So, you need a brand. Or a rebrand. Either way, you’ve come to a crossroads in your journey where your ready to evolve your look, voice and brand. And you’ve likely realized that there are a TON of options out there. But how do you know when, and who is the right branding agency for you?

From freelancers all over the web and popup services like Fiverr to larger agencies, the choices are overwhelming. Who do you trust? How much should you invest?

The quickest (and shortest) answer is to find a partner. Someone you fit with and that establishes an emotional investment in your products or services. After all, if you’re anything like us, you’ve put your heart, soul and countless hours into your business or side hustle. It is an extension of you, and deserves the same dedicated attention from all parties involved.

See. Not so hard, right? I could stop here, but I won’t. Because you are likely thinking “easier said than done”. So here is where I lay it all out on the table and give you some authentic, transparent advice.

 

Interview Them ALL.

Don’t stop at one or two creative firms. Talk to 4 or 5 agencies and be prepared to answer (as well as ask) some key questions. Be upfront about your budget early on and transparent in what you want. Have conversations that revolve around your business ethics, your audience and what realistic investments should look like. From here, narrow down to your top two candidates.

 

How Do You Mesh?

A lot of what we do as branders, designers and marketers is coach and educate. Many clients don’t know what they want or how to go about it when they walk through the door. Those first interactions – between you and your possible branding partner can be relatively revealing about how your experience will be as their client.

• How do your personalities match up?
• Are they timely in their responses?
• How smooth (or not-so-smooth) do your exchanges flow?

Natural chemistry goes a long way on any project. And with any luck, your interactions won’t feel like you’re being forced to go on an awkward blind date. If you’re not compatible, don’t force it. It will show up in the finished product and likely cause communication problems.

 

Are They Well Rounded in Expertise and Have Cross-Channel Brand Experience?

Branding projects rarely every stop at just a logo design. Integrating your colors, styles, brand and voice into multiple channels and mediums, allowing you to grow at a pace that suits you, is as imperative as the quality of their portfolio.

Make sure your brand designer have a great mix of design and strategy. You’re going to want consistency and the ability to breathe life into your brand’s bigger picture.

 

Will They Provide Guidance and Structure?

Are you looking for someone to do exactly as you say, or do you need someone who is going to push you out of your comfort zone? Getting uncomfortable and vulnerable during the design process can make clients feel frustrated and strained.

Brand development is meant to be pushy and collaborative. It is reflection, self analysis and meditation all rolled into one. The soul-searching is part of the process.

 

Don’t Let the Price Define Who You Work With.

“The bitter taste of poor branding and design will long-linger after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.”

There will always be someone who can do it cheaper, but with that savings on cost comes a hefty price in regards to dedication and brand care. Always remember what you are getting for the money spent; expertise, strategy, navigation of frustration and pushing the bounds to understand what you need, who you are and your message.