We expose the true costs of hiring a traditional branding agency and why most businesses are unable to execute their new brand strategy. We’ll also explain how NewGlue changed the game entirely.
You wouldn’t let your child attend their first day of school without their lunch box, would you?
We guessed that much.
How come most small business owners then start their journey without a professional logo and branding?
The simple answer… They just don’t have the expertise, money and time to invest in design and marketing.
The huge problem we have with this is…
When competing in today’s busy world where competitors are popping up left and right, professional design and marketing can make the much needed difference to survive and thrive.
If you’re a small business owner, this must all sound pretty alarming!
But there is hope for you!
We’ll share exactly how we packaged some of the best-kept design and marketing secrets into simple tools and automations that any small business can use to create stunning marketing material – without any prior branding experience!
Prepare to have your customer’s jaws drop and come begging for more.
But before we deep-dive and expose exactly how branding agencies work and why a lot of your hard-earned cash typically goes to waste during the traditional process of hiring an agency…
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll learn from this article.
Table of content
We saved a real golden nugget for you at the end!
- We explain how NewGlue can deliver a world-class service without blowing your budget.
- What we deliver for less than 50 cents a day.
Try NewGlue automated branding agency for free today!
There is an efficient and fast alternative to traditional agencies. Check how with just a few clicks NewGlue turns your content into a powerful marketing weapon!
Give it a shot today and let your small business have an unfair advantage.
Do you already have a professional logo?
1. What is a Branding Agency?
Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go. A branding agency does not market your company to potential customers. That’s what Advertising Agencies do.
At its core, a branding agency focuses on creating, developing and updating your brand. It shapes a clear identity, aiming to help your company stand out in an overcrowded market.
A brand identity starts with your “why”
The agency will likely begin by learning about your mission and contribution. Before hiring anyone, we recommend you watch Simon Sinek’s TED talk on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.
Branding is about leaving a lasting impression with your customer, and how they continue to experience you at every touch point.
To be effective, branding needs to align with your business’ vision, values, and goals. A result of public perception, your brand needs to be visually appealing, showcasing your identity and influencing consumers.
This is where branding agencies come into the picture, and this is what they do for you!
2. How do branding agencies work?
What does a branding agency do?
Branding agencies start by looking into your business’s story. They immerse themselves in all that your company stands for. In order to find out the unique meaning behind your brand, they engage in rigorous research.
- Your ways of doing business.
- Your customers.
- Your company’s culture.
- Your competition.
All the above (and possibly more!) are investigated so that a clear foundation can be laid for your branding strategy.
The second step is to identify what matters most, and get clear on your short and long-term goals. Then they shape a strategy around it all. One that is unique to you and your brand.
Next, life needs to be infused in all that planning. The strategy needs to be molded into a visual identity that lives and breathes the purpose of you being in business.
From the minute you…
- …grab their attention
- …raise their interest
- …influence them into making a decision
- …and until they become a repeat client…
…the main focus is to create cohesive visual imagery that speaks for itself at every point within your customer’s journey.
Another important aspect is to maintain relationships with the end-customer. In today’s digital world, the best way to do that is through branded content and visual experiences.
Most branding agencies are full-service and have a broader lookout on the way they do things for their clients. Meanwhile, there are some that focus on doing a specific service in an exceptional way, but more on this in the next section.
Both types are aiming to help businesses be successful. The way all branding does this is by carefully crafting a coherent professional image. A visual and written one.
Visual identity and copywriting are two sides of the same coin. The brand coin.
Today we’re talking about the first. The way your company needs to look in order to stand-out.
Branding agencies pride themselves in doing just that. And it’s not going to be cheap!
But more on this later when we’ll tackle the money issue. Once we dive into that section, you’ll see why traditional branding agencies usually blow any small business’ budget.
For now, let’s look at what happens inside an agency and how each role plays an important part in creating a cohesive brand identity.
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3. What are the roles in a branding agency?
1. Account Management – client-facing roles:
- Permanent contact with your business
- Ongoing dialogue with the creative team
- Project management
- Creative deliverables production
- Attracting new business
2. Brand Strategy – strategic roles:
- Market research
- Analyzing consumer trends
- Finding new ways in which to communicate your brand to customers
- Ways to convert prospects into loyal customers for years to come
- Shaping your company’s vision into bite-sized goals and milestones
3. Creative Department – design and messaging roles:
- Ideating creative concepts according to brand values
- Creating the visual identity deliverables
- Writing copy that reflects the design & brand tone-of-voice
- Telling visual stories: photographers / videographers
4. Digital Team – digital translation roles:
- Handling online strategy and web execution
- Adjusting campaigns and messaging to digital
- Developing landing pages and website
- Shaping online brand identity
Given the diversity of branding agency types, you can find studios that only handle creative, or just take care of your strategy, or even only your digital presence.
But that’s a lot of things to consider!
Overall, the branding agency roles are in charge of translating your brand message to the public. They crystallize your concept into creative deliverables and digital strategies that help you win over the competition.
And then their job is finished!
After that they create and deliver the final products and strategies… You are now usually left on your own! Sadly, most of the time you’re also left clueless in how to implement their strategy on a daily basis.
4. Why hire a branding agency?
The world of business is getting more and more crowded, making it increasingly difficult to stand out. Branding is what makes you visible.
Having a clearly defined visual identity helps build lasting connections with your target audiences, which dramatically
boosts your sales.
It allows you to focus on strategies that scale sales, while using agency skills to build the best client-facing image strengthening the way your business presents itself on the market.
To recap, using a traditional branding agency involves a lot of time and, in most cases, a huge budget. But more on the actual costs later. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
When you start a business, you are likely an expert in your given field. While you may be spectacular at your craft, you’re only human and hence there will be blindspots that you simply can’t cover yourself.
A common thing most entrepreneurs lack, is a professional design and marketing background that helps build a powerful brand from the ground up! Your small business is a living, breathing expression of you and the way you service your clients.
Sometimes you may have an idea about what your brand needs to be, but find it hard to express it in visual and written form. Your image, your identity, and your voice are all roaming around your head in a tight and confusing bundle of ideas.
Unpacking this bundle step by step and is branding experts can do for you.
But like every startup,“your budget” is your enemy.
You may now be aware of the power of professional design and marketing, so you take a second look at your bank account.
It doesn’t look good, does it?
Of course, there are cheap online options. Unfortunately, the results are usually mediocre at best, and you usually end up right where you started, or worse, you destroy the little credibility you worked hard to achieve entirely.
A branding agency may be able tailor an offer to your financial resources, but it’s usually a struggle, and, sadly, many agencies tend to overpromise and underdeliver.
There is hope out there, however!
We at NewGlue simplified and automated much of the tedious and expensive hiring process using a tech-powered design and marketing system that we carefully crafted over the last three years.
Keep reading to see how we can help you. We’re about to reveal even more secret design, branding and marketing sauce.
5. How to find, select, and hire a branding agency?
With so many options available on the market, choosing a branding agency can be a challenge.
So many stakes involved! Paying close attention to their:
- Previous projects
- Ways of working
- Case studies
…and everything that you can get your hands on, just to make an informed decision.
Based on all this research, you then shortlist the branding agencies that fit your needs and budget. Most of all, look for like-minded companies that can act as a business partner.
Before making a decision, clearly define your project’s deliverables and timeline. Send it to the candidates. After receiving their proposals, you can make your choice.
The final decision will mostly be an emotional one.
When you have analyzed the raw data and concepts, look for the one that truly resonates with the vision you have for your company. Even if you’re just starting out, the way you want your company to look, feel and communicate should align with the winning proposal.
Then you can sign the contract. Speaking of contracts, here you have another thing on your already busy mind. How much time can you give to this process?!
Before shaking hands on a mutual agreement, you need to define the Terms and Conditions, making sure all things are in place:
- Lead times
- Extra Costs
..and that is only the beginning!
6. What to ask a branding agency?
“So, can I be sure these agencies actually deliver and can I ask for proof of their capabilities?”
Glad you asked!
When looking to hire the best branding agency for your assignment, there are a few things you need to consider before you get started.
Branding Agency Testimonials
As agencies finish a project, it is customary to ask the client for an appraisal. How did the entire project go, what was it like to work with that particular agency, and if they are happy with the work or not.
Testimonials are a way to promote the agency’s good work using their
As the word says, it is a testimony of a job well done, and of what should one expect by working with that team.
This is one of the first things you’ll look for before, during and even after your collaboration. And if the job is well done, you’ll most likely be asked to give one as well. And it’s only natural! Whenever we are pleased with something, we are more likely to be willing to give praise.
Branding Agency Case Studies
But the true value of working with past clients sits with the case studies. These types of client work reviews are made with the results in mind.
The agency will display their best work here. Think of it as a portfolio.
Information like client objectives, strategy, deliverables and final results will most likely be things you’ll read about in a case study. Depending on each agency, the studies will be centered on a specific industry, or you’ll see many areas where the agency delivered its best results.
Branding Agency Packages
And what are they actually offering?
Some agencies may be full-service, and customize a list of services that suit their client’s needs and project goals. Others might be focusing only on logo design and brand identity, and deliver the design and collaterals (business cards, envelopes, merchandise, etc).
You might even get to choose from pre-made offerings including the consultation, strategy and execution. Or, pay for the initial consultation, add a creative/agency fee for the process that leads to the deliverables, and also for the final products or services you agreed upon.
As diverse as the agency landscape is nowadays, there are options for every need and pocket. The only issue that may arise is that contracting a well-established agency may prove very expensive, while choosing a beginner one may not deliver optimal results.
Branding Agency Proposal (PDF)
When pitching for a job/project you are offering them, and after having an initial discussion with you (queue Mad Men TV show boardroom vibes), they will need to come back to you with a proposal.
As you might initially receive a few of these proposals, we recommend you read and compare them thoroughly, and then choose the one that best suits your vision and budget.
7. Do branding agencies deliver a typical starter package?
So now you’ve shortlisted your options, prepared an initial budget… and wonder what all this effort and expenses get you.
Remember to keep your brand consistent across
Here’s what a typical branding starter package may include:
- A discovery session (getting to know your agency and vice versa)
- Market research and competition analysis (determining your positioning)
- Brand strategy and goal-achieving tactics (what do you want to achieve and how?)
- Customer profile and creating buyer personas (who are you talking to?)
- Brand identity design (logo and stationery design: think business cards, letterheads, etc)
- Website design & development (site mapping, UX and buyer’s journey, etc)
- Digital content (social media assets, PDF’s, etc)
This is how things used to get done in a traditional branding agency.
Luckily, digital transformation is the customer’s friend, and NewGlue built a team and technology that can customize and deliver branding, design and marketing for any type of business – completely automated, affordable and effortless.
8. How much does it cost to work with a branding agency?
We walked you through the major milestones of choosing a branding agency.
So, let’s get to it.
How much does it actually cost to work with a professional branding agency, you wonder? When working with a tight budget… no price is perfect, we get that!
Really! We know the pain-points of a small business or startup… There was a time when we were just trying to keep the lights on at the end of the month. With hard work, dedication and killer design and marketing, we are now bigger and better than ever. And now we want to help YOU get there, too.
More on this in the Bonus Section.
First of all, for the value professional branding can provide, it needs to be looked at as a long term investment that pays major dividends in the future. You’re basically building the foundation of your business! It’s like putting money aside for your kid’s college fund.
Let’s talk money!
A recent survey made by Canny Creative provides an interesting insight on how much branding agencies really cost.
Of course, everything depends on what needs you have.
Here you have the most common services and the expense progress bars calculated based on the cheapest available options and where the most expensive service presented is 2500 GBP.
Here you also have the price range between lowest and highest available option for the presented services.
The prices seen above include mostly the consultancy and design ideation. As for the production part… Well…
You’ll be asked for another payment!
Going for the Do It Yourself services can be an alternative…
That’s typically a BIG NO NO!
You wouldn’t try to fix your own tooth if you had a cavity? Neither would we!
For branding to serve its true and full purpose, and make your business stand out from the crowd, you need a professional look from the start.
As we now know, going down the traditional road leads to astronomical costs and complexity.
Let’s take a look at an example of two branding agencies located in Stockholm, Sweden.
Yes, the image only shows two examples, but you’re welcome to click on the source link to see the 49 other Stockholm agencies and their prices.
You will need to look hard to find anyone that works for less than 100 USD an hour. Starting prices for packages are usually +5000 USD.
How big was your branding budget again?
What if we told you there is a professional service at a fraction of the traditional cost? Small businesses are tough to run and resources can be scarce, so your options are usually limited and results are needed immediately. So without further ado.
Here’s what we at NewGlue can do for YOU.
9. NewGlue changes the branding, design and marketing game for small businesses!
How NewGlue delivers a world-class service without blowing your budget, you ask?
At NewGlue we understand that business is a jungle, and only the strongest survive, which is why we’ll help you craft a recognizable business that stands head and shoulders above your competition.
But how? NewGlue offers more than a stunning and unique logo by professional graphic designers.
Because… No matter how amazing your logo is… If you don’t know how to use it, you’re leaving a huge chunk of hard-earned money on the table.
This is why we’re dedicated to deliver user-friendly and automated design and marketing solutions along with actionable educational content to help you get the most bang out of every buck!
Already have a logo you’re proud of?
Simply upload your logo and we’ll automagically deliver a full stack of features to help build a unified brand and marketing across every channel. So whether you already have a logo or not, you’ll get the tools and tricks you need to build a global brand with ease.
Our team has spent years building and perfecting our platform and mastering best practices of design and marketing so you don’t have to.
Executing powerful marketing and social media strategies will no longer feel like a foreign language and you’ll have hungry customers flocking to your business with their wallets out. But that’s not all. We’ll also make sure you’re set up with a system that delivers a reliable, consistent flow of creative content every day.
Remember… Content is KING. And consistency is the key to success.
So get ready to spend less time slaving over how to keep your design and marketing consistent and focus on actually growing your business
We’re on a mission to share our automated design and marketing system with passionate entrepreneurs like yourself and help you compete in today’s busy world!
Less guessing, less worrying, and more time enjoying life and time with your family.
Save hours every week with automated
designs and marketing!