5 tips to get better results when working with a creative agency

November 15, 2022

When you don’t have a dedicated branding team in-house, turning to a creative agency is a great option. Branding and creative agencies (which are typically one and the same) have dedicated teams of talented experts who specialise in areas like brand strategy, content creation, account management, copywriting and design. But when it comes to getting the best results out of your partnership with an agency like Taylor and Grace, there are things you need to know before you get started.

1. Make sure the partnership fits like a glove

…or that slipper Cinderella wore that one time.

Not all creative agencies are created equal and not all creative agencies have the same strengths. It’s about choosing the agency that not only aligns with your branding hopes and dreams, but your business’s values too.

Some agencies specialise in working with social enterprises. Some have a successful history elevating hot air balloon companies – and some aren’t branding agencies at all.

Do your research. Branding and rebranding is a big commitment, so take a look at some previous work the creative agency has done, their client testimonials, the mission statement on their website and how many people are in their team. Usually, you’ll go through a pitching process, where you reach out to a few agencies then pick one based on their answers. Does it fit like a glass shoe in a fairytale? Does their proposal meet your budget requirement? Do you have great chemistry with the team?

2. Know your direction

U.S. politician Henry Kisseinger once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.” This couldn’t be more true when it comes to your branding.

If your board is working on an overall strategic business plan right now (or hasn’t even started) and you don’t yet know what the next year will look like or what direction you’re taking as a business, now is not the time to do brand work as it will likely become misaligned. But if you’ve already got the plan in place, now could be a great time to reach out to your favourite branding agency.

3. Get resourced-up Once you’ve chosen your perfect creative agency, you need to make sure you have the time and internal resources to complete the project. When you work with an agency, it’s not a drop the kids off at the pool (‘scuse the metaphor) and collect them when they’re done-type-situation. Even if your agency is going to do practically everything for you, as a client, you still have to dedicate time and energy to the process. There will be workshops, board meetings, internal feedback collation meetings and weekly WIP meetings. In other words, from whatever angle you look at it, your branding is going to take time and resources. Are you in a position where that’s possible? If you are unsure, speak to your agency about what are the likely resources needed for the project and they will be able to give you an idea.

Although a rebrand is an exciting opportunity to wipe the slate clean and reinvent your business, sometimes you just need a refresh. Unless you’re doing a complete business pivot, you might just need to inject new life into your brand with a barely-noticeable nip and tuck.

Whether you just need to reposition your brand strategy slightly or create a fresh look and feel that lives up to your client’s ever-changing expectations, a brand refresh can help your business find its mojo again and start growing in a way that you’re proud of.

4. Be clearer than a crystal

Tip two talks about knowing your direction, but you need to convey that direction to your creative new besties super clearly. Like, it’s going to be a bright, bright, bright, bright sunshine-y day kinda clear.

We’re not talking about knowing the exact pantones of your future logo and your in-depth typography dreams (leave that to us). We’re talking about supplying a clear brief. In most cases, the agency will provide you with a briefing document which you must fill out in as much detail as possible. This generally covers topics like your business and communication objectives for the year/s ahead, any relevant history they should know about branding projects, information on target audiences…and yes, we do take into account your colour preferences too!

When it comes to your point of contact, if you want to get the best results from your creative agency (and keep them happy too), having one point of contact to relay your (consolidated) information and feedback will make them (us) fall head over heels for you. Otherwise, important information can easily get lost in translation and endless back and forths can become tiresome, fast.

You know when you bake a cake and you make sure you have all the ingredients before you start? It’s like that. Your creative agency doesn’t want to wait around for you to pop to Woollies mid-bake because you forgot to tell us the cake needed vanilla essence until half-way through.

We need all of that sweet, sweet information from the get-go. If we’re three weeks into a rebranding project and only then you reveal you have another office in Dubai, it changes how your cake is going to turn out and, frankly, what kind of cake you should be trying to bake in the first place.

5. Respect timelines This tip already sounds way more bossy than we intended it to, but it’s a serious one. If you really want the best results from working with an agency, respecting timelines is essential. Your agency will most likely set out a series of timelines at the beginning of your project, including dates for when your feedback on what you like (and on what you don’t) is due. At this point, it is essential that you add your own internal markers to the timeline so there is transparency about the key dates client-side too. Make sure you also include internal stakeholders on the timelines so they know when they will need to give feedback – the last thing an agency wants is to put pressure on a CEO to feed back in 24 hours. Clear communication on timelines from both sides is essential in delivering a project on time and within budget.

Are you ready?

If you’re ready to start giving your branding the attention it deserves, let’s work together to create something memorable. We’ll help you discover your brand mojo and make sure your business is seen, heard and understood.

It all starts with a chat

Ready to see how Taylor & Grace can transform your brand?