Why Hiring an Agency for Your Branding Work Is Better Than Doing It In-House
by Will Straughn and Sebastian Fryer
Investing in your brand doesn’t mean spending only money. It also means spending time and attention to ensure you get it all right across all the touchpoints your brand has with your audience.
So if you’re considering making an investment in your brand, you’ve probably got another question on your mind: Who’s going to tackle it? And that can be a big question to ask, no matter if you’re a team of one or your organization boasts a fully-staffed marketing division.
You might think that we here at Focus Lab are biased on the subject. And hey, maybe we are — just a little. But we would argue that considering an outside agency is worth exploring for a few great benefits you get in return. Here are just a few you can expect when you work with a quality brand agency.
Specialized expertise in branding
Nobody knows your brand like you do. But how well do you know branding as a discipline? Do you have a hearty awareness of the current brand landscape? Do you know the ins and outs of brand strategy, how to apply it to your brand, and how that should inform your brand’s verbal and visual identity?
When you partner with a branding agency, you gain access to experts who’ve been honing their craft for a long time and who, hopefully, possess a deep understanding of all aspects of branding. That experience informs the invaluable insights and perspectives that can come only from collaborating with diverse organizations across various industries. Working with a branding agency allows you to benefit from a wealth of knowledge and expertise that you might not get anywhere else.
An outside perspective
Speaking of perspective: How objective do you think you and your team can be about your brand? While you may have unique insights that inform your brand — an acute understanding of the competitive landscape and what your customers are looking for — is there a chance that some of those opinions could be holding your brand back?
This is something you shouldn’t have to worry about when you work with an agency. A good partner will be invested in your brand’s success and come with no preconceived notions about what your brand is, where it should go, and how it’ll get there. They may challenge you, pushing you to the edges of your comfort zone, and this is good, because your brand will be all the better for it.
Our Design Director said it well in a recent communication with a client:
When reviewing work, it is important to keep in mind we are looking at something completely new. An original idea in its earliest moments is vulnerable. Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, often describes how the world is unkind to new things. When it comes to brands, this is especially true. It is easy to pick apart something unique and try to bend and break it down to reflect personal taste or a committee consensus. When we do so, we are inevitably left with genericness, the antithesis of a great brand, doomed to be forgotten and never truly rallied behind.
Our ask is this: Defend the new. Defend the vision set in strategy for the future of your company, and what bold and exciting steps are necessary to get us there. We are in this process with you, and we will fight for it, too.
– Natalie Kent, Design Director, Focus Lab
Time and resources saved
Building a brand the right way takes time and effort, which may be in short supply if you’re focused on running other areas of your business. Branding can be a full-time job — we would know. Does your team have the capacity to really do right by your brand?
When you work with an agency partner, your brand gets the full attention it deserves, allowing you and your team to keep doing the things you need to do. But that doesn’t mean you should be completely out of the loop. The right agency partner will keep you plugged in throughout the process, allowing you to be an ambassador for your organization and ensuring that your input is heard and valued at the most important project milestones.
It might sound counterintuitive, but it’s true: hiring an outside agency for your brand work can actually save your organization in the long run. That’s because an agency has the skills and experience to get the job done right with the efficiency that specialization provides.
Be on the lookout for an agency partner who has a well-defined process for the work you’re accomplishing. This should indicate the time and effort they’ve put into figuring out what works and what doesn’t work — time and effort saved if you had been planning to take on the project yourself.
There’s that old saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.” We’d say the same is true in the branding world. It won’t always make sense to hire an agency for your brand work, but you might be surprised how often it really does make sense.
Photo by Jon Eric Marababol on Unsplash