Onlooker to Employee: 4 things I learned working in a brand agency you should know
1. What branding really is
Before working at a brand agency, if I was asked about branding, I’d likely mention the importance of visuals – a logo, a font, or a colour palette. If I stretched my mind to think about the verbal, I may have commented on formal or informal grammar.
These aspects, visual or verbal all shared one commonality in my mind. I saw every element in isolation from one another.
I’d say: ‘This company needs a better logo,’ ‘I don’t like their colours,’ or ‘What are they trying to say here?’
After working inside a brand agency for a month, I realised that so many of our clients shared my initial thoughts.
Where does branding start? Where does it end? Is a website enough? Is updating my logo enough? And most importantly how will changing these tiny things set me up for success and help my business grow?
To answer these questions and tell you what I’ve learned, I will steal the words of a great, noble philosopher (whose name I’ve forgotten).
‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and a brand too, is greater than the sum of its parts’
Okay, so he didn’t say the brand bit… But it’s still true!
A brand’s visuals create a conversation, or even more, a relationship, between the consumer and the business. This relationship is further informed by any language (words).
A cool company website doesn’t solely exist to look good (even if it does), the logo doesn’t either – in good branding each element should exist simultaneously to express a brand’s core values and message and begin to form favourable associations in the minds of audiences.
2. Writing and filmmaking skills, were not gained in vain!
I have always loved storytelling.
My previous degree in Literature and Film combined the most ancient forms of storytelling and compounded my love for storytelling even more.
But I never once realised how useful language, copywriting and storytelling would be when working in a brand agency.
If you don’t see where I’m coming from, let me try and convince you…
In 1988 Nike’s slogan read ‘Let’s do it’. This was later adapted to ‘Just Do It’.
By assumption, this single word change should make no difference. But following its change, Nike’s share of the North American Domestic sports business increased from 18% to 43%. Why is this? Because language matters.
Let is an invitation. Just is a demand.
What do you think works best for a sports company that wants to drive, empower and push its athletic customer base?
3. How to be more social
By working in a brand agency in Cambridge, I have been able to meet so many wonderful, talented people from all sorts of industries.
Although I started my role only one month ago, I have already been able to work with amazing charities like, Disability Huntingdonshire (DISH) and global jewellery councils, like the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), who work with industry titans like Tiffany & Co and Cartier.
Since working inside of an agency, I have learned to ask our clients questions. A lot of questions. Most of the time, I feel like an inquisitive 3-year-old child, ‘What’s your story?’, ‘Who’s your customer?’, ‘What are your values?’ and ultimately, ‘Why do you exist?’.
But ultimately, I found that only by asking these questions can you truly help each brand create and execute a plan which is tailored to their needs.
4. Help is the name of the game
Last, but never least, it is all about help.
How can we help people reach the goals they desire?
And introspectively, how does helping others support our goals as an up-and-coming brand agency?
Whether it’s about standing out, attracting the best people, being able to make a difference to lives, make more money, or all of the above, we can help. We have a dedicated team, who cover all bases of branding and aim to make your brand go further or completely transform them to make change happen.
Or if you’d like some help with your brand, please schedule a call with Are & Be’s founder Rajen here. He’s a lovely chap and he’d be happy to speak to you about how our team can help your brand grow.