Brand creation isn’t something that happens overnight.
You might be able to create a logo or decide on your brand colours fairly quickly, but there are several key relationships that need to be continually fed in order to build and maintain a strong brand.
With so many other tasks demanding the attention of your in-house marketing team, a creative agency can be the difference between your brand’s success and failure. In fact, a recent study revealed that more than 50% of marketers currently rely on agencies or external marketing partners to support their work.
The question is, how do you go about finding the right creative agency to support your in-house team and maintain brand consistency and identity?
Consider your brand’s needs
You need to ensure that every single person that will have a relationship with the agency understands why they’re necessary. Your in-house team will of course know exactly what it is that your company is trying to achieve, but what about your senior leaders? Only once everyone is onboard and truly understands the decision to work with a creative agency should you go ahead.
Also consider how your team works. In an increasingly technology driven world there are now a number of different ways to conduct meetings. Have you embraced remote Zoom calls, or do your team prefer to meet and discuss ideas face-to-face?
Similarly, what kind of agency size are you looking for? Do you want to work with a larger agency so that you can take advantage of a larger team, or is a smaller, more focused agency a better fit?
Can you collaborate?
It goes without saying that your in-house team needs to be able to work collaboratively with the creative agency that you choose. As a result of this, you’ll need to have a frank and honest discussion with the agency before any work begins.
It’s important to understand how much creative control you’re both willing to compromise on in order to work effectively. Do you want the agency to take control of all creative direction, or are you looking for an agency that will follow your instructions to the letter?
Some agencies will be more willing to compromise on issues like this than others which is why it’s vital that this is discussed beforehand. If everyone understands what their role is and what’s required of them then you’ll be more likely to succeed.
Once you’ve found a creative agency that appears to be a good fit for your business, the next step is to ask them to prove how good they are. Many agencies are more than happy to share the results of their work in the form of case studies, so be wary of those who are more reluctant – can they actually do what they claim or could they be exaggerating how good they are?
You should also look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients. This will give you a more in-depth understanding of how they work, direct from those who know best. Again, a good creative agency shouldn’t be shy about sharing these, so if they don’t seem too keen then it’s time to ask yourself why that might be and if they’re really the best fit for your brand.
How do you feel?
The most important thing to remember is to trust your instincts. The right agency should be eager to build a long term relationship and excited to work alongside you and your in-house team.
If you’re not getting this impression then it’s likely that that particular creative agency isn’t going to be the best choice, so you should definitely consider other options in order to create a strong, successful relationship.