Okay, so you’re looking for a branding firm. Maybe for the first time, maybe for the zillionth time. There’s the basics to look for… Experience, Price, People, Personality, Fit, Location, etc. Things that you’d vet anytime you expand your team, internally or externally.
But how do you make sure they’re engaged? How do you know that you’re getting a team’s best effort? The proof is in the process. Three points they’ve got to get right:
1. Know Your Audience
'Cradle to Grave' is not a target segment. Empower your agency team to identify a ‘beachhead’ audience (first movers, early adopters or core audience) via demographic, or better yet, psychographic need states. By articulating how the brand/product/service connects to your core audience (hopefully with a little data or research if you can swing it), your brand team can prove early on if they ‘get it’. This insight will inform ‘the big idea’ down the road.
2. Craft a Brand Voice
Your brand is not your package, your identity, your website or your people. It’s all of it - a brand is a living, breathing entity - that if done right, can stir deep, long lasting emotions within a consumer. Your branding firm needs to distill attributes into a unique set of brand values and truisms that consumers can connect with. If done well, you will create the foundation for brand love. That brand love is the secret sauce that delivers the big ROI and multiples at exit.
3. Play for the Long Haul
Clearly, a brand packaging system has to work on so many different levels - differentiate from competitors, aid in flavor selection/line navigation, communicate RTBs, and have that ‘it factor’ that is uniquely you - all within 5-7 seconds. It’s easy to focus on today. However, foresight will save the company valuable resource down the road. Ensure your agency knows the extension potential for your product line and demonstrates how the new brand will live in other, digital mediums.
In short, any brand packaging program - whether it is a evolution or revolution - is far more than just another pretty picture. The way an agency thinks through the challenges and demonstrates their recommendations is critical to your success.