What to expect from the best branding agencies in London
Working with the best branding agencies in London is the ultimate way to set your business up for success. After all, your brand is what sets you apart from the competition, ensures you can connect with your target audience, and captures the attention of investors.
Something as simple as creating a consistent brand can increase your revenue by up to 20%. The problem is, creating a powerful brand identity is often more complex than it seems. There’s more to it than just designing a logo or choosing the right color palette.
For true success, you need a comprehensive brand development strategy. You’ll need to conduct market research, outline all of the core elements of your new brand, define your target audience, and perfect your brand messaging.
That’s where the top branding agencies come in.
The best branding agency in London can help small startups, well-established companies, and new entrepreneurs alike craft the resources they need to thrive in a competitive marketplace.
The question is, how do you choose the top branding agency for your business?
What is a branding agency? An introduction
The first step in finding the best branding agencies in London is understanding what a “branding agency” actually is. Branding agencies aren’t just marketing companies or graphic designers. Although they may offer those services in their portfolio.
Rather, a branding agency or firm is a comprehensive partner, committed to helping you understand, develop, and showcase your brand identity. Large businesses and small companies alike work with branding agencies to define their brand, and develop clear guidelines for success.
Though the services of the best branding agency can vary, most leading vendors offer support with everything from brand management, to style guide creation. They often focus on two major goals, either creating new brands, or helping established brands regain their competitive advantage.
If you already have an established company, a creative branding agency can help refresh or update your image and personality to boost your appeal to potential clients. If you’re starting from scratch, your branding agency will work with you to form the foundation of your brand identity.
This means identifying your brand essence and positioning, creating visual assets for your brand image, and outlining the core components of your brand personality.
What do the top branding agencies in London do?
As mentioned above, the services of the top branding agencies in London (and around the world) can vary. Some branding agencies are specialists, focusing on specific things, such as personality development or rebranding. Most, however, offer a wide range of services.
They work with companies throughout their entire brand strategy, providing creative ideas, design assistance, and strategic guidance.
Some of the most common services offered by the best branding agencies in London include:
1. Marketer and competitor research
Extensive research is essential to building an effective brand. Before they begin working on your visual identity or marketing strategy, the top branding agencies will gather extensive data. They’ll learn about your competition through competitor analysis, and review market trends.
These companies also work with business owners to determine who their target audience or target market is. They might conduct extra research with surveys, or use their existing knowledge of the market to assist in creating user or buyer personas.
2. Brand naming or renaming
While most companies still associate branding specialists with logo design, there are various components involved in building a brand. Before diving into visual design elements, your creative team can work with you to select the perfect name.
Using the research conducted into your target audience and market, branding agencies can help ambitious startups choose a compelling moniker. Alternatively, they can assist existing businesses in updating and improving their name, to boost their chances of growth.
3. Brand definition
One of the most important tasks of any top branding agency, involves helping companies to identify and establish a compelling identity. Using creative thinking and strategy, these organizations will help craft all of the components of a strong brand.
They work with business leaders to form a compelling vision and mission, brand guidelines, and even choose the right “architecture” for your brand. This initial planning stage is essential in creating a consistent brand.
More than 2 thirds of businesses say brand consistency boosts revenue growth.
4. Brand messaging
While visual elements like color palettes and logo designs might be the first thing to capture your customer’s attention, your potential for growth depends on how you connect with your audience. That’s why the top branding specialists focus heavily on a “messaging strategy”.
They can help define the core components of your brand’s personality, and create editorial guidelines for you to follow. They can also help with creating messaging assets, such as a brand positioning statement, brand tagline, or descriptive copy for your website.
5. Brand positioning
The best branding agencies in London are also excellent at helping to position your brand effectively in your target market. They conduct SWOT analyses, establish your brand values, and help you determine what makes you stand out in a physical or digital space.
Using brand positioning statements and guidelines, brand experts can help to guide in-house teams through the “marketing mix”. They help to establish the right promotional strategies, product plans, and even pricing structures for your brand’s position.
6. Visual design
The visual elements of your brand do make a significant impact on existing and new customers alike. Most branding agencies will also work as a graphic design studio, collaborating with you on the creation of logos, color palettes, and other visual components.
Depending on their scope, the top branding agencies in London can assist with everything from professional photography and video production to product design strategies. They can even help design more effective packaging for your items.
7. Marketing strategy
Although not every branding company will work with you on marketing campaigns, there are many organizations throughout the United Kingdom that do. Some organizations can assist with building a social media marketing strategy, content marketing campaigns, and more.
Whether your potential partners create your marketing assets for you or not, the best branding agency will always give you the guidelines you need for more effective promotion. They’ll ensure you’re always sending the right message to your target audience.
8. Brand management
Some of the best branding agencies in London don’t just work with you on the initial creation of a brand. They can also assist in managing and preserving your brand over time. They may be able to help with creating new guidelines and communication strategies over time.
Some branding agencies can also assist with things like reputation management, or brand consulting. Most importantly, if you ever need to update or refresh your brand, a great branding agency will be on-hand to help every step of the way.
The benefits of working with the best branding agency in London
A brand is the most valuable asset a business has. The best branding agencies in London understand the impact branding has on your growth and potential. That’s why they work so hard to ensure you’re connecting with customers on a deeper level.
Most companies only have up to 7 seconds to make a lasting impression on their audience. However, creating a brand that resonates with customers quickly isn’t easy.
A competent branding agency will ensure you have all the expertise and guidance you need to pave the way for business growth.
They offer benefits like:
- Fresh perspectives: A top branding agency in London will bring an external perspective to your branding strategy. They’ll ensure you’re considering the impact of your brand on a significant scale, and minimize your risk of making bad choices for your reputation.
- Strategic insights: Branding agencies have years of experience building and revitalizing brands. Their strategic knowledge and insights can assist businesses in developing brand guidelines and campaigns that drive a higher return on investment.
- Creative support: The top brand agencies in London are packed with experts offering a range of services, from graphic design to content writing. This can reduce the need to hire an in-house creative team, or selection of freelancers.
- Time savings: Creating a compelling brand takes time. Working with a top branding agency means you can delegate the work of developing a brand to the experts. This gives you more time to focus on what you do best.
- Enhanced marketing strategies: Even if your branding agency doesn’t create marketing campaigns for you, they’ll give you the assets you need to make your mark. They’ll ensure your marketing strategy defines your brand identity, promise, and values.
How to know if you need the top brand agencies
Though working with a creative agency can deliver a lot of benefits, many ambitious brands still assume they can go it alone. After all, no-one knows your brand better than you.
However, while you may have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with your brand, converting your vision into a comprehensive strategy is often complex.
The best branding agencies in London work to review, refresh, redefine, and reconnect your brand with stakeholders and customers.
Even if you already have the core components of your brand in place, you can still benefit from branding services if you need help with:
- Your strategy: If your current strategic plan has run its course, a good branding agency can help you determine the next steps for growth.
- Marketing campaigns: If your digital strategy or offline marketing methods aren’t hitting home, a branding agency can assist with boosting brand awareness and recognition.
- Differentiation: As new companies enter the marketplace, it can be hard to ensure your own brand stands out. Branding agencies can help you break through the noise.
- A refresh: If your brand is starting to look outdated, branding services can help you refresh your image, personality, and messaging strategy.
- Getting started: A brand agency can provide all of the core components you need to launch a branding campaign for the first time.
- Fixing your reputation: If you’ve recently struggled with bad publicity, a branding agency can help fix your brand perception in the eyes of customers.
- Expand: Branding agencies can help ambitious companies move into new markets and segments, with intelligent marketing and product design campaigns.
What to look for from the top branding agencies in London
The best branding agencies in London can set themselves apart from the crowd in a number of different ways. Some have excellent marketing strategies of their own, to help capture the attention of audiences. Others offer unique business services.
When searching the top branding agency for your company, look at:
1. The portfolio
Your branding agency’s portfolio is the most useful insight you have into their abilities, expertise, and creative strategy. Any branding agency can claim to be the best in your industry, but a strong portfolio speaks for itself. Take the time to read through each case study carefully.
Look at the core elements within the portfolio that indicate a professional brand. Can you see evidence of good design strategies, and strong user experience? Has the company cultivated customer loyalty with a strong commitment to service?
2. Service options
As mentioned above, different branding agencies offer various types of services. Some companies focus exclusively on web design services and UI design. Others are more comprehensive, focusing on finding various ways to help global brands grow bigger.
Ask yourself how much support the best branding agency in London can offer you. Can they work with you from start to finish on your branding campaign, or do they only offer a handful of services? Will you need to work with multiple teams to complete your project?
3. Excellent customer service
The best branding agencies rely on the loyalty and advocacy of their customers to grow. This means they’re often committed to delivering a sensational level of service. While reviews and testimonials can offer an insight into the support your brand offers, you can go deeper.
Reach out to the companies you’re interested in working with, and get a feel for how transparent and consistent they are with their communication. If you have any concerns about the branding process, ask them to explain how they’re going to support your brand.
4. Clear processes
The best branding agency in London won’t leave you in the dark about their processes and strategies. They’ll explain their methodology every step of the way, and provide insights into why their suggestions make sense.
Before you begin working with a branding agency, ask them what their process entails. How much time do they dedicate to researching your market and getting to know your business? What kind of digital tools and resources do they use to ensure they’re delivering results.
5. A collaborative approach
The top branding agencies in London will never use a one-size-fits-all approach. While there are various best practices for branding that many agencies follow, the right company for you will always tailor their service to your specific needs. This means collaborating with you.
Find out how closely the company can work with your in-house team to get a feel for your brand values and goals. Look for evidence that your chosen agency will keep you in the loop throughout the branding process, with reports, and presentations.
Tips for choosing the best branding agency
While there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for choosing the best branding agencies in London, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of making the right decision. After all, your brand is essential to your growth, so it’s crucial to find the right partner.
1. Outline your project
First, determine what you actually need from a branding agency. Are you looking for a small team to help with your brand guideline structure? Do you need to update or refresh your brand? Maybe you’re looking for help with a full rebranding strategy.
Ask yourself exactly what kind of services you’re looking for, and set goals for your branding campaign, such as increasing customer loyalty, or boosting brand awareness. Determine how long you want to spend on branding, and what your ideal budget might be.
2. Look for experts in your industry
Working with a branding development agency that already has a clear understanding of your market and consumer base should make the process much easier. Look for companies that have worked with similar small businesses and large companies before.
Ask about their experience, consider requesting feedback and reviews from other customers. It’s also helpful to check the individual expertise of each employee in the team. What can your brand agency help you accomplish?
3. Be cautious with budget
It’s easy to assume that the best branding agency in London is the one that can deliver the services you need for the lowest price. However, it’s important to be wary about how restrictive you are with your budget. Remember, great logos alone can cost thousands of dollars.
Ask your branding agency for a clear insight into their pricing structure and quotes, and ask yourself how the price of the service translates into a total return on investment. How much value are you really going to get out of the service in the long term?
4. Search for the right “fit”
Sometimes, choosing the best branding agency in London means trusting your gut. While it’s difficult to get a feel for how well you can work with a branding company based on their website and portfolio alone, reaching out to the team will unveil more insights.
When you communicate with your branding agency for the first time, determine how well they understand your brand and its position. Ask yourself whether they communicate clearly with you and your team, and whether you can see yourself working comfortably with them.
5. Look for specialist services
Some branding agencies can offer services that go beyond the basics of most alternative companies. For instance, while a lot of branding firms can work with you on creating brand guidelines and logos, some can also help with name development, marketing campaigns, and copy creation.
If you want to work with a single company to create a comprehensive company brand, looking for a London-based provider who offers all of the specialist support you need is crucial. It prevents you from having to spend extra on external creative work.
6. Prioritise reliability
Finally, ensure you can rely on your branding agency to deliver the results you really want. A great branding agency will be able to validate their value by providing insights in the form of reports, analytics, and data. They’ll ensure you can see the impact of their service.
Most importantly, they’ll work with you to ensure you can complete your branding project in the right time scale, within your budget. They won’t have any hidden fees to worry about, and they’ll explain transparently how long you can expect to wait for services to be delivered.
Discover the impact a top branding agency
Finding the best branding agencies in London isn’t always as simple as it seems. There are plenty of directories out there to guide you, but most are unreliable at best. The only way to ensure you’re getting excellent service is to do your own due diligence.
Make sure you understand the impact a top branding agency can have on your business and its long-term growth. Connect with multiple firms to learn more about their services and branding strategies, and spend time sorting through portfolios and case studies.
If you dedicate enough time to choosing the right branding agency for your business, the results of your investment can be astronomical.
Want to discover what it’s really like to work with the best branding agency in London? Reach out to Fabrik today to discover what sets us apart from our competitors.
Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.