When it comes to starting or growing a business you will need a solid brand that will raise your profile in the market place to the same level as the high quality of your product and service. How often have you bought a product or used a service based on a really engaging brand be it in the form of packaging, a website or the company’s marketing material? Or conversely how often have you known about a product or service out in the marketplace but didn’t use them because their brand was weak and unprofessional which influenced you to go elsewhere. We have all had this experience and it’s a great example of good design equating to good business. If your brand identity doesn’t match your service or product people simply wont engage with it.
Unfortunately a common trend that I have seen recently with businesses is the hiring of an in house graphic designer to manage their brand and the roll out of all their marketing collateral as opposed to using a creative agency. The perception is that having an in house designer will save costs and that there will be more control by taking this in house. There is a multitude of reasons on why this is not an effective marketing strategy and I am going to list my reasons below. By using a creative agency as opposed to an in house graphic designer you will;
1. Save costs. Companies usually replace their design agency with an in house designer as they perceive this will cut costs especially if the volume of projects in the pipeline is set to increase. However this is often not the case as the resources of one designer cannot match the combined skill set of a team of creatives. Outsourcing projects to an entire team of experts from a creative agency to run your design projects will cost the same as hiring a full time junior designer, however with a team of experts you will get a far superior output and much more bang for you buck.
2. Save time. Its very time consuming hiring designers and finding the right skill set for your business. The retention time for designers is usually 2-3 years – if you are lucky! This means potentially you will be re hiring every couple of years. As time is money, this time would much better be spent working on your business development. In a creative agency there is a support team that takes care of the project and account management. With an in house graphic designer this additional support is usually very much lacking taking away from the designer’s focus on creating strategic design. Very often this project and account management is taken up by the marketing manager or in some cases the business owner who could be spending this valuable time on new business strategy.
3. Increase the quality of your design output. In creative agencies projects are often worked on collaboratively with a strong support team keeping projects running on time and on brief, this means there will always be a pool of fresh ideas brainstormed as a team. An in house graphic designer often becomes stale and isolated churning out the same ideas. As mentioned, in a creative agency your design team is supported by creative directors, account managers, production managers and other specialised team members. This means the designers can focus on what they do best, coming up with the big ideas that will keep your brand alive and growing in the market place.
4. Afford big agency ideas and resources on smaller budgets. Creative agencies bring years of expertise not only to their large corporate accounts but to their smaller start up business clients also. This means projects with tight budgets can be outsourced to an agency which will follow the same processes they use for their large corporate accounts to create strategic design. You will also be getting all the latest software, latest industry trends and highest talent pool to work on these projects.
If you want to grow your business and create customer loyalty you simply cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to creating and developing your brand. Your company brand is the foundation of your identity in the market place and all your marketing material that rolls out from here, it pays to invest in outsourcing to an experienced creative agency to take care of this for you. Using perceived cheaper resources will result in a less than professional result. I would always advise using the expertise and talent pool of a creative agency that has the resources and the combined skill sets to offer you and your business the best results.
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