The outcome of working with a branding agency should provide any client with a clear understanding of who they are in the marketplace and how they should talk about their brand in a way that does not mimic what direct competitors are saying.
Here are 4 things you should expect from any branding agency you work with:
Having an understanding of your industry and your competitors is the foundation for the direction of everything you do – messaging, position in the market and how your visual identity shines through.
You should feel comfortable with their knowledge of the pet industry as this will help them provide you with unique positioning and create messaging for you that is creative and different than any of your competitors. This includes providing you with insight on factors like competitive research, channel challenges, consumer personas, and the various product offerings available to consumers that are from your competitors.
The archetype of your brand will be the basis for the tone in your messaging and it embodies the voice you will use. Are you a hero with a vision to change the world? Are you a jester with the intention to have a great time and lighten up the world? Are you a caregiver with the core desire to protect others?
All of the information that comes to light in that process will create a framework for building some options for you to choose a positioning concept. The right agency will provide you with several options and a recommendation, but that said, no one knows your company better than you do. Having options to think about the different directions you can take your business is very important and something you mist put a lot of thought into!
Beginning with their process for each phase in the scope of work you have agreed upon, an agency should be up front with all timelines and methods of the way they are pushing your work forward. Beyond the timeline and process they use, you should also understand the reasoning behind the direction you have chosen so you are able to implement the brand internally.
Accountability is an important part of doing business with any agency so transparency should be a key requirement for any partnership. Real transparency happens when clients understand how much time is put into the work promised, real results that are coming from that work, and how the agency handles itself in times of conflict – are they truthful or do they avoid a conversation? Or if they can’t meet a deadline, how is that communicated to you?
Brand stewardship is about clearly and consistently communicating your brand, and consistent branding increases revenues by up to 23% (source). Working with an agency on branding should align a company’s sales and marketing teams on the message and story each person is sharing with customers and consumers.
Strong stewardship should provide the C-suite with the tools they need to set employees up for success to cultivate the right culture and long-term employment with the company.
And finally, successful brand stewardship should leave you with a clear vision of how the company is bigger than a product, and how it is a brand with a promise people believe in.