Mistakes To Avoid When Looking For A Branding Agency

Choosing a branding agency that isn’t the right fit is worse than spilling glitter. If you’ve never spilled glitter, then you probably don’t understand how severe of a situation we are talking about. We won’t investigate deeply what bad branding will do to your brand, but it is important to know – a bad brand design can leave your business struggling to get on its feet and attract the wrong kinds of clients. If your message is unclear, people won’t take the time to try to figure out what exactly you do. You can lose innumerable customers and even worse – you can lose sales. Not to get too dark and hyperbolic, but in all seriousness – your business could go completely under. Branding should, therefore, be understood for what it is – essential, serious work.

Great, purpose-driven branding is what makes successful brands for companies like Apple, Nike, and Microsoft. It’s a long road to achieving greatness, but it often starts with an idea, a purpose, and a brand. This is why you should take your time and sift through a huge array of branding agencies to find the one that you will ultimately see eye to eye with, the one that will be able to provide you with the best branding solutions possible. This is the point in the process when you need to take note of common mistakes business owners and managers make when they look for branding companies. This will help you in the long run. 

Not Knowing Your Competitors 

Most companies looking for branding solutions think that their particular market is overcrowded. This is one of the curses of living in the digital age. Everything you could ever want is instantly available, only a click or two away. Quality branding helps people choose your brand. The reason is that by doing market research on your competitors, a branding strategy will help you stand out. Knowing what others in your industry are doing is the first step to leveling up how you do it. Your brand does not exist on a website or social media channel. Your brand exists in the minds of your customers. Controlling how your customers think of your brand is an art, but it also requires science and research. If you’re not researching your competition and customers, you won’t be able to design in a way that your customers will relate to. And you want your customers to become your biggest fans.

Hiring An Agency That Doesn’t Care About Marketing or Sales 

Marketing and sales are the only two things that make businesses money. A reliable agency’s brand development package includes establishing a marketing edge for your brand. Your message is one of the most important pieces of your branding puzzle. Some “brand strategists” and brand designers out there are only focused on visual brand design or the graphic design look of your business.

Some people think that sales mean being pushy or rude. After years of practicing sales, reading books on the subject, and listening to training programs, we’ve crafted methods on how to best position brands to sell their product with enthusiasm instead of being obnoxious or turning people off. 

Hiring An Agency Whose Graphic Design Is Outdated 

This is something seen on the market all the time. There you are, minding your own business, looking at competitor’s websites, and you see someone who says they have 20 years of experience. Intrigued and excited to see what a company with that kind of longevity has grown into, you go to their website. And then you see that their portfolio looks like it’s stuck in the 90s. It is very important that you get a reliable brand development package for your business.

Design trends of the past may not be immediately noteworthy or recognizable – so here are a few of the trends we are talking about:  

  • Harsh drop shadows
  • Outlined text
  • Crazy patterns in bold, clashing color palettes
  • Bevel and embossed buttons 

Two caveats here: 

  1. Design is an art, not a science. That means there will probably be different opinions on this since there’s more than one right answer. So on occasion, the no-no list above might have significant exceptions. But a lot of the changes away from the above design styles are based on science, like legibility on digital formats;
  2. If you are going after a 90s design style. This is a trendy concept today, and many companies enjoy designing highly stylized retro looks. 

In short, you want someone who knows what the most up to date and modern trends are, so your new branding won’t look dated. You need designs that are thoughtful and generally very modern – this ensures their timelessness. 

Hiring An Agency With An Obvious “Design Style” 

This essentially loops back to the hiring agency who doesn’t do their research.

Choose an agency that’s educated on the design trends and styles that attract your ideal customers. Then use that information to make sure you stand out while still fitting in and being recognizable. 

If you hire someone who has a really obvious design style (like, you’re scrolling through Pinterest and stop and think that looks like so-and-so’s design), chances are they’re going to design your logo in that same style. Makes sense, right? Designing the same style of visual branding over and over again shows that their designs lack strategy. It’s less thoughtful design and more a “look” they like. 

Hiring An Agency That Creates Pretty, But Useless Designs 

Everyone loves beautiful designs. But you need a branding agency that won’t only focus on a look for your brand. Find a company that digs deeper than looks. To increase customer loyalty, you have to find people who believe in your business’s values. If your brand strategist only cares about making something that looks pretty (a shiny new logo for them to put up on their portfolio), people may like it, but they won’t become fans of your brand. 

Only Caring About The Price, But Neglecting The Value 

Price is important. No one is questioning that! Furthermore, the stage that you’re at in your business will most likely play a part in how much you’re able to invest in your branding. One thing trusted branding agencies suggest that their clients consider how much a single client is worth to them. In other words, how much money will a typical client spend on your product or services?

If there is a high return on your branding and website design, then it makes sense to pay someone to get it right for you. If you’re already reaching large numbers of people through your marketing and sales, it is important to get your branding and website right. But if your budget is allocated for getting your products ordered, or if you don’t have money set aside to start your business, chances are paying for a website and branding may not be the right first move. 


Branding is crucial – it is an integral part of any business’s success. Without proper branding, your business is likely doomed. And it’s not enough to create a logo and put it on your site and business cards. Your branding identity should permeate through everything your company does, including both visual and abstract concepts. This is the most effective way to communicate your message to your prospective customers. So if you approach your branding agency choice ignorantly, you may end up spending big bucks and getting an irrelevant branding identity design that you will have to completely re-do to stay afloat.

Mistakes To Avoid When Looking For A Branding Agency was last updated December 5th, 2023 by Herbert Merrick

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