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Need Branding? 5 Keys that Determine Good Branding Services

Need Branding? 5 Keys that Determine Good Branding Services
Anton Klein
Marketing Associate

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The type and depth of branding services might differ between business types or business age but there are 5 fundamental keys to high quality branding that hold for any kind of branding process.  

You might think that the most creative, innovative, and cutting-edge designs are what determines the quality of branding services, or even the response of customers and partners to it. But the most important aspects of good branding services lie in the branding process itself, as well as the result. How is the initial approach and how is the collaborative workflow designed? These and other keys are truly what helps businesses distinguish between high quality and average branding services.

[#section1] What Determines Good Branding Services [#section1]

1. No creation without strategy:

Branding is a very abstract, emotional, and intuitive process. However, a good branding agency executes the process strategically while being aligned to the client's business goals and objectives. Therefore, market research, persona work regarding the target audience, competitor analysis, and industry trends are only a few research-intense milestones to hit before the creative branding process begins.  

The most essential and determining milestone is understanding the client, the vision, the history, and identity of the business. Questionnaires or other formats not only help but are required to get a realistic and genuine understanding of the client.  

Formulating these as reflectively as possible also helps the client to explain and express their business and ideas in different forms, make it clear what they don't want and sometimes also leads to new self-perceptions. In the end, the basis of research and questioning helps develop a clear positioning and messaging strategy.

2. Creativity & Consistency:  

As soon as the internal work is done, it’s time to develop a brand that aligns with and adds value to the strategy. You could say that the strategy is the body of your business, and the brand is its reputation. Thus, the brand determines what people can expect from your brand. Read our brand identity blog where we elaborate on exactly that.  

A good branding service provider understands this sensitive relationship and brings expertise, openness, and creativity into the branding process to build and shape this reputation.  

Expertise is crucial in correcting or guiding the client towards branding moves that benefits their brand, and to ensure consistency across all touch points. The key to keeping the consistency in the brand lies in comprehensive branding guidelines. Openness is required to incorporate feedback and to constantly gather new inspiration and creativity to develop unique and impactful visual and messaging elements that suit the client's brand identity.

3. Enabling brand flexibility:

While consistency remains key, a good branding service provider knows that the brand needs to be flexible enough to adapt to changes in the market, customer preferences or changes within the client's business objectives. To be precise, brand flexibility is given when a brand changes its messaging, updates its visual identity, expands the product line, or adopts new channels. A good example is the North Face brand that over time evolved from an outdoor sports brand only to street wear with the Nuptse jacket. Collaborations like this create new customer segments (for example, a younger target audience) but thus requires tailored messaging and branding flexibility.

4. Measuring branding results:

A good branding agency also knows specific KPIs to measure the branding impact such brand awareness, brand sentiment, brand salience, and customer loyalty.  

Brand awareness can be measured via surveys, social media engagement, website traffic, or other metrics that indicate the level of familiarity that consumers have with the brand. Brand sentiment asks consumers to rate the brand on critical attributes such as trustworthiness, quality, or innovation. Customer loyalty can be measured using metrics like repurchases, customer lifetime value, or customer retention.  

Also, prior to the branding process, a good branding service provider has the tools at hand to conduct a branding audit if a brand already exists or if the current performance is weak.

5. Collaborative workflows:

This one is the most important to us. The greatest determining factor of a successful branding process, and the most satisfying outcome, is the amount and level of collaboration between a branding agency and the client. This involves a few different elements, such as the extent of an open and honest feedback loop, the level of consideration of client input and feedback, and how both client and agency are working together to develop a cohesive branding strategy.

You can tell that this 5th key determines and influences the other keys above. When a branding agency manages to incorporate the client from the beginning, embrace honesty and trust – on both ends - there is not much left that can hinder the branding process’ success.

[#section2] How the Type of Branding Services Differ Between Businesses [#section2]

Now you know what to look out for when choosing your next branding agency, but do you know what type of branding services currently suits your business best? Businesses should consider these 4 factors when researching and choosing a branding agency:

1. Budget:  

Budget is the number one attribute that influences the choice of a branding agency. Small businesses and non-profits most likely have smaller budgets available for branding compared to startups and e-commerce companies. If you find a branding agency that helps you as an initial steppingstone within a smaller budget, it might be that you must reduce the quantity of services provided in order to get a high-quality brand. Otherwise, you might accept more basic results in order to gain more deliverables, such as branding, collateral and more.

2. Objectives:  

Businesses are sometimes unaware of what their business truly needs. Small businesses may prioritize building trust and brand awareness within their local communities, while startups and e-commerce companies may focus on building a strong digital presence and reaching a wider audience. Non-profits may focus on communicating their mission and values to their target audience, while also building trust and credibility.  

When the branding objective is clear, businesses are able to search for and pre-qualify branding agencies who specialise in topics that are of interest to them, such as sustainability or tech.

3. Brand personality & (4.) Target audience:

The brand personality and tone of voice also differs between different business sizes and types. This is dependent on the target audience. Where non-profits may target donors and volunteers, e-commerce companies may target specific age groups or interests.  

If a business’ target audience is mostly GenZ or a younger audience, we recommend working with branding agencies that have served these target audiences before or who have people on board who understand and identify with these audiences. Also based on local, national, or global reach your branding agency should have the resources to examine, understand and leverage the differences between those target audiences.

In the end branding processes require huge amounts of trust on the client site. Researching and reading through agency’s past client projects, testimonials and reviews already do a lot but a brand is a business’s baby. And it’s also possible that a client isn't confident in the direction they want to move in. That’s why transparent, honest, and quick conversation is key.  

At Tiny Giants Co, we have worked with brands in over 30 countries in the last 15 years. It’s safe to say we know a thing or two about all kinds of branding services, including rebranding, brand exploration, brand audits, brand refresh and so on. We’re a people company and put trust, honesty, and client success first.  

If you’re looking for a global branding agency don’t hesitate to contact us.

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