Wesley Brown

Choosing a branding Agency: Some common pitfalls and how to navigate them

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a branding agency for your project.  Sometimes it can seem overwhelming with the number of choices out there when trying to look for a solution, so here are a few simple questions to ask yourself when hunting for that perfect agency for your project.

  1. Does the branding agency specialize in what you need accomplished?

This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many times a design or branding agency is chosen without much thought to this.  If you need a complex, enterprise-level website created, don’t go to an agency whose focus is video or illustration.  Many agencies are multi-disciplined, but that doesn’t mean they are experts in that area.  Make sure you get the answer to this question before your agency selection is made as everything else depends on this foundation.

  1. Can the branding agency handle the scale of project you are trying to complete?

While a lot of projects are small enough to be handled by a one or two man team, others require some heavy lifting.  Be careful about working with agencies or individuals who pretend to be something they aren’t.  Nothing causes date slippage quite like having a project that is too big for the design team to tackle with speed and efficiency.

  1. Do the contacts at the agency do their best to make you feel welcome and appreciated?

We’ve all been there: We had a project that required collaboration with another agency, and the client contacts were apathetic, unresponsive, uncaring or downright hostile. (Or sometimes all of these!)  If your contact with a potential agency’s owners or employees leaves you feeling less than intensely appreciated and incredibly important, get out fast.  It has been our experience at Cicero Studios that many clients have been burned in this way before they turn to us.  Sometimes the quality of people you work with matters as much as their ability to get the work done.

  1. Does the agency have a track record of great communication throughout the lifecycle of a project?

This question might be a bit tougher to answer when choosing an agency for the first time, but getting the answer to it can go a long way in avoiding potential harm to your project.  See if you can find other clients they have worked with to get recommendations from them and to ask how the communication was during the project.  Was the agency diligent about communicating milestones and/or potential project delays?  Was the follow up adequate?  Communication is key to you want to stay from companies that don’t provide excellent communication along the entire process.

We could go on and on, but this short list can really be beneficial to anyone looking into choosing a branding agency for their new project.

What about you all?  What other pieces of advice might you add to this list to help a new client make the right choice?  We’d love to hear from you!

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