Build Your Brand from the Ground Up
Engineering a brand is strategic work. Partnering with a branding agency helps you define your audience, substantiate the elements of your brand, and create a compelling brand story that draws in customers.
If you’re crafting a new brand for your startup, relaunching an existing brand, or looking for ways to strengthen your brand, Rocket Launch can help. Contact us today to take your brand to the next stratosphere of awesomeness.