Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Brand Consultant
An effective brand identity is one of the most powerful tools in a business's arsenal. It serves as shorthand for your mission and instills trustworthiness and public recognition in customers without the need for constant marketing. In short, your brand is your biggest asset. So when it's time to up your brand game, you can't underestimate how important it is to find a reliable brand consulting partner to work with. It’s important that you ask potential branding partners questions that will help you understand who they are, how they do business, and whether or not their process and products are a good fit for your company.
Selecting the right branding agency can help you build a strong and impactful story that resonates with customers, is consistent across all channels, and differentiates you from the competition. So what are some of the key questions you should ask before signing on the dotted line?
Take a look at Quill Creative Studio's top ten questions to ask your brand consultant and get our answers!
- What kind of branding agency are you?
- What is your philosophy when it comes to branding?
- What is your branding process from start to finish?
- Do you have case studies that reflect outcomes similar to what we're looking for?
- What can we expect in terms of communication during my branding project?
- How much will branding my business cost?
- How long will it take to brand my business?
- How do we know when it's time to rebrand?
- Do you offer services outside the scope of branding?
- Do you provide ongoing brand support?
1. What kind of branding agency are you?
Quill Creative Studio is the kind of branding agency that focuses on branding. Okay, maybe that seems obvious, but let us explain…
In today's branding landscape, you may encounter "branding" agencies that claim they can do it all - from branding and design to marketing, social media, web and everything in between. But at the end of the day, you might come away with less of a "brand" and more of a new logo and some cookie-cutter marketing campaigns. When it comes to achieving true brand success for your business, having brand consultants that specialize in just branding can make all the difference.
At Quill, we take our branding expertise seriously, which means when it comes to your branding project, we will dive deeper than most "full-service" marketing agencies will. Our goal is to start from the bottom up with your brand, discovering your brand's essence and finding that point of differentiation that gives you your unique market position. Ultimately resulting in a more solid foundation and a better chance at long term success.
2. What is your philosophy when it comes to branding?
We can sum up the Quill branding philosophy in two words: Process first.
You might think brand consultants just invent their ideas out of thin air (we are creatives, after all), but there's a tried-and-true method to successful branding. We aren't just inventing your brand out of nothing. We're expertly crafting it after hours of research and discovery that help us pinpoint your unique brand position - that special something that reveals your brand's authentic voice and core truths.
To do this, we follow a proven process that builds your brand from the bottom up and ensures cohesive and consistent brand strategy, brand identity, and brand management.
3. What is your branding process from start to finish?
When you work with the creative brand consulting experts at Quill, our first step will always be to conduct a thorough discovery session and do research. We want to get a sense of your business - your goals, vision, strengths and weaknesses, and what you are looking to get out of the branding or rebranding project.
After that, we'll create a brand strategy and visual stylescape based on your business's unique brand position, making sure that our vision for your brand is cohesive, impactful, and staged for consistency.
Next, we stress test! That means we'll present you with digital visual mock-ups of key brand elements and deliverables and make sure they align with the overall brand experience we want to achieve.
From there, you'll get your brand guide, the master playbook for your brand strategy and identity. Your brand guide will provide you with a full breakdown of all the elements of your brand, including visual identity pieces like fonts, colors, and logos and brand strategy guidelines that will inform how you execute any branding initiatives and marketing strategies going forward.
Lastly, we'll work towards launching your new brand, creating key pieces of collateral and planning the rollout to your customers. After the initial brand activation, we'll work with you on an ongoing brand management plan depending on your business's needs.
4. Do you have case studies that reflect outcomes similar to what we're looking for?
We've worked with a wide variety of businesses over the years, which has allowed us to stretch our creative muscles and gain special insight into what makes the best branding experience for each individual business.
That means there's a good chance you'll be able to find a company we've worked with that's similar to yours or a relevant case study in our portfolio. Whether you're looking for brand strategy, brand identity, brand management, or all three, we've got a project that shows off our chops and gives you a good idea of the kind of work we can do for your business.
5. What can we expect in terms of communication during my branding project?
Maybe you're all about collaboration? We're happy to keep you closely looped in. Maybe you're a little more hands-off? No problem. We'll let you know when we hit big milestones that require a check-in. At Quill, we want you to be as involved or uninvolved in the branding process as you want to be! We keep lines of communication open by pairing you with a seasoned brand strategist and giving you direct access to your designers, so you can follow our lead or dive in with us!
6. How much will branding services cost my business?
When it comes to branding, costs can vary widely depending on your organization's size and project scope. It's important to understand that a branding project is an investment in your business. It may not be easy to quantify the value of good branding up front, but the rewards are worth the investment - think enhanced visibility, recognition, reputation, and customer loyalty. With this in mind, it's worth taking the time to carefully consider how much you're willing to spend on rebranding your business to ensure maximum return on your investment.
7. How long will it take to brand my business?
Just like the cost, a branding project will vary depending on the size of the business and the scope of the project, but generally speaking, you can expect a full brand or rebranding process to take three to four months.
At Quill, we'll break this down into an easy-to-navigate 5-step timeline for you:
Step 1: Brand Research & Strategy
Step 2: Planning Collateral
Step 3: The Brand Guide
Step 4: From Mock-Up to Real Deal
Step 5: Initial Rollout and Brand Management
8. How do we know when it's time to rebrand?
If you're asking if it's time to rebrand, it probably is. Most often, when a company comes to Quill looking to rebrand, it's because they're undergoing a merger or buyout, getting new leadership, or have evolved past outdated branding.
Most companies update their identities every 7-10 years, but oftentimes a full rebrand isn't necessary. Quill can help you determine if you need a full brand overhaul or just need to evolve the brand without losing any past brand equity.
9. Do you offer services outside the scope of branding?
Once your brand strategy has been delivered, our team of experienced designers and strategists can help it come to life! Our brand support services include strategic thinking, creative problem solving, exceptional graphic design, consistent brand management, and compelling campaigns. With the strategy in place, you can rely on our graphic design services to bring your business cards and other sales materials, promotional collateral, trade show materials, annual reports, event branding, packaging design, marketing graphics, and more to life! Basically, you’ll have a team of creative designers who understands your brand as well as you do in your back pocket!
Because Quill Creative Studio is solely focused on providing stellar brand strategy, positioning, visual identity, and brand management, we also have a variety of trusted partners outside the scope of our services that we can recommend for things such as web development, digital marketing, social media management, video production, etc.
We like to think we're the best at what we do, which means we like to work with people who are the best at what they do. That means you'll get connected with tactical partners who can collaborate with Quill to continue creating meaningful brand experiences, at every touchpoint.
10. Do you provide ongoing brand support?
After an initial branding project has launched, companies risk losing that momentum without the right ongoing support in place. When you work with Quill, you'll reach the end of your rebranding project feeling confident that you've got all the tools you need to successfully use your new branding. Consistency is king when it comes to branding, so we want you to feel comfortable executing your brand across all areas of your business. That means we'll set you up with things like templates and working files so that you can continue to execute your brand strategy consistently.
And don't worry - if you've got a maxed-out marketing team or aren't sure where to go next with your brand, we'll keep an eye on things in the background. We typically check in with our clients quarterly to review how we can be proactive with brand support and help to further your brand position. We'll also help you with tactical needs when you need new collateral or design support.
Ready to get started?
Whether you're considering a rebrand or looking for a comprehensive brand strategy and identity for a new business, now is the perfect time to start. Choosing a branding agency can be tough. It’s important to ask questions that will help you understand their expertise, process, and approach to building and managing brands. When you work with the creative brand consultants at Quill Creative Studio, you'll get clear communication, a dependable process, and creative ingenuity that will take your project from concept to completion.
If you have a branding project in mind and we seem like a good fit, or you want to learn more about how our creative agency can help you build a strategic and beautiful brand, let's chat!