In the last two decades, many companies have seen how their traditional sales strategy has become obsolete or simply does not fit the dynamics of the 21st century, which is characterized by the increasingly leading role of consumers, the speed of information, and the use of technological resources.
A good number of them have understood the challenges of the market and the need to catch up on these issues, in some cases achieving adaptation processes that have served as a reference for other businesses in their area or in general.
Those who have had it much easier are the companies that have emerged in the digital era. In this case, the challenge of those responsible has been to effectively apply all the resources and tools that are already part of everyday life. So, what do you need to know before you hire a brand consultancy?
BRAND STRATEGY VS BRAND CONSULTING: BIG DIFFERENCES
We use the term strategy every time we want to give content and reason to a decision we make — the investment strategy, the network strategy, the political strategy, the Brand strategy, and so on.
The strategy is nothing more than the ability to draw an optimal path to obtain an expected result. As simple as that.
And that’s what Branding is about. To define the right way to care for someone.
Few are dedicated or want to devote themselves to Branding, the construction, and management of Brands, those who use the word ‘Brand Strategy.’ Referring to your intellectual ability to make sense of the decisions we make to create an Identity or build a Positioning.
The Brand Strategy is the way we have to establish what place we want to occupy in the world of those around us, defining a differential and relevant space for them, creating value and preference over our competition.
A path that we must follow for the creation of all our Identities: Visual, Verbal, Sensory, and Attitudinal.
But there is a notable difference between Brand Strategy and Brand Consulting. The same that exists between the Branding Agencies and the Branding Consultants.
There are two types of actors in this of Branding, those that use Strategic Creativity to build Brands. Places where the ‘chrome’ prevails, the visual result of what we do. And places where creativity is nothing more than a consequence of consulting, where the ‘transformation’ takes precedence over chrome.
That is if to function competitively in your market, you just have to transform the way you pick up the phone, your tone of voice, your brand architecture, or redefine the value proposition for the employee without touching the color of your identity does not involve trauma. Not everything has to end in a ‘chrome.’
That is the difference between Agency and Consultant. Or between Strategy and Consulting.
While the strategy is common to any brand building process, the Consultancy establishes more complex tools and methodologies to accompany its development and management. Consulting is the ability to define and accompany a Brand in its development so that it remains in good health.
Consulting is not only to define the Strategy of a Brand (Brand Platform), but to help you understand its Optical Architecture model, reformulate its Portfolio nomenclature to boost positioning, establish migration strategies, create engagement plans, define Behaviors of a Brand, develop Trees and Decision Filters, define KPI Plans to control the brand, download an Activation Plan for the correct construction of the experience, and so on.
No one will give a prize to a Consultant for helping a Brand to have a more efficient architecture and focused on its positioning. No one will give a design award to a Consultant that changed the way employees behave to adjust more to their positioning, and no one will ever give a prize to a Consultant for making Managers have the right tools to manage it.
Now, many Agencies look for the ‘chrome’ prize. And many Agencies that say they make Brand Strategy.
SO, HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU SHOULD HIRE A BRAND CONSULTANCY AGENCY?
- You are not sure what your goal is when working on your brand;
- If your brand has no visibility and is not positioned and you don’t know how to improve that;
- If you don’t know how to define your value proposition ;
- You are not clear about your buyer person ;
- You can’t reach potential customers ;
- You don’t know how to plan an effective personal branding strategy ;
- You don’t know how to create a communication and promotion strategy for your brand (which channels and media are suitable for my goals);
- Or if you don’t know what KPIs you should measure in your strategy(those that tell you if you’re on the right track or not), etc.
WHY YOU NEED BRAND CONSULTANCY?
The figure of the marketing consultant is exclusive to our era. But not because marketing is a new discipline; On the contrary, it is as old as the fact of marketing products and services and has been applied since antiquity.
What happens is that it is a field that was unexplored until recently. The vast majority of companies understood it as secondary or, at best, as an appendix to the sales department. Today we know, fortunately, that marketing and sales are not the same and that it is necessary to learn to separate the two issues.
They had to break into new technologies to realize the real importance of marketing and the multiple possibilities it offered in a context marked by the speed of information, permanent interaction between users and brands, and the emergence of new customer segments.
Expand your radius of action
Often, we get involved with our company and find it hard to see beyond. A brand consultancy agency, accustomed to analyzing company after company, market aftermarket, and in continuous contact with other teams, can bring a lot of wisdom and expand the vision of your company’s management dome.
Start working outside the “comfort zone.”
Some companies survive hundreds of years doing the same. However, in recent times, there has been a great change that has influenced one of the most important areas of any business: marketing. It is nothing more, and nothing less than new technologies, and more specifically, the Internet, which in addition to changing the ways of communicating with the customer, has also changed the concept of sales (e-commerce) and even improved production systems and I work inside companies.
All the experience of a great professional for the moment in time you need at your service
You probably do not have a budget in your Human Resources plan to sign a professional with such experience and professional career on an ongoing basis, and you may not even need it. An external brand consultant is a very well-priced person, but whose work, to be effective, must be temporary. As its own name indicates, it is a person “external” to the company, something fundamental so that it is not influenced by certain factors that could jeopardize the creation of a totally reliable audit of the company.
Therefore, hiring an external consultant is ideal for getting talent for your company and spread it to your employees, without incurring a fixed cost more than hiring.
Update you on the latest in business, marketing, tools, technology applied to the company, etc.
As an entrepreneur, you have a lot of work in your day to day, and although you know you could and should update your company, you don’t have time! An external consultant will tell you everything you need to know to grow your company and will ignore the elements that are not really interesting for the nature of your business. That is, it will act as a filter for all the information that you can find today on the subject. It will give you really valuable time for you!
Useful, practical and applied training to your business
Your entire team can be updated and receive training, especially focused on the business. The standard courses that are often offered in the companies and that take a lot of productive time are finished, without being generally useful and 100% applicable to the business.
Identification of problems that have gone unobserved for years
Discover problems that you did not know existed inside your organization, along with the solutions that may arise. It will seem incredible not to have detected them before, but without a doubt, it is an exercise that only an external person can do and get.
We hope that with these factors, you have no more doubts about whether or not to hire an external consultant/brand consultancy agency. In case you have them, you can write your questions in this post, and we will try to answer them as soon as possible.