Choosing a brand agency

Choosing a brand agency is simple.  As long as you know a few things going in – and ask yourself a few questions.

Ad agency or brand agency?

Don’t pick an advertising agency. 

Oh, they tell you they can do anything a brand agency can do. But don’t be fooled. They don’t have the focus. 

Ad agencies lose their objectivity. They make their money by keeping you as a client as long possible.

Because bias muddies the waters. You must be willing to get out of your own way. 

Why is objectivity important?

Look at things clearly so truth emerges. Not an affirmation of what you already believe.

Why is objectivity important?

Look outside-in

What’s important to the prospect? How are they emotionally different when they use you instead of someone else? 

Look outside-in

Are any of your brand equities truly meaningful and different than those of your competition? 

What do they test in research?

Most simply test the usual usage and attitudes. Mostly to reflect the biases of both the agency and, well, you.

Participants are rarely truthful. They are influenced by those around them. 

Do they conduct focus groups?

Do they conduct focus groups?

Some are more likely to agree with the group. While others will disagree to just to make themselves stand out.

Do they test for precepts?

Precepts are where your brand lives.

We all make decisions based on our emotional beliefs. We just backfill those decisions with rational ones.

Just testing usage and attitudes leaves you where most of today’s bland marketing lives. 

Choosing a brand agency

Don’t use an advertising agency.  Do not pick an agency that conducts focus groups and only tests usage and attitudes.