How to Hire the Right B2B Branding Agency
Your B2B brand is outdated, and you know it. You wince every time you walk in the door. It pains you every time you visit your website. You have good people and quality products. But holy cow, your brand is tired and needs a day at the spa!
You know that you’re beyond ready for a rebrand.
It’s GO TIME!
But where should you turn? Who should you entrust with something as important as your brand?
We believe there are eight key considerations you should take into account when looking to hire a B2B branding agency. By doing your due diligence and ensuring the agency is a great fit as a partner, you can take your brand from “Meh” to “Wow.”
1. Branding Expertise
When evaluating prospective B2B branding agency partners, consider if they really understand human psychology. Do they understand the difference between brand strategy and brand implementation? Or are they just giving you platitudes?
Engage in conversations with them that explore what makes a brand strong. Ask lots of questions. Have them provide insights into your current branding. Read what they’ve published about B2B branding, whether in their blog or industry publications, etc.
Also, how do they brand themselves? If their own agency branding is weak, be careful.
Are they just as strong on brand strategy as visual branding? Do they understand how to build a brand stack that sets expectations with the target audience while concurrently acting as a decision filter for your executives and employees? We recommend going with an agency that’s just as powerful on the strategy side as the visual side (logo, brand color palette, brand styles, identity system, etc.), as they’ll be able to bring it all together cohesively in a natural, intuitive and flowing way. If you go with one agency for strategy and another for visual branding, the probability of a diluted brand is higher.
2. Proven Results
Beyond expertise, have them prove to you that they walk the walk with client success. Take a look at examples of their prior B2B branding work. Not just the colorful new logos, brand styles, websites, collateral and other visual representations of the brands. Unearth the underlying thinking and process that led to new brand strategies. Go through their case studies. Confirm that they have ample client testimonials. Talk with their clients.
After a rebranding, how have their clients achieved success?
If the branding agency has trouble producing case studies, testimonials, examples, stories or client results, run for the hills. As fast as you can.
Because if they don’t have case studies and other evidence of success, there’s a reason.
There are many branding agencies out there, but only some have clear differentiation. Only some have a special ingredient that makes them unique. Where do they excel?
- Specialize in B2B?
- Focus on specific industries or types of organizations?
- Consistently generate innovative solutions?
Don’t let your agency tell you that what makes them different is something vague and unsubstantiated such as their people and process. (You hear that one a lot…)
Stratabeat, for example, bases our branding and marketing on neuroscience, psychology and behavioral science. At the same time, our expertise in marketing (our team members’ experience includes Intel, GE, Hewlett-Packard and AT&T) complements our expertise in branding, translating into a holistic solution for clients. On top of this, we’re the only B2B agency that guarantees to double leads through a science-based branding and marketing program.
Make sure your B2B branding agency has something unique to offer you.
A Rebrand that WOWs
Ready to differentiate your brand from the competition? Let’s Talk!
How do they approach brand strategy? Do they have an established process? Is it holistic in covering brand identity and brand promise?
Do they have a discovery process, where they dig deep into not only your identity, but also your aspirations as a brand? Do they conduct any type of competitive research? Are they going to interview your employees? How about your clients? If so, how many?
What is their process? What is the timeframe?
Can they articulate what they will need from you in order to make the process a success? Do they have a centralized online project portal to keep all communications transparent and accessible?
There are many B2B branding agencies that can help you articulate what you do.
What’s in more limited supply is the B2B branding agency that helps you see around the corner and equips you for the future. In order for you to be most successful, your branding needs to be strong not only today, but also tomorrow. It needs to position you with competitive advantage as the market changes and your audience’s needs and expectations evolve. Your brand should be inoculated from future potential threats.
The way to do that is to develop your brand strategy with the the future in mind. Where is the market heading? Where is your audience heading? Where is the world heading? Where do you need to be in order to thrive throughout it all?
It’s one thing to focus on positioning and differentiation. To identify a customer promise. To focus on core brand values. To identify a brand personality.
It’s an entirely different thing to bring creativity to the process for greater results.
- Sometimes the client is thinking in terms of technical explanations and endless bullet points. Whereas what makes more sense is to focus on how you eliminate your clients’ pain.
- Sometimes the client is inwardly focused, talking about themselves. Whereas what’s more effective is to showcase your clients and speak to the massive outcomes that you deliver for them.
- Sometimes the client’s branding is boring and, well… puts you to sleep. Whereas telling your mind-blowing customer stories would excite and energize your audience. (People are 22X more likely to remember information when wrapped in a story.)
- Sometimes the client is thinking about what’s possible based on the past. Whereas your agency could be opening eyes as to new possibilities for the future. New audience segments. New markets. New solutions.
A Winning Rebranding Strategy for Mega ROI
Ready to begin your rebrand journey? Give Us a Shout!
This one is straightforward. Do you like them? Do you get excited by their ideas? Do you find that your conversations just flow?
Sometimes the fit is obvious, and it’s like a lovefest. In certain cases, you’re excited just thinking about talking with them further.
In other cases, you may find that what they are saying is logical, but for whatever reason your two teams just don’t mesh well. Maybe you’re finding that they aren’t really listening to what you’re saying and digesting it genuinely. Or maybe you find them to be arrogant and condescending.
Whatever it is, make sure the chemistry is there. Aside from expertise and differentiation and creativity, if you don’t enjoy talking with them before the process even begins, you’ll be miserable during the process. If so, this will be reflected in the final branding.
8. Trust Your Gut
Gut instinct is the voice inside your head. It’s your immediate feeling about the situation. You just know. Your gut feeling is something that only you can really experience.
Given the above keys to finding the right B2B branding agency, what is your gut telling you?
- Do you enjoy engaging in discussions with them? In spending time with them? In brainstorming and collaborating with them?
- Do you trust them? Do you have faith in what they are saying?
- Do you like the examples they’ve shared with you?
- Are you impressed with their brand analysis capabilities?
- Would you be excited to have them as a partner?
- Are you happier when you walk out of the room or when you hang up from a call with them than prior to the meeting?
- Is your gut just telling you that you should go with them?
Your gut is right most of the time. Trust it.