What can a branding agency do for your company?
You often hear that, for a brand to make sense for the user, it needs to have a well-established entity and to be fitted with a straightforward mission, vision and values. But, what does this exactly mean?
To achieve brand power and recognition beyond its logo, your company needs to be provided with an identity that reflects its personality, and that differentiates it from your competitors, essentially by creating an easily identifiable image and a specific set of values.
So, how do we do that?
The corporate branding process precisely begins with the establishment of a set of objectives and goals, making appropriate decisions, creating emotional links with the consumer or the customer and, above all, striving to make a difference.
This is never an easy task. Finding specialised professionals in this field is essential since, besides their experience in branding, they can help you gain perspective and allow you to acquire a better knowledge of your brand. The raison d’être of branding agencies is precisely to help your company achieve customers’ identification with your brand and, as a consequence, have them pick your company to offer them your service or purchase your products.
What is a branding agency?
After reading this introduction, you may very well think that these are just new words for an old idea. However, the following distinction may clarify the difference: Is a Branding Agency the same as an Advertising Agency or a Graphic Design Company?
An Advertising Agency is responsible for creating communication strategies with the objective to sell a product or service. A Graphic Design Company develops graphic pieces to create communication solutions and enhance product sales.
However, a Consulting or Branding Agency focuses on defining and creating the brand identity as a whole. Its endeavour is to build value – or redesign corporate branding – by representing the strategic brand message through creative work. Hence its function is to create, plan and carry out brand strategies.
Accordingly, we can agree on the fact that even though Branding and Advertising Agencies, as well as Graphic Design Companies, have a common objective in mind – i.e. increasing sales – they each focus on different angles of the process (i.e. the brand concept, the communication strategies or the specific graphic pieces). The best results emerge from a good synergy between all of the latter.
Therefore, on many occasions, the same company takes care of the entire process. In our case we have evolved from a Graphic Design Studio to a Branding Agency by incorporating strategy to the initial phase of the project which, alongside the rest of our services, provides companies with the necessary tools to generate growth through design.
For example, one of our success stories has been our over a decade long collaboration with Lékué. A stimulating challenge, which we happily took on, encouraging us to redefine the company’s values and personality through market analysis and design, and ultimately express the company’s essence through a redesigned brand identity. The resulting brand attributes and brand culture are still current and functioning to this day.
Our main focus is to help companies grow through design. This is the fundamental reason we create, improve, develop or redesign brands.
Why is it important to hire a branding company?
In order to be competitive within your market segment, you will need to maximize your brand value, projecting a homogeneous identity with a unique personality. It is therefore important to define your corporate branding by working with a brand strategy that projects the essence, positioning and personality of the company to connect with the customer.
The job of a Branding Agency like ours is to help you provide a series of advantages for your brand:
-By relying on a team of committed professionals who will empathise with you.
-We examine strategies and put forward ideas, designs and creative pieces always with the aim to help your business grow.
-Our work with brands from very diverse sectors grants our agency an extensive knowledge and experience.
-Your brand will be offered a 360º service.
-Our line of work is based on agency-client collaboration, which allows us to interact and stay in touch with you at all times. We hear you and share opinions and proposals about your project, staying alongside you throughout the whole process.
-Unlike other branding agencies, we have our own tool (The Nomon Test) which allows us, before we start developing or redesigning a new identity, to agree with you on the visual style. It helps make abstract concepts, like values or attributes of your company, more tangible.
Before you hire a Branding Agency…
The first step is to identify the job you want to undertake. Before you contact a Branding Agency you might have two different scenarios: either you have already clearly identified the problem in your company and have already reflected on how you can address it or, on the contrary, you are not aware of the issues and you don’t know how a branding agency could possibly help you solve it or improve your business.
Another different scenario would be that your brand identity does not reflect the reality of your company, and that it does not sufficiently differentiate you from your competitors. Or, perhaps, you are experiencing a change in your business paradigm and your branding does not adjust well into that new scenario. Or, you might even need help because you are starting a completely new business venture.
The second step is the process of defining yourself. In order to allow us to get to know you and to correctly understand your project, we need to be able to know what you are like. Communication with the agency is therefore very important, essentially so that you are perfectly confident in our ability to understand your needs.
You should also know that there are different types of branding agencies, who would offer a different set of services or rather specialise in a very specific one, such as visual identity or packaging. What kind of branding agency are you looking for? Would you rather work with an agency with experience and acknowledgments in the sector, or would you rather work with one that specialises in a specific service?
Since 2006 our agency, NOMON DESIGN, has been helping businesses grow through design. Our expertise is advising companies from very different sectors, mainly small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Our differential value is our ability to immerse ourselves in our client’s sector and examine its singularities, market trends and competitors before we start working on their new branding. An example for this is the success story of LEDS-C4, one of the most important and influential companies in the lighting business nation-wide.
To help you make the right choice, we will now delve into the different types of branding agencies.
Branding agency types
Once you have decided whether or not you need to hire a branding agency, if you actually do, you will have to figure out which one is best for you. Design Consulting Companies can be classified as follows:
-By their scope of action.
Some agencies specialise in a specific professional sector, while others have worked with different companies from different fields. If, for instance, your company is in a field which the agency is familiar with, their previous experience in your sector may substantially reduce the adaptation process.
–By the services which they offer.
Branding agencies can offer you a whole range of services, from developing a branding strategy and creating corporate branding, to designing the packaging for your products. You will have to define what you need and what your priorities are in order to find the branding agency that best suits your needs.
There are basically two kinds:
360º Agencies, which can deliver a global strategy covering all the areas that you need.
Specialised agencies deliver services in a particular area, such as for instance: graphic design, packaging, corporate branding, rebranding, etc.
Which services does NOMON DESIGN offer?
Our main focus is to help companies grow through design. This is the fundamental reason we create, improve, develop or redesign brands.
In order to achieve this, we put ourselves in the shoes of the businesses we work with. We approach their organisation structure, find and analyse their brand mission, vision, values and personality in order to bring forward an appropriate strategy and subsequently a set specific goals. We promote brand positioning by conceptualising and designing a verbal and visual identity, which differentiates the brand from its competitors.
Considering this, NOMON DESIGN will assist you by offering the following services:
–Branding Strategy. We collect information, we analyse and reflect on both your company and your business sector to create a brand that provides value by defining its market positioning and its essence.
-Corporate Identity. We examine your brand in order to create or update your corporate identity. It should convey, reinforce and project the corporate message and its market positioning around the world. Our starting point in this phase are the previously defined strategy and values which we established during the brand strategy process.
-Corporate Branding. We conceptualise and design new corporate identities, particularly emphasising the personality of your brand in order to accomplish a connection with the public.
-Naming. We look for the most suitable name for your brand, capable of getting the attention of your audience and creating an impact. We therefore take into account both the essential factors and the needs and characteristics of each project.
-Packaging. We conceptualise and design effective and creative packaging, which we believe act as the silent seller of brands. Packaging design plays an extremely important role and is a key piece in communication. It is the perfect support for the transmission of your brand values and, more importantly, of the product itself. An example would be a packaging piece which we designed for Lékué, characterised by being 100% reusable which also offered an element of surprise at the point of sale.
-Editorial Design. We design both business and product publications. We develop contents and carry out the art direction in compliance with the previously established brand or communication strategy.
-Offline / Digital Communication. We create multichannel communication strategies that help implement corporate branding and develop their different corporate and commercial applications. We also identify and define digital communication strategies and implement them by designing and developing web pages and e-commerces focused on user experience.
-Retail Branding. We design trade-fair booths, business spaces and points of sale spots that showcase the essence of your brand. We apply the brand identity and corporate image and work on creating experiences for your consumers.
Although branding agencies work in different ways, we all have the same goal: to immerse ourselves in the business sector of our clients, enabling us to find out the singularities, trends and competitors. This will allow us to get a good grasp of the client’s perspective and thus meet the desired objectives.
The more and better we get to know our clients, the better the final result of the project will be adjusted to their real needs and expectations.
NOMON DESIGN has a unique method, that differentiates us from other branding agencies.
Our method is divided into two phases: define the branding strategy and develop corporate branding.
1-When a client contacts us, the first step is to collect information, analyse it and elaborate an alternative counterbriefing.
2-Once the project has been approved, we carry out a comprehensive benchmark: we evaluate and compare what the company and its competitors do. We thus collect ideas and adapt them to the needs of the brand.
3-Subsequently, we examine the positioning of the brand: we analyse the mission, vision and values and work on a unique value proposition that puts the brand in an advantageous position.
4-Next we work on verbal identity: we look for an adequate storytelling, for your corporate tagline, we work on the naming and the tone of communication discourse. This allows your company to communicate its positioning and differentiate itself from the competitors. We carry out the Nomon Test to visually concur with the values and attributes of the company.
5-Finally, we create the Digital Marketing Plan, which sets the objectives we want to achieve and which designs and organises the strategies to achieve them.
At this point, we will have the branding strategy defined and we will be able to move forward to the next phase: Corporate Branding.
When we design or redesign corporate branding, we are set to reflect on and express brand values. This is, and will be thereupon, what identifies the image of your company. For that purpose, we develop a corporate identity manual, which establishes the guidelines for the use of the corporate design elements and criteria, all of which have been previously defined for your brand: i.e. colours, fonts, applications, etc.
We conceptualise and carry out the art direction. We design multichannel communication strategies that help implement branding and develop its different corporate and commercial applications.
If your project requires it, we furthermore conceptualise and design products, keeping in mind the needs of the consumer; we introduce effective and creative packaging designs; we develop the contents of corporate and product publications and identify digital communication strategies by designing and developing both web pages and the necessary actions and communication contents to convey the key message and connect with the public.
Once we have perfectly defined the branding of the project, we go on and apply it in all its communication materials and pieces. For this phase, we count on the collaboration of a network of excellent partners, specialists in different disciplines such as illustration, photography, multimedia, postproduction, retail, etc.
Finally, when we have finished these applications, we continue tracking the project both offline and online. Thus, the implementation of the brand strategy, defined at the beginning of the project, will have been carried out having fulfilled the client’s objectives and goals.
We approach their organisation structure, find and analyse their brand mission, vision, values and personality in order to bring forward an appropriate strategy and subsequently a set specific goals.
After acknowledging the importance of a suitable branding and after getting to know what the function of a branding agency is, it might perhaps be time for you to get in touch with them.
Which one should you choose and hire?
These are some aspects that may help you differentiate them:
-Guide yourself by their experience. Check out their previous clients and projects.
-Find out about their professionals’ profiles, as they will be key to your brand strategy.
-Once you have contacted the agency, if they care about your company and ask a lot about your project, that could be a sign they are a reliable branding agency.
NOMON DESIGN will help you create your corporate identity, based on a previously established branding strategy and on the analysis and observation of the brand within your sector. We will carry out product design, packaging, editorial and even develop web pages, e-commerce, e-mail marketing and blogs.
Because what we do best is communicate through our ideas and designs. Design is our intrinsic raison d’être; it is the way in which we think and act.