A brand agency will need to know certain things about your business, before they even start on the strategic work, so if you can work together within the company to provide all of the insights up front, you won’t need to pay for this initial research. After all, you know all the answers!

Here are five areas to think about and have the answers to, before you hire a brand agency:

1. Industry trends and the competitive landscape

The brand agency will need to research a bit about your industry and the landscape you work within but you should already know all of this information so carry out your own internal research using your data and customer information.

You need to think about the kind of industry challenges and opportunities the business is facing and the main trends impacting your particular business area. You should know how these trends will potentially affect your own business.

Hopefully you will have this already so dig out the details of your key competitors and think about what they do better than you, and how they compete in the market. Is there anything in their brand approach which you admire? What do you do that’s better than them now, and into the future?

2. Know your own business

It’s important when developing a new branding strategy, that you know the business inside out and how you want it to be represented. Make sure you are able to easily describe the business and the work which is carried out.

Have an idea of what makes your business stand out from the rest and where improvements could be made. You will need to identify where new business leads come from and which resources are used for new business, as well as basic details like the business structure and number of employees.

All of this information should already be at your fingertips and will definitely save you money. Here at Frost Creative we always work with new clients to learn as much about them as possible at this stage to ensure we can move forward to develop a really strong brand strategy later.

3. Business Stakeholders

To save money on external research, come up with a map of all your key business stakeholders and rank them in order of importance to the company. Put as much detail as possible into this map as it will be useful in planning brand communications further down the road.

4. The Business Culture

Defining the business culture and how it is communicated to staff and customers is another important step to think about when approaching a brand agency. You need to explain what the culture of the company is and how well it is understood by staff.

5. Your views and understanding of brand

To really help save time and research from the brand agency, it pays to spend some time within the company, thinking about brand as a concept and what it means to your business, so that this can then be shared with the agency once you sign up with them.

Think about which company brand you most admire and why that might be – what does the brand stand for which makes it memorable? Have a think about why branding is important within your particular industry as well.

In terms of your own business brand, think about the brand you have currently and why you want to change it now. What does your current brand promise customers and what promise do you want it to make in the future?

What are the main barriers to building the brand which you want and what are your expectations from the brand review process? What do you want your new brand to focus on and how are you going to use it to win new business going forward?

If you can think about all of these areas within the business, and put together all of the answers, before you consider engaging with a professional brand agency, you will save yourself a lot of time and money and will be able to start from a much sounder starting point with the agency.

At Frost Creative we work hard to understand our clients’ business aspirations and goals from the outset so we can develop a strong brand strategy for them, so if you would like to discuss strategic branding for your own company, please do get in touch with us.