15 Important Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Branding Agency for Your Business

April 14, 2022

5 mins

Are you planning for a logo redesign? Ready to refresh the look and feel of your website? Need a fresh design to promote a new product? If so, you need a visual branding agency to bring your graphic design dreams to life! But there’s one small problem: choosing the right agency!

Branding agencies come in all shapes and sizes, so finding the right one for your specific project can be confusing, overwhelming, and downright disappointing if you don’t know which questions to ask. If you’re new to the process or if you don’t work in a creative field, you may not know exactly what to ask to find the right creative agency to match your needs.

It’s mission-critical to the creative process and the success of your project that you find the agency that fits best with your organization. So to help you in your journey, we’ve compiled this ultimate list of questions businesses should ask before choosing a branding agency.

15 Important Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Branding Agency for Your Business

1. What’s the scope of your services?

Understanding an agency’s services is the first step toward finding the right fit. Make sure the agency you choose offers the precise services you need. Large agencies may include a bunch of extras that you don’t need and they’ll be reflected in the price tag. , On the other hand, you may need more than a freelancer with a limited skill set can provide. The key is finding the sweet spot of an agency that can provide the expertise you’re looking for, without paying for bells and whistles that you won’t use.

2. What’s the skill level and expertise of your team? 

Technology and internet access have made accessing and learning various graphic design tools easier than ever. But to be clear, the ability to whip something up in a free web-based graphics software is not the same as a professional using industry-standard tools.

3. What design styles do you specialize in?

Make sure the agency you choose has specific experience with the branding services you’re hiring for. For example, if you’re looking for a new logo, you’ll want an agency with experience in logo design. If you need a complete branding package designed and implemented across all marketing collateral, choose a team with experience working at that level.

4. What is your process? 

Before you can reap the benefits of working with a branding agency, it’s essential to take the time to understand their process. A clear understanding of the process, timelines and deadlines will ensure that your expectations are met and that there are no surprises or disappointments.

5. What steps will you take to understand our company?  

Because they’re helping brand your company, an agency is an extension of your voice. The right agency will take the time to learn about your company, your products or services, and your target audience before the project begins. Understand the time this takes and what the agency will need from you to make sure it fits within your timetable.

6. How much input will we have during the process? 

Creative agencies have varying degrees of customer feedback through the design process. On the one hand, designers will need your input to achieve the right look and feel for your project. On the other hand, some designers are stifled by micromanagement and will not perform well under intense scrutiny. Communicate your expectations with the agencies you’re interviewing to avoid misunderstandings.

7. How often will I receive project updates?  

This is a natural follow-up question to the previous one. Communication works both ways, so you need to know how and when you’ll be able to provide input and how and when you can expect to receive updates. This is important throughout the project, but especially during the planning stages. You should feel confident that the agency will understand your goals and deliver on its promise.

8. What are the deliverables we can expect to receive?

Your completed branding project should communicate your brand identity to your target audience. These deliverables may include a logo, color palette, typography guidelines, and branding standards. If it’s important to have these elements in a specific format make sure the agency can meet your needs.

In addition, you may also receive a brand style guide that outlines how to use these elements in your marketing and communications materials. With these tools in hand, you will be well-equipped to create a consistent and cohesive visual brand that will effectively communicate your message to your target audience.

9. How long will it take? 

Make sure there is no confusion regarding the project timeline. If you need a quick turn, choose an agency with the skillset and capacity to deliver. And don’t forget to ask about added costs or rush fees if you need something sooner rather than later.

10. What happens when the project is completed?

Projects like these are typically open and close, but sometimes there is a need for ongoing maintenance and support. If you need help with any post-launch services, such as ongoing graphic design support or social media management assistance, be sure to communicate that on the front end.

11. Can you provide case studies? 

Case studies provide insight into the style and approach the agency may take when working with you. Seeing examples of successful visual branding projects can help you decide if this agency is the right fit for your unique brand.

12. Have you worked with any businesses in my industry before and, if so, how did it go (positive or negative experiences)? 

This question may feel a bit out of the box, but it speaks volumes about finding the right fit. Suppose the agency you’re considering is willing to connect you with past clients as a reference. In that case, you can be sure that the level of transparency will be the foundation for an open and honest working relationship moving forward.

13. Do you have any recommended resources for us to read before we begin? 

It may seem like we are telling you to ask them to give you work, and maybe to some extent, we are. A strong working relationship with any agency is built on a foundation of mutual understanding and trust. As much as you want the agency to understand your brand and what differentiates you in the marketplace, it is equally important to understand as much as you can about the services you’re requesting.

14. How much do you charge, and what does that include? 

Some agencies offer a fixed price sheet or graphic design packages based on factors ranging from level of difficulty to delivery dates. Ultimately you want to be sure that there are no hidden fees and that you aren’t expecting a specific task to be included when it is not. The agency’s bid should include specific deliverables that you can use as a checklist throughout the process.

15. What is the payment process?

Typically a branding agency will ask for a percentage as a deposit to begin work and then subsequent payments upon delivery. Whether you are paying by the hour or the project, just be sure you understand when payments will be due to avoid your project falling into limbo.

The Right Agency Will Welcome Your Questions

If you receive any pushback or reluctance from the agency you’re considering, that will tell you all you need to know. Ultimately, this is a partnership between your business and the creative team, so it’s crucial to establish an expectation of clear and open communication at all times.

Furthermore, asking these questions will help you better understand the visual branding agency’s process, what to expect during the project, and what you can do to ensure a successful outcome.

By asking these questions up front, you can be sure you’re making the best decision for your company’s visual branding needs. With the right agency, you can create a strong visual brand that will tell your story and drive leads.

If we can be of further assistance in helping you find the best branding agency, contact us! We are here to help!

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Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

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