When it comes to 'branding,' most people think about names, logos, colors, etc. But branding is also a lot about values and personality. When branding is done correctly, a business can connect with its leads and customers, building meaningful relationships.
To get branding right, businesses need the support of a branding agency, which brings us to the question of what is a branding agency.
In this article, we will discuss in detail what branding agencies are, how they work, and what services they offer to help build a brand identity that resonates with your target audience.
Let's delve deeper.
Table of Contents
What Is a Branding Agency?
A branding agency specializes in creating, developing, maintaining, and improving brands. An agency primarily focuses on creating brand strategy by developing or refreshing brands.
The experts at a branding agency support your brand by understanding your business, clarifying its goals and objectives, and communicating it the right way to the right audience. With this information, they offer a strategy to grow the brand and provide an appropriate toolkit for complete business branding.
What Does a Branding Firm Do?
Branding includes everything from the company's visual elements to brand personality, tone, marketing message, and how that message is shared. Branding agencies combine all the disparate elements into a wholesome branding that satisfies you and your target audience.
Branding agencies have a team of skilled and talented marketers, including designers, copywriters, strategists, and others. Some experts work exclusively in SEO, social media, and video marketing. All these allow branding agencies to be in an ideal position to build a company's brand efficiently, irrespective of its domain.
How Does a Branding Company Differ from a Marketing Agency?
Branding agencies and marketing firms often deal with the same thing. In some instances, it is true. However, branding is more about drawing attention to the business, while marketing involves pushing your message across to the target audience. Branding comes first, and marketing follows.
Marketing experts do not design logos or themes. Instead, they try to align branding with an advertising strategy. Marketing firms connect your branding with the target audience.
On the other hand, branding agencies create the brand’s face based on business values and strengths. They assist you in building a brand identity on which you can start your marketing.
What Services do Branding Agencies Offer for Businesses?
Let us now look into the specific services a branding agency offers to better understand its functions and importance:
A business logo is the brand's first look. It must support brand awareness and help customers identify your brand by giving them an insight into what the business is about. Large brands have managed to evoke strong emotions in their customers with their logos.
Logos also play a significant role in rebranding. This is where branding agencies must be extra careful in ensuring that logo changes do not disconnect the customers from the brand.
An example is Pepsi. The brand faced harsh criticism when it changed its logo in 2008. Having spent $1 million on the new logo, however, they decided to go ahead with it.
Brand identity combines all elements businesses utilize to project the right image to existing and potential customers. Brand identity is something your audience associates with your brand. It helps connect you and your customer while determining how your brand is perceived.
Branding firms work towards building this brand identity by demonstrating your business values. They will make you answer a few simple questions to understand who you are as a brand. These are:
- Why did you start the business, and what are its core values and beliefs?
- What is your brand persona?
- How do you differentiate from your competitors?
- How do you want to make your brand communicate?
- How would you want your customers to describe your brand?
With the answers to these questions, you can go ahead with working with an agency to develop your brand’s identity.
Brand messaging involves the words, phrases, and language your brand uses on the website and the marketing materials. These can be product messaging, marketing messaging, and so on. Messages are not restricted to slogans, logos, and taglines but the entire vocabulary around what you offer customers.
Branding agencies create brand messaging that resonates with the target audience by keeping in mind the following guidelines:
- Your businesses’ USP
- A thorough understanding of the target audience
- Your business goals and values
- The taglines and other messaging
- The brand’s story
- The brand’s tone for creating content
The branding agency uses this information to create the appropriate message and send it to the target audience.
Brand positioning is the strategy brands use to create a unique image in the customers’ minds. It is how the brand is set apart. Brand positioning must be specific, desirable, and stand out from the competitors. This is because if businesses are unsure of why customers should choose them over others, they will have difficulty convincing potential customers to do the same.
Branding agencies help with brand positioning. They use organizational analysis and market research to determine what customers look for and what businesses can offer compared to competitors. Brands can then use this information to match the potential customers’ expectations with their USP.
The following information would be needed to create a strong brand positioning:
- The current positioning and analysis of how that positioning works for or against the brand
- Identifying the direct competition to get an insight into their strengths, core value, product/service nature, and what makes them unique.
- Understanding the positioning of the competitors and their missions, core values, and brand architecture
- Developing a USP based on the features, objectives, strengths, and core values of the brand
- Creating a solid mission and vision statement along with a clear and unique tagline and brand slogan
Your brand must have a distinctly identifiable voice. The brand voice is determined by the nature of the target audience, the industry, and how a brand wants to communicate with the audience. It is how you talk to your target audience.
Some brands sound friendly; some sound sassy, while some choose an essentially professional tone. The brand voice goes a long way toward emotionally connecting with the audience.
Brand voice plays a crucial role in personal branding too. Branding agencies help identify this brand voice while demonstrating how to create and use it. For this, they analyze your business domain or niche, customer base, and business culture.
Once the brand identity, messaging, positioning, and voice have been determined, it is necessary to put together a brand style guide to make sure everyone on the team is on the same page. This is done by using a suitable visual representation and more. A brand’s style guide offers shareholders a way to present the brand across platforms consistently and cohesively.
Branding agencies offer style guide-creating services, enabling businesses to share the guide with stakeholders, employees, influencers, and everyone working with the brand. A style guide helps clarify how a brand is represented.
Takeaways on What is a Branding Agency
In a nutshell, branding is beyond logos, color choices, and fonts. Brand agencies combine these with a lot more to create a brand experience where your customers and prospects can participate while interacting with your brand.
Branding is the heart and soul of your business, attracting the right audience, and agencies are here to support the business vision and bring global branding to life.