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Adding value through branding & design

When Frost Creative first started out in business we were, what I would call today, a ‘doing’ agency. Clients of all shapes and sizes would come to us with a brief and we would design a solution to it, nice and simple. We have always been pretty good at design and we’ve even won a few awards for our work too; it’s in our DNA, it’s our true passion and forms a huge part of what we do everyday and it will continue to do so for a long time in the future too. However, over the years we have had to evolve alongside our clients’ businesses and make the shift from just delivering on specific needs and demands, to being more strategic and supportive in our approach.

Today, our clients need much more than just solid design and creativity. They each have real business objectives and turn to us to help them achieve them through our work. We like to take a more consultative approach; collaborating with clients in a way that adds more value than just creativity. Using our expertise and strategic insight to make informed design decisions is being relied on more and more.

As we have grown, we have come to realise that the design side of our delivery is becoming more commoditised. There are a lot of agencies out there that deliver great creative; there are also a lot of very talented freelancers out there that can produce awe inspiring work, and at a far lower price than any agency can, so we’ve made the shift away from just ‘doing’ design to being more strategic, insightful and consultative in our approach. For a regional agency like ours this does come with its many challenges. These generally come from the clients that don’t fully understand the value of what implementing branding and design properly can bring. They merely see pretty pictures of our work and think ‘that looks nice, I want something like that too’. However, the pretty pictures you see on our website have all been created following a strategic process that enables us to fully understand the clients’ needs, objectives and problems first. This then enables us to create work that is based on fact and substance rather than a subjective opinion, to deliver real results for those clients. Our thorough understanding, deep insight and cross sector expertise is what ensures our work is a success for our clients. It’s never just design alone. But that expertise comes at a price unfortunately. If you don’t see the value of doing things right and investing in expertise to deliver your brand properly, then we’re probably not the right agency for you. Coming from a design background myself this really pains me to say, but it’s true. We know our approach works and we have the results that prove it.

What is our approach?
We have developed a 5 step methodology that we work through on the strategic delivery of branding; you can watch a video on that here.  Our process is designed to ensure our output is always aligned to the business objectives and vision for the brand. The only way to truly do that is for clients to work closely with us, giving us access to staff and customers, the board members and investors, to name a few. We need to know your business inside out in order to help you succeed and for us to provide creative solutions that are meaningful and effective.

Sadly, some businesses don’t see the value in investing in the brand properly and ‘just want a simple refresh’ or a ‘fresh new website’ because… Well that’s just it, why?
What will refreshing your website actually achieve? What will updating your brand to include a new typeface or colour palette because you think it looks dated, actually mean for your customers? The truth is, not a lot unless you know exactly what you need to change and why. We want to fully understand your future plans; where you want the brand to be in 5 years time. We’ll want to know if you wish to sell or whether you’ll be merging or acquiring a business. Are you looking to attract better staff and reduce recruitment costs? Will you be needing investment to help drive growth? Have you launched a new service or product? The list goes on.
We know that our 5 step methodology works, it delivers real results and has a huge positive impact for businesses. That’s why we’re quite firm in our approach and won’t deviate away from it. It enables us all to achieve something great together.

Costing for branding work is never fixed. Our process generally remains the same. However, your company size, business objectives or strategy will determine the volume of work we need to undertake in the early stages. For example, if you have 500+ employees and we need to interview them, that’s going to cost a lot more than interviewing a business with just 12 employees, or if you have recently merged and need to unify two businesses then that’s going to be more costly than a business that has just launched a new product or service. There’s also the delivery of the brand to consider. Would you want us to deliver the brand guidelines, tone of voice, a new website, video, printed collateral, signage, employee engagement campaigns, launch campaign….? The list goes on. You may just want the the brand strategy, brand guidelines and templates for your in-house studio to work with; there are so many variables to consider.

We try to accommodate clients of all sizes and offer our expertise and strategic insight at all times. Our costs are always in-line with the budget available, or what we believe you need, based on our experience of working with similar sized organisations. Sadly you come across clients that are reluctant and will not listen to our expert advise or fully understand / appreciate the complexity of branding and will want to cut corners in order to save money. This is when we need to stand firm and walk away from the opportunity. If clients can’t see the value in us and what we bring, then all we can do is offer advice and try to guide them down the right path. It is vitally important to us that we let strategic insight inform any decision in order for the branding to be truly effective.

If you want to find out more about our processes and methodology to branding and the strategic delivery of communications, feel free to call the team on 01489 892 602 or email info@frostcreative.co.uk.