How to Build an Optimal Relationship With Your Branding Agency

How to Build an Optimal Relationship With Your Branding Agency

Whether you are building your brand from scratch or rebuilding it to reflect recent changes, it doesn’t hurt to bring in outside help.

However, every time you bring in a person or team that does not belong to your organization, there are a few challenges that you will need to hurdle in order to cultivate a fruitful relationship. If you are actively considering bringing in a seasoned branding agency to help you with your specific goals, here are a few helpful tips to ensure a smooth working relationship.

Finding the right branding agency

Finding the right branding agency is critical for the achievement of your goals. Indeed, this is by no means an easy task. You will need to invest ample time and effort to create a shortlist, interview each team on your list, and make a final choice.

Start by casting a wide net and getting recommendations from your industry peers. Complement this with online research to gather feedback and testimonials from previous clients. And from there, you can begin narrowing down your shortlist to three candidates.

In order to objectively compare each agency on your shortlist, you will need to ask for a proposal from each giving them the same project scope. From there, the candidates on your shortlist will need to provide you with their own bids containing their brand strategies, team, project timeline, and proposed budget.

At this point, you should inform each candidate about what exactly you need to accomplish. The branding agencies should also have a brief overview of what your company is as well as how your team works.

Upon receipt of the proposals from the three agencies, narrow your shortlist further down to two candidates and bring them in for their pitches.

During this time, pay attention to how each individual team works together. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing which agency to work with. There are, however, a few things you should watch for.

For starters, look at the team dynamics during the pitch. Do you envision working with their team? Do they capture your initial vision, and can they turn it into something meaningful and exciting? Do they encourage collaboration?

At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself how you feel about working with the team. While it is critical to approach the interview process from an objective standpoint, do not ignore how you feel about each candidate. After all, if you are going to bring in your chosen branding agency, you are going to work with their team for a substantial amount of time.

After choosing the right branding agency for your company, the next order of business is drafting a contract that outlines critical terms of the relationship between both parties. Beyond the legal aspects of the relationship, the contract, first and foremost, should lay the groundwork for a long and fruitful partnership between the parties involved.

The emphasis, ideally, should be on forging a long-term relationship. For your company, that means having a dependable ally that will oversee the growth of your brand and forming a creative partnership.

Working together

Before any type of work can commence, it is vital for your company to provide the agency with a brief which will define what success looks like for you. Essentially, the brief sets up both parties for success.

This is also an opportune time to introduce your company and brand to your chosen branding agency. After all, nobody knows your brand better than you do.

It is also critical for both parties to outline the roles and responsibilities of each party. It is essential for each party to be aware of these at the outset to prevent the duplication of functions, confusion, and other setbacks that can undermine the partnership.

Another critical step that both parties must undertake is determining the optimal approval process for creative work. To a large extent, both parties will rely on the project brief as the barometer for success. The brief should serve as a guide for the agency’s creative staff and will help them avoid veering off from your vision.

Make sure that you provide positive and constructive feedback. If the creative team follows the project brief closely, the margin for error becomes minimal, and subsequent revisions should hit closer to the intended mark. Give your team ample room to maneuver and become creative but be ready to provide the necessary guidance. Remember, you are working with people who have feelings that you should be mindful of.

Making it work

Your partnership with a branding agency is akin to a marriage. It takes the effort of both parties to make the relationship work. And if each one knows what they want and provide enough room for independence, creativity, and constant communication, it becomes easier to weather challenges that may come your way.


Stuart Harris is the Creative Director at Yellow, a Dubai branding agency, digital partner and advertising company working with progressive businesses to build bold, meaningful brands.

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