Branding companies are worth their weight in gold thanks to the ways they can elevate any company’s business to a whole new level. Scroll down to discover the best branding companies ranked based on a customized evaluation methodology. Plus, you will find actionable tips on how to work with the agency you choose for better performance.
To curate the above list, we applied a multifactor analysis. It’s important to note that the company evaluation is done manually, with a particular focus on social aspects like user satisfaction, project management style, as well as their communication and transparency. Furthermore, we looked into the success of each company and the value for money they provide.
As you will see below, we didn’t only scratch the surface, but we dug deep to ensure you get an unprecedented list of the truly best branding companies for 2020.
During our first stage of filtering, we uncover whether the analyzed companies are exclusively dedicated to branding or they are digital marketing agencies that include branding as one of their many services.
A dedicated branding agency will provide a team focused on developing a cohesive image for your company that would raise brand awareness and create brand equity.
On the other hand, a digital marketing agency already offers a set of services based on researching, creating interest, and promoting products and services. Think SEO, web design and development, PPC, and SMM. This means they wouldn’t be able to provide the level of dedication needed for branding.
However, a top brand agency should have cross-industry experience. In other words, they should focus on branding but also have marketing and technical expertise in SEO, PPC, content and social media promotion. Branding and marketing techniques need to work in synergy for optimal results since branding is a long game which creates the value that marketing is supposed to extract.
The next step is to check if the branding agency in question is good with increasing overall brand awareness or just digital branding. Both general and digital branding have the same goal: to boost brand awareness and build a positive perception that encourages loyalty and advocacy.
The difference here is that digital branding is focused on developing a brand presence in the digital space while overall branding involves activities outside the digital, including print ads, management of sponsorships and partnerships, packaging, and even pricing. If you haven't already considered hiring a packaging design companies, a graphic design outfit, or a dedicated product design firm, the latter will be a better choice for you.
Once we determine the type of agency, we go on to examine their scope. Different branding companies offer different kinds of strategies based on industry, customer preferences, etc. That being said, knowing the type of branding the agency provides is very important. We examine the services they offer and study how they build brand awareness.
Here are the most common types of business branding based on industry focus:
Checking the company’s reputation provides us with a decent picture of its business policy and quality. Here’s how we evaluate it:
Of course, we also take into consideration the accolades and certifications of the agency, as well as any peer recommendations it has received. However, to provide an unbiased picture, we check how these acknowledgments measure against their success rates.
Evaluating the team and the account manager who leads the projects is among the top priorities when choosing the top branding agency.
To begin with, we want to ensure first-hand that the agency doesn’t wholly outsource the work to contract employees who don’t want to invest themselves in projects. Of course, we don’t write off all companies that outsource their work. There are some of them who have an in-house team in place but also use a contracted workforce to implement the strategies. It’s vital that we prove the expertise and experience of the people accountable for the clients’ success.
Once we establish who is in charge of the branding projects, we try to interview the members and evaluate their leadership. Branding agencies that are willing to lead the client through challenges and issues with creative suggestions and innovative strategies rank on top of our list.
Another important team aspect we look for is the level of flexibility they offer. They need to be able to listen to the client’s feedback and make the changes required promptly. An experienced brand agency can also adapt to the changing industry trends and the unique needs of the audience.
Last but not least, we check the happiness of the employees. Why? Because their work environment can influence their productivity. So, the agencies that enable employees to learn and innovate were ranked higher on our list.
Case studies give an insight into the work of branding firms, as well as their own brand identity and creativity. They also help in defining their expertise, brand strategy and techniques used, as well as their knowledge in providing said services. Problem and solution-centric, case studies show the company’s approach to a particular issue, producing essential takeaways.
Here is what we look at when reviewing a branding agency’s portfolio:
We take special notice of how the agency captured the uniqueness of past clients. We check whether they can customize their work, and we stay away from branding agencies whose portfolios are full of similar styles of design. Moreover, we look at their creative process; what techniques they employed and how did they resonate with the target audience once the final product was launched.
Implementing a top-notch digital branding strategy is more than needed in this internet era we live in. You want your website visitors to understand your business, what makes it different, and why they need it in their life. So, one of the main points we consider when analyzing the companies is their agility in website promotion, social media, PPC for branding, email, and other forms of digital marketing.
Customization is pivotal for a successful collaboration between a brand and a brand consulting firm. You wouldn’t want some generic solutions that don’t fit in your brand vision. That’s why we carefully examine the portfolios and case studies of the agencies and compare their strategic and creative processes.
The final step is looking at the businesses that the company has usually worked with. Specifically, we check whether they work mainly with small businesses, personal brands, or corporations.
Effective brand management is a crucial success factor. To choose the best branding companies, we evaluate the creative stages of the agency; how much they invest in market and user research, how they handle the visual elements of the brand, what’s involved in the process of logo creation, etc.
We uncover all these things by doing extensive interviews with the agencies. Also, we check in with previous clients to ensure they have put their well-defined process in practice. Companies that take a strategic approach to maximize the brand reach and enhance the brand’s positioning, rank high on our list.
Here are some of the questions we try to answer when creating our shortlist of the leading branding companies:
How the agency manages communication and collaboration is the next aspect we examine. Clients want – and should! – have insights into the process. On the other hand, the agency should be able to set realistic deadlines, evaluate the outcomes, report the results in comprehensive terms, and offer continuous optimization.
We present ourselves as a potential client to examine:
Branding companies with established processes to manage communication and collaboration indicate a high level of expertise.
Before you dive into a partnership with a branding agency, you need to know how much it will cost you. The price depends on several different factors like the scope of work, the size of the company or products that are being branded, and the agency’s size.
Estimations are that branding services can cost you anywhere between $20,000 and $200,000. That being said, we tried to provide some average numbers to help you make a better-informed final decision. It’s important to note that we didn’t choose the most affordable companies as best nor the most pricey ones. Instead, we looked for the ones that are most cost-effective and tick the rest of the boxes of our evaluation criteria.
The first step before you dive into searching the right branding agency for your business is to get to know your strong and weak points. SWOT Analysis can help figure that out. Recognize what makes you unique and think about how you can capitalize on that. Also, decide what your brand image you want to be. You will want to build a consistent and impactful brand image.
Take time to set specific business goals. Are you trying to reach a new audience or build a stronger brand image? Once you have the goals set, the agency should be able to help you define the objectives you need to reach them.
Consider the following:
Determining your target audience might be time-consuming; however, it’s essential because it helps you refine your goals and define how you can address consumer needs. Careful market research will enable you to create a buyer persona, which will help you present your brand as the best response to their needs, thus making your branding campaign more effective.
Once you are aware of all of the above and have it well-defined, it’s time for you to determine which agencies match your business, culture, and niche. Observing the following aspects will help you narrow down your list of branding companies even further and, ultimately, choose the best one for your goals.
Once you are clear about what is your brand voice and personality, it is your agency’s responsibility to take it to the customers. So, cultural alignment between you and the company you are hiring is crucial. Moreover, favor the agencies that are proactive, collaborative, and innovative. Finally, take time to consider which agency feels right.
As said earlier, there are different types of branding, and not all companies share the same expertise. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for branding. Check how experienced the top brand consulting firms are in working with businesses like yours before choosing one. Go for the firm that can recognize the unique elements of your business and is able to convey your specific points through their work.
The strategic plan the agency intends to implement needs to be aligned with the nature of your brand and the market you target. Of course, it’s not realistic to expect the agency to provide you with an original plan during your first interview, but a professional team should have at least the idea of it. This is highly beneficial in terms of understanding the results they can derive.
To get an idea of all the above things regarding the top brand management companies you want to shortlist, you need to ask them a few questions, as listed below.
Marketing companies focus on aligning the ad strategy with the needs of the target audience to attract more traffic. Branding companies, on the other hand, help you connect with your target customers, creating trusting and consistent relationships.
By definition, branding is the process of creating a unique image, name, design, or symbol for a product or service in the consumers’ mind. Branding aims to establish a differentiated presence in the market that the target audience will easily recognize and memorize. Simply put, it’s a way of distinguishing your company from the competition while clarifying the benefits of your brand.
Branding agencies establish how your customers perceive your position in the marketplace by developing a brand that emphasizes your voice and uniqueness. Thinking that a branding agency will only design a logo is completely out of place. Even if you’ve already hired a logo design agency, you might need branding services. A professional branding agency will not only create a killer logo, but they will also write a compelling copy, a strategic headline, or create a unique ad campaign. The agency is your partner in every step you take as a brand.
Brand strategy defines the guidelines on how, when, where, and to whom you will communicate your brand message. A well-defined strategy is directly connected to the target consumer and leads to a consistent brand message and higher brand equity. Brand positioning, on the other hand, is directly related to the reason why consumers would prefer your brand over others. Essentially, it refers to the concept you want the consumers to have when they think of your brand. An effective positioning emphasizes the distinctiveness and maximizes brand value.
Branding focuses on establishing a brand image and forming a personality for a product, service, or a company. It is all about the impression the brand leaves in the niche market. On the other hand, brand management is pretty self-explanatory and refers to the management of brand personality. It involves quality and consistency monitoring, to ensure the established brand image won’t get hurt.