Consider the brands Nike, Coca-Cola, and Amazon. There's a slim chance you don't know exactly what all three companies sell.
The reason you do is because they've spent unfathomable amounts of money on advertising. In 2022, the average business spent approximately 8.7% of its total revenue on advertising campaigns.
No matter what product or service you offer, you can't expect your company to thrive if you don't have a solid advertising strategy. Outsourcing to brand development services is a great way to take your branding to the next level, but not everyone knows how to get started. Let's explore the benefits of hiring a brand agency and how to find the best one for your needs.
Brand consistency is one of the most notable benefits of working with a branding agency. It's crucial for creating a cohesive brand experience.
In context, this involves aligning your company's logo, color palette, typography, brand photography, and overall tone. These serve as the foundation of every customer interaction you have.
A company that is properly branded will have consistency across its website, social media accounts, and digital ads. Over time, this will help your company become much more recognizable.
Increased Brand Awareness
The more people who are aware of your brand, the higher your potential sales numbers. Consider the aforementioned example with Nike, Coca-Cola, and Amazon. These companies have astronomical sales numbers due largely to their brand awareness.
It's important to note that brand awareness is only half the battle. It's crucial to offer a valuable product/service.
If your company can't hold its weight among its competition, branding efforts won't do much to improve your sales. Assess the products and services your business offers before investing money in branding.
Getting your brand in front of your audience doesn't guarantee that you will make additional sales. You'll need to do so in an impactful way to get the best results.
If your audience can't recognize and recall your brand after seeing it, your branding efforts will be ineffective. You can achieve this by creating high-quality designs and logos. Using consistent branding elements is also crucial.
Let's consider the company McDonald's. Upon reading that name, you can likely instantly picture the font, color palette, and logo they use. These elements are easy to look at and highly recognizable.
The same can be said for other top-tier fast food chains, such as Wendy's, Burger King, and Taco Bell. Now, imagine if any of these brands had color palettes that clashed or used fonts that were difficult to read. Their branding wouldn't be nearly as effective.
Keep up with Competitors
Heavy hitters in your industry are almost always investing money into branding. This is true whether they outsource to a professional or leverage an in-house department.
If you don't take branding seriously, there's a chance you won't be able to keep up with them. In some cases, smaller companies that invest resources into proper branding could surpass yours. Remaining competitive in your industry is crucial for long-term success, and branding is one of the best ways to do so.
Trust and Credibility
Branding helps lay the foundation for trust and credibility. If your audience doesn't trust your brand, they're unlikely to make a purchase.
In many cases, they'll choose a competitor instead. Not only do you lose potential sales, but your competition will gain them.
This widens the gap between your performance and theirs and makes it difficult to keep up. A solid branding strategy focuses primarily on consistency.
When your audience knows they'll get the same experience no matter how they interact with your company, they'll feel safer. Consider a business that brands itself as having amazing customer service. Each time someone contacts them online, the company is friendly and always willing to help.
After enough interactions, they'll understand they can use the company as a resource when necessary. Scenarios like these make people feel safer when spending money.
Now, consider a business that has poor customer service. They also don't seem to care about their target demographic.
People might worry there won't be a way to resolve negative experiences. If their shipment arrives late, for instance, they could expect a discount on a future purchase or a refund. If they don't feel a proper resolution is possible, they might never choose your brand in the first place.
A New Perspective
Sometimes, taking a step back and bringing in a third party for a new perspective is exactly what your company needs. It's not uncommon to get tunnel vision after weeks or months of focusing on branding efforts.
Hiring an expert can often quickly identify areas of concern. They can also recognize opportunities to take advantage of.
In general, experts with more experience will offer better results faster. There's a strong difference between someone with 30 years of industry experience and someone who started their branding firm six months ago.
Better Sales Numbers
While branding doesn't guarantee higher sales, it comes with the potential to exponentially increase them. The right branding campaign could be exactly what your company needs to reach its target metrics.
When you see an uptick in sales, it's crucial to invest this money into other areas of your business. This will allow you to scale sooner than anticipated and further increase your reach.
You should also frequently assess your branding strategy. Just because something works in the short term doesn't mean it's a suitable long-term method. The professional you collaborate with will help you maintain stellar performance and avoid obstacles you may have otherwise encountered.
Expanded Target Audience
Your target demographic is one of the most important factors of a successful brand strategy. Running a comprehensive branding campaign provides detailed insight into your target audience.
There's a good chance you can modify who you target to achieve better results. Let's assume you run a company that sells men's athletic apparel.
You primarily target men ages 18 to 35. However, research conducted during your branding campaign shows that many women purchase clothing from your brand as well. These purchases could be gifts for people in their lives or they could buy the clothes to wear themselves.
Information like this could help your company move in a new direction. If that business offered women's athletic apparel, its sales would likely skyrocket.
The branding agency you hire can also illuminate what audience traits are likely to change. People develop different interests over time, and this can affect their buying habits.
A great example is how many people are now more concerned with sustainability. It's not uncommon for people to boycott businesses that don't adhere to green initiatives.
Another example could be frugality in the face of economic uncertainty. Some target demographics that used to have disposable income now won't make a purchase unless there's a sale or promotion.
It's entirely possible to brand your company on your own. However, you'll spend extra time and money to do so. These are resources that are better allocated to other areas of your business. Working with a professional keeps your branding efforts as efficient as possible.
Branding firms also have access to powerful tools that you likely couldn't use. These are sometimes expensive and come with steep learning curves.
It's impractical to train your team on using them when you can outsource them instead. Prioritize firms that leverage contemporary software to provide quick and effective results.
Finding Brand Development Services
Finding the right brand development services can be a difficult task at first. There are certain criteria you should consider before making your decision. Listed below are some of the most notable things to keep an eye out for.
What do other people have to say about working with the agency? Were they satisfied with their overall experience? Was there anything that they would have changed?
Researching online reviews provides detailed insight into the answers to these questions. When browsing through feedback, keep an eye out for fake reviews.
These are often posted in batches and include similar formatting. They could also include a large number of similar keywords.
Fake reviews could be negative, as well. Competitors sometimes launch defamation campaigns to harm another company's reputation. Fake critical reviews typically have poor grammar, include unrealistic scenarios, and might not include feedback at all.
It's important to consider the recency of negative feedback if there is any. For example, consider an agency with a high overall rating on review platforms.
The majority of their reviews over the past six months have also been highly critical. This could indicate the quality of their service isn't what it used to be.
How easy are they to get in touch with? You should never hire someone who leaves you in the dark during your project. It's not realistic to expect branding services to be 24/7 accessible.
However, they should promptly return phone calls and emails. The service you hire should also be proactive when providing updates on your campaign.
Reputable companies will often do so weekly and provide a detailed breakdown of your branding performance. For instance, you could have a weekly video call where they elaborate on key metrics about your brand-new campaign.
After they explain this information, they provide insight into what needs to change and what's currently working. Put simply, the best branding services should work with you and not for you.
Assess their pricing structure before moving forward. You often get what you pay for regarding branding services.
The cheapest options you'll encounter are priced low for a reason. It's unlikely that a firm with rock-bottom prices will provide outstanding results.
They might cut corners on production, or they could employ unskilled workers. However, this doesn't mean you should spend as much money as possible. After a certain point, you won't get much more out of the money you allocate.
The best results often come from companies in the middle of the price range. They can typically handle your project effectively without stretching your budget.
Ask if they offer promotions or discounts before hiring them. Many firms will negotiate with first-time clients to ease the financial burden.
Areas of Concentration
Not all branding firms are created equal. Some specialize in certain areas, such as visual design. Others tend to work with certain types of businesses.
Ask about their area of concentration before making your decision. The last thing you want is to hire a company that doesn't understand how your business operates. They should also have a strong understanding of your industry.
For example, branding within the healthcare industry is much different than branding within the retail industry. If the firm you hire isn't aware of the nuances, they could fall short of your goals.
It's not uncommon for businesses to have highly specific goals. Your company might need non-profit video marketing services, for instance.
There's nothing wrong with hiring general branding services. When specificity is needed, though, prioritize someone who concentrates on particular areas.
Do They Outsource Their Work?
It's imperative to ask if the business outsources its work. There's no shortage of companies that advertise their undivided attention, but then delegate the project to somebody else. Keep in mind it's not inherently bad to outsource.
The primary issue is that someone other than the people you assess and hire could work with your brand. There's a chance you may have never wanted that individual or group to handle your branding if you had interviewed them.
If the firm attempts to deflect questions about outsourcing, take your search elsewhere. Find a company that prioritizes transparency.
Get Started ASAP
The right brand development services can take your company's performance to the next level. Just make sure you do your due diligence and find the ideal option. Hiring the right professionals will help you overcome challenges and better resonate with your audience.
At Cumberland Marketing, we strive to bring each of our client's visions to life. Our expert team prides itself on going above and beyond during every project and achieving an outcome they're truly proud of. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help.