How to Find the Best Brand Design Firm: Your Complete Guide

Whether you are a start-up seeking a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors, or an established company looking for a refreshed look to appeal to a new consumer base, you need professionals to help you create the right look for your business.

Branding is more than creating only a logo or tagline- although those components are essential. It is about creating an indelible impression on your target audience that makes them desire your goods or services, and keeps them coming back.

You may soon discover that a large number of graphic designers and marketing specialists would love your business. How do you select the right brand design firm for your needs?

Here are seven criteria to consider when you are seeking the right brand design team to take your company to the next level.

1. Digital

In today’s world, no marketing campaign is complete without a robust digital component. Even the corner store has its own website.

With so many consumers seeking goods and services online and especially through their phones, you need a design firm which can translate brand concepts into the digital realm.

If they design websites themselves, that’s a bonus: they will have an understanding of the website design process. You want a team that can not only discuss color and fonts, but coding and video as well. You want a designer who can create a look that is as effective on a billboard as it is on a tiny mobile phone’s screen.

2. Aesthetic

When you are considering hiring a graphic design team, look at examples of their previous work. Does it sing to you?

You will of course also want to know their track records with other clients, their metrics of success on various campaigns, and how they charge for their services.

But the first step in selecting a creative team comes from a shared vision and compatible taste in what works, what looks good, and what you are seeking with your brand. It’s a basic but core question: do you like their style?

3. Budget and Pricing

You likely have a budget you want to stick with for your branding process. You need to have a team that can work within those parameters.

Find out how they charge for their work: by project, or by the hour? Do they charge for revisions? Re-dos can add up.

With many branding projects, costs can spiral quickly if you do not have an experienced project manager as part of your team. You want a team that can keep you advised of costs, explain clearly when additional costs are required, and find ways to stay within budget.

Creative teams who can offer certain services in-house, like web design and copy writing, will save you on the cost of hiring additional consultants. They can also create an economy and efficiency that is hard to maintain when you have to coordinate numerous vendors.

4. Process

Creating an effective brand is key to the success of your company, so it is not to be taken lightly. It is a process which requires strategy and deliberation.

Inquire how your prospective design firm goes about developing a brand. Do they simply supply you with ideas they think will work for you? Or do they undergo a research process?

Depending on your budget, a thorough development process can take a long time at a commensurate price. Huge corporations spend millions of dollars on this process.

It doesn’t always work. Tropicana spent millions on a rebrand that was roundly rejected by consumers!

Make sure your designer is equipped to conduct adequate market research and development so that any new concepts click with you and your customer base. Whether that entails focus groups or interviews with you and your team, you want your design to come from an informed place, while staying within your specific budget.

5. Other Clients

Who else works with the design firm you are considering? You may not want them working with your competitor. On the other hand, if they work with a brand that you emulate, that’s an encouraging sign.

Check out their portfolios to see what they have done with other companies in your industry, region, and price range. Ask if you can speak to past clients. Testimonials are the best way to really find out what it is like to work with someone.

Talking to other companies who have been through the process will let you know details that may not appear on a design agency’s website. They will let you know who is good about returning calls, or responding to suggestions, and other personal details that make a difference when you are collaborating.

6. Value-Adds

The branding process may require many different experts. You may need a brand strategist, a web designer, a graphic designer, and even an events planner. You will need to coordinate vendors like printers, hosting platforms, photographers,and writers.

This multifaceted process can be easier when many of these talents reside under one roof, or at least have a track record of working together. Look for a team whose members can play several roles in the process, so they will have less need to turn to subcontractors.

Individual artists and designers can work out well, however, if they have a solid network of connections in the industry. Ask about their frequent collaborators, and to whom they turn for specific needs. An agency with a wide range of resources may be better able to meet your needs whenever they come up.

7. Personality

Branding requires interviews, soul-searching and collaboration. You will need to examine what your product is, what you would like it to be, and what it is not. You may have to face some tough truths.

You want a design team who will support your vision and also challenge you when necessary. That’s not always easy to find! You want a group with whom you get along, and can work well.

That means you want people who call you back, meet deadlines, and back up their strategies with research and experience. Choose a group you like and respect.

Find the Right Collaborator to Create the Perfect Brand Design

The right brand design can make the difference between your product’s success or failure. To find that perfect brand, you want to find a graphic design specialist with whom you can collaborate to articulate your value, target your audience, and execute a plan which will meet your business goals.

For more information on the branding process, check out our site.

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