3 Tips for Choosing the Right Creative Branding Agency

Choosing the right agency can be a daunting task. There are so many variables and nuances to take into consideration: pricing, value, experience, innovation, and more. Choosing the right partner can make or break your branding and marketing campaigns not to mention budgets, so here’s some advice to make your choice easier.

1. Look for the right blend of expertise and chemistry.

When looking for an agency partner, you may be tempted to make your decision based entirely upon logic (e.g., years in business, client roster) or entirely upon emotion (e.g., good rapport, common interests). It’s important to draw upon both of these aspects in order to make your decision.

Having a team you can count on to deliver on time, on target and on budget with creative ideas grounded in strategy is paramount—but also important is the chemistry with your agency partner. When you have a good rapport, you can trust your team to be on point, and every project will be more fruitful. Not only will the workflow be smoother, but creative ideas will flow more freely.

2. Price isn’t always an accurate indicator of quality.

Although it may seem likely that expensive agency fees would denote a higher quality service, this can be far from the truth. Just because an agency charges astronomical rates, does not necessarily mean that they will provide you with work that moves the needle or resonates with your audience. The history books of branding are filled with excessively expensive rebrandings that were at best, ineffective; and at worst, counterproductive.

However, just because an agency’s fees look cheapest right off the bat, does not necessarily mean that they are the best choice. On more than one occasion, we’ve had prospective clients come back to us after they’ve worked with another agency who they had chosen because they were the cheaper option. We’ve been enlisted to help salvage their projects because we offer great value relative to our agency fees.

When choosing an agency partner, make sure you don’t have tunnel vision—take into account all attributes of a potential agency when making your decision. Beware of agencies that underdeliver, consistently charges overages, or can never meet your budget needs. If you’re concerned about budget, the right agency should offer custom tailored solutions to fit your budget restrictions and the unique needs of your business.

3. Look for a collaborative partnership instead of a transactional relationship.

Some requests are transactional, but developing a rapport with an agency has its perks. A partnership allows your agency to help develop or become familiar with your positioning platform and digital strategy, understand your brand, and truly understand your audience and market. Through these efforts, they should be expected to have a good sense of your marketing goals—and you gain the benefit of continuity through collaboration.

A collaborative partner will automatically vet your content, instead of just throwing it into a good-looking layout—their concern will be maximizing your marketing efforts, and keeping your brand consistent across all channels.

You know it’s a good find when your agency offers more than just tactical execution—you should be able to count on them to suggest areas for improvement and insights on how to reach your specific business and marketing goals. The most effective partner is the one who can help you develop your overarching plan and suggest alternative or new ideas that you may not have considered.

If you’re not happy with your brand and/or marketing agency, it’s never too late to switch.

Here at Element Six, we focus on building strong long-lasting relationships with our clients. We regularly overdeliver for our clients, ensuring that all aspects of their projects are under control, and fielding needs as they arise instead of stubbornly sticking to the original scope of work. We love doing broader strategic branding projects, but we also love getting into the nitty-gritty tactical aspects of your brand. We provide a free brand audit service that will allow us to review your existing marketing materials, and suggest effective cost-efficient solutions that can fit any marketing budget. We work with our clients’ budgets to ensure they’re maximizing their spend, while ensuring that we’re constantly offering added-value and advice.