Hiring a Branding Consultant
It wasn’t too long ago that pundits were saying branding is dead. Quite to the contrary, it seems brands of all kinds are doing well, from Google to Tesla to Coca Cola.
Yet, if a brand is conceptualized and developed poorly, then it may drown in a sea of undifferentiated digital brands and copy cats. That’s where the expert branding consultant comes in to save the day. You’ll find 8 tips on what to look for and a short directory of branding specialists to get you started on a brand refresh or brand redesign.
The trend in the last decade to social media use, and how consumer’s have instant access to competitive products supposedly meant brands could no longer dominate consumer consciousness. And others suggested people today don’t want fabricated stories, with phony photos and fake benefits. Instead, consumers want authentic presentation of a company’s products and services.
Marketing and branding have too often become disconnected from the product and it’s lead to phony advertising featuring popular but non-existent benefits. A promise means nothing if it’s not real. And with different brand label products being produced by the same manufacturer, it’s no surprise some would believe branding is superficial and forgettable.
Branding Experts Create a Powerful, Effective Brand
Yet real branding is about a genuine promotion of real value. Whatever we feel about the state of branding, a word, phrase, promise, logo, and design scheme does represent any product or service, small to medium sized business. Branding is simply a way of communicating identity and benefits. So branding will never die. Just poor brands perish.
There are so many qualities of a strong brand that make it a winner. That’s why the average marketers gets confused about what to promote and when. A talented brand expert can help straighten out the confusion by prioritizing these things and easing the marketing staff’s anxiety.
A Truly Great Brand:
- makes an impact builds preference by appealing to prospects emotional needs
- generates an amazing, consistent, compelling customer experience
- stands out as a unique, distinct, special, relevant, and a vital asset to customers lives
- gets the unique value proposition across clearly with key value points proven
- has broad visibility or even omnipresence in the marketplace
- carves out a niche and proves it is clearly better than the competition
- has the right style and color scheme which the target markets is comfortable with
- displays passion, focus and a dedication to the customer’s preference
- shows leadership in that they are the number one choice for customers
Finding the Right Brand Guru
If you’re considering a brand refresh or you’re a small business owner needing to develop a new brand, then finding the right branding consultant is important. An expert, guru, or advisor can help you discover and organize the right value proposition, and then find the right words, images, and messages to get your message across expertly.
After you’ve done some deeper research on your company/product value proposition, you can begin your search. Educating yourself first is important. Preparing to create a great brand is vital. Your decision will determine how your company performs over the coming years.
After you’ve established in your own mind what your target market really wants and what unique value proposition you can realistically deliver, you may start to see your brand strategy. A brilliant brand strategist will help illuminate the road ahead.
A branding specialist is a dreamer, visionary, and conceptualizer. They research, envision and create a brand image, and they don’t plan, organize or carry out marketing campaigns. They’re big picture people with a focus on communicating premium value to customers and differentiating your product/service from competitors.
How to Choose the Best Brand Consultant
Choose the right branding guru through with these 8 characteristics:
- are they experienced in your industry and do they participate in it?
- do you understand their brand clearly via their website?
- do you like their work with others clients (case studies)?
- do they listen to you and are they willing to study your current brand for free to demonstrate their knowledge?
- what is their background and experience (Linkedin) and have they demonstrated how they solve problems?
- do they have the creative imagination and technical research skills to prove they can understand all that’s needed for this project?
- do they promote their own brand well?
- are they truly a branding consultant or just an agency director, graphic designer, or marketer?
Most web design agencies offer branding but most don’t have the expertise in it. They’ll only offer the service if they can run your marketing and control your marketing budget. Not a happy picture.
The best decision will be to hire a branding expert who is focused on branding only. That will help avoid distraction, time waste and conflict of interest. A brand marketing consultant focused on this most important task of understanding the brand positioning you need.
Is it worthwhile to list the best branding gurus? Just because an agency is large or has major clientele doesn’t mean they know your industry or are affordable to your small to mid-sized company budget. Most branding agencies work with large companies/brands.
Obviously, you’ll need a branding consultant who is focused on your type of small to medium sized business. What’s important too, is how they communicate with you and educate you and do they understand your market?
Here are a Few Branding Consulting Firms to Check Out
Review these as a starter to discover the talents, experience and expertise you will need.
CBC Creative Brand Consulting
People hire CBC for the depth of experience, unique insight and strategic talent of our teams. At Creative Brand Consulting, we are brand builders – experts in big thinking, creative ideas and fresh technology solutions. We help our clients identify and solve their market needs and challenges. Whether it’s a revamp of an existing identity or a more comprehensive strategic brand exercise, our goal is to help our clients craft brands that stand for something, and ultimately stand out from the competition.
Four Fin brings the best solutions forward by getting to know their clients and thinking critically for the client’s best interest. They thrive on collaboration, honest conversations, and a good *virtual* toast. We’re a female-dominated firm which celebrates diversity.
Ignyte – San Diego
Ignyte is a branding agency driven by transformation and growth. Thee believe a strong brand is at the core of every successful business. These brand consultants help businesses grow by transforming their brands into valuable business assets that inspire employees, motivate customers, and generate lasting economic value. They’re located in San Diego,CA.
2251 San Diego Avenue,
San Diego, California
Matter Consulting – Steven Morris
Matter Consulting is the home of Steven Morris’ brand, culture, and business advisory work. He has been a trusted advisor to more than 3,000 business leaders at more than 250 global, national, and regional brands since 1994. He believes aAn Evolved Brand is, a purpose-driven brand which fuses business strategy with organizational beliefs that creates an unignorable company.
Steven’s background includes earning an MFA in Design from Temple University, Tyler School of Art and undergraduate degrees in fine art, psychology and philosophy.
Salt Branding, San Francisco
Salt helps companies discover and distill the meaning behind what they do and what kind of impact they can have on their organization, their customers, and ultimately our world. They take an immersive dive into your company values and history, business objectives, and market realities. Services include an in-depth competitive analysis of how other companies, both in and out of your industry, are working with purpose and what opportunities that opens up.
1620 Montgomery Street, Suite 120
San Francisco, California
Bailey Brand Consulting
Bailey Brand Consulting is a branding agency which delivers with passion, creativity, insight and experience with a group of strategic thinkers, creative problem-solvers and world-class designers dedicated to cutting-edge brand strategy and creative solutions to help grow your business. They are located in Philadelphia.
200 West Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania
The best process to follow is to take some time to renew your knowledge of branding with research, and then begin to search for the right branding consultant for your company.
A brand expert for a mountain bike marketing company will differ greatly from one who specializes in a fintech startup or one in a highly regulated sector. After you’ve established your brand statement and understand your UVP well, you can begin your search for a digital marketing agency, web design agency, or other marketing specialists.
At that point, it might be a good time to invest in a digital marketing audit to ensure you’ve got the right strategy to use digital marketing more effectively.
Find out more about AI Marketers digital marketing services.
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