What To Expect When Working With A Brand Development Agency.
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.
– Michael Jordan
Most businesses have already started heavily investing brand development. Which, by definition, is the continued process of reflection, invention, and strategy that businesses utilize in order to distinguish themselves in a marketplace and attract ideal customers and employees to establish higher levels of performance.
Brand development can be a difficult initiative to take on internally, as it requires objective thinking and creative wherewithal that some businesses struggle to maintain because they have established habits and traits that can hinder the ability to look at the business from the required 40 000 foot overview that brings brand initiatives together.
So they higher a brand development agency to help with this process. The only question is what does this relationship look like? And how can businesses maximize the investment when hiring a brand development agency, by knowing a little more about how an ideal client/vendor relationship should look like?
Based on our experience working with businesses and research we are going to walk you through the process that leads to effective brand development results. From a high level, there are 4 main steps in building a healthy relationship with a brand development agency. Understanding, Details, Magic and Analysis.
WORKING WITH A BRAND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY: UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER
Finding a great partnership in business is a lot like finding a great partnership in normal life. We date and find people that share similar macro values, while maybe having a different perspective in areas that we are weak.
When doing research on a brand development agency, it is important to have a solid understanding of where your values are (even if this is something you are going to have the brand development agency help you uncover). Most of us have a broad sense of who we are and we need to find people who can align with us on a fundamental level in order to see any real results.
What can you actually do with this information? It’s as simple as asking questions and spending time with other another to see if there is any chemistry. Take some time to understand what values are important to the brand development agency outside of directly discussing your business objectives.
We like doing this over an activity that requires a healthy amount of time, like golf. You would be amazed at what you can learn about someone over the 4 ½ hours spent on a golf course where they are faced with adversity and success. Their true personality comes to the surface and you will be left knowing whether or not you can want to spend more time with a person. Working with an agency is going to take a lot more intimacy than a couple phone calls and some in-person interviews. Make sure you are comfortable with the person and team you will be assigning this most important responsibility to.
WORKING WITH A BRAND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY: DIVE INTO THE DETAILS
Once you have found the right brand development agency, the hardest part comes next. Diving into the details of your business and creating a clear picture of your goals, the logic behind decision making and the emotional framework behind your brand.
When JaxonLabs works with clients, we find that some are more willing to open up about business performance and others are not. Diving into the books can help a brand development agency uncover the products and services (and people) who are truly behind the success of a company.
What makes your customers pull the trigger on purchases? What are they purchasing? How are employees motivated to show up every day and give their best effort? Which tools utilized in the organization and how do they impact performance? What is your business working to achieve?
These are some of the questions we like to ask and you should be prepared to answer when going through this process with a brand development agency? Expect to invest a healthy amount of time in this process. Anywhere from 30 – 320 hours depending on the size and scope of your business.
WORKING WITH A BRAND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY: MAKE MAGIC
This is where all the fun happens (and by fun I mean the creativity and deliverables). The discovery phase should be enjoyable as well.
The deliverables should be clear with a thorough discovery process. The company and brand development agency should be aligned with who your business is, what the strengths are and the direction you are moving in.
From a brand identity perspective, you will develop the assets required to overhaul your marketing material (website, social media pages, sales brochures, business cards, and product packaging, etc.)
Culturally, you should begin addressing internal processes and thinking to align each department. This will take honesty and patience to ensure each member understands their role in the macro picture.
WORKING WITH A BRAND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY: ANALYZE PROGRESS
While your business and the brand development agency are making magic, you will begin to notice some results sooner than later.
This can include straightforward analytics such as an increased time spent on a website, more engagements, and conversions through promoted content, increase in sales from your refined sales process and back-end marketing channels.
Some data will not be as straightforward, but depending on what your company values should be tracked. It can be something less tangible, like the reaction your clients have when you give them a new business card. Do they have a strong reaction to it? Or feel indifferent?
These brand assets are meant to be designed to have an impact, so it’s important to understand whether or not they do.
WORKING WITH A BRAND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY: WHAT’S NEXT?
Some people want to invest in personal branding for the purposes of finding a new career. Others are entrepreneurs and business owners looking to market their products and services.
Regardless of your objective, many of the branding tools remain the same. The only difference is how we decide to apply these tactics.