Brand agencies v. Distility

“Our branding agency charged us $30,000 for just thinking about our brand.” – VP Marketing, Travel Destination Industry

Hiring a Branding Firm
The right marketing firm, consulting company, design or branding firm can dedicate a team of professionals to create your brand and express it across multiple communication disciplines. But in your search to hire a branding firm, you may also encounter companies for whom brand definition is not a core competency. Here are some typical profiles you would do best to avoid:

  • The award-winning creative firm that works with famous brands it didn’t define. Or maybe it’s defined the odd brand but doesn’t have an in-house methodology to assure a brand is honest, authentic, compelling and competitive.
  • The marketing group or advertising agency that has worked with lots of brands but doesn’t have a dedicated resource and methodology for defining brands.
  • The interactive firm that is going to build your Web destination but lacks branding expertise.

So what about Distility? Now you’re talking. Just see how we compare to different agencies.

Distility vs. hiring a branding firm, consulting company or marketing firm

  • Suitable for straightforward branding challenges only
  • Assuming branding savvy, suitable for all kinds of challenges
  • Achieves successful brand
  • Assuming true branding savvy, achieves successful brand
  • Simple brand model: Promise, pillars, positioning, personality
  • Brand models vary from none to over-sophisticated
  • Client is facilitated to achieve the best possible brand
  • Experts tells client who their brand should be
  • Brand strategy in a day. Brand systems in as little as a week.
  • Many meetings, many months or weeks
  • Collaborative Decision Making Model
  • Expert decision making model
  • Team exploration of brand ideas is high
  • Typically limited to one-on-one interviews
  • Team commitment to its own ideas are strong
  • Team commitment often weak due to lack of involvement
  • Results are documented on one simple page
  • Results vary from over-documentation to no documentation.
  • Consensus is baked into workflow
  • Consensus can be elusive or result from “group think”
  • All costs and deliverables are clear
  • Depends on clarity of brand model, and depth of experience

What to Ask a Branding Firm or Other Agency
To further help you make the right decision, we’ve put together a list of questions to ask a branding firm or other type of agency.

  • Do they have staff dedicated to brand strategy and systems (naming, logo, etc.)? If not, who does it? What are their brand definition credentials?
  • What percentage of their engagements includes brand definition and naming?
  • How do they ensure that key stakeholders are meaningfully involved in exploring the brand’s potential?
  • How do they ensure that key stakeholders are fully educated and committed to the best brand definition?
  • Do they have a branding model that easily educates co-workers, partners & vendors
  • How many pages is this model, and how long does the education take?

Your Options