The UK has some of the best branding and web design agencies in Europe, offering services to suit businesses of all sizes and industries.
These range from small, niche, web design agencies to large, full-service marketing companies offering the full spectrum of branding-related services. With so much choice, it can be tricky to narrow down the list to find the right one for you and your business.
Branding dictates how customers feel about your business and, when done right, can elicit an emotional response at every touch point. Businesses with strong brands retain loyal customers for the long run and have an easier time appealing to new audiences because they already know what those companies stand for.
Branding can determine how a customer views, and how they feel, about a business, and when done well, can elicit a positive response at every point of consumer contact — be it via a website, social media channel or physical item e.g., product packaging. Done well, it should influence perceptions about a business and persuade the audience to choose that brand over its competitors.
Businesses with strong branding (think Coke, Disney, and Apple) have little problem with brand loyalty and retain customers for the long run. They also successfully appeal to newer audiences, as people always know what the companies stand for, and the consumer knows what to expect from the experience from start to finish.
Good branding is imperative to the success of any modern venture and should be one of the key considerations when launching a new business or undertaking a design and marketing overhaul. A brand is the identity of a business, its unique personality, and the message it’s conveying to its audience.
These days people want to feel like they know a company, and 88% of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and invest in. Money talks and people don’t want to support or give their hard-earned cash to a business they don’t support or feel that they can connect with. In fact, a recent report showed that 57% of consumers are prepared to pay more to purchase from a trusted brand.
There are currently over 25,000 marketing agencies, and around 2000 web design agencies operating in the UK, most of whom offer branding, as well as web design and development, social media, SEO, content writing services (and much more) to people and companies in need of their expertise.
Visit What is a Branding Agency? to learn about the industry in more detail.
When working with a brand design agency, you can expect to enjoy a range of services that’ll elevate your branding strategy and demonstrate a clear focus on who you are as a business, what you offer, and what your audience can expect from you.
These services include:
A logo is one of the most important aspects of successful branding. It should grab attention and make a strong first impression, and it’s the foundation of your brand’s identity.
A logo is likely to be one of the first interactions people have with a business, and it’s the perfect place to make a great first impression, show your business’s personality, and visually express your purpose, identity, and values. Once designed, it’ll be imprinted on all physical and digital aspects of your business including your website, social media channels, business cards, products, and packaging, and if done well…in the minds of your clients.
A good branding agency will conduct extensive research into your industry and audience and combine this information with their advanced design skills to create a logo that makes your brand memorable for all the right reasons.
The purpose of a brand’s visual identity is to create an emotional, lasting impression, and it should leave your audience with an instant idea of the personality of your brand.
It should inform your audience who you are, the nature of the brand, and give insight into the services and/or products you offer through consistent, strategically planned, and recognisable visuals.
After thorough internal, industry, and competitor research a branding agency will help you define your brand identity, which will include your logo, logo usage, colours, typography, brand name and more.
It’s worth investing in a strong, consistent brand identity that gives your business a look you feel represents it, that you can be proud of, and that resonates with your audience.
Brand messaging is essentially all communication the brand delivers, across a range of channels including website copy, social media content, packaging, blog posts and more.
Your brand messaging should clearly convey who you are, and what you have to offer to your customers. Each of these avenues allows a brand to communicate its values and identity, while successfully influencing the audience’s perceptions.
Crafting and communicating the right message is critical to the success of any branding strategy.
When working with a branding agency they should help you understand how best to tell your story, and how to establish trust with your audience, using brand messaging guidelines tailor-made for your business.
Solid brand positioning creates clarity around who you are, shows your target audience why you are the best company for them, and what sets your products or services apart. It should cement what you can offer to your audience that others can’t, and when demonstrated effectively, why you are the most valuable, credible, and reliable.
The ‘position’ aspect refers to the place where you sit in the mind of your audience, how they see you, and how you’re distinguished from your competitors.
Brand positioning allows you to define your brand and helps both you and your audience understand what lies at the very core of your business proposition.
Understanding where you sit and what exactly you offer to your audience in comparison to your competitors can help you increase brand awareness, communicate your value, and justify pricing.
With the help of the branding agency, you can successfully position and differentiate your brand, setting yourself apart from industry competitors.
Every brand needs a voice, and when working with a branding agency you’ll be able to discover which exact voice is best for your business. Your brand’s voice should articulate what you stand for, and how you can be useful to your audience.
An in-depth analysis of your target audience, industry, and your company culture will help you to pinpoint the perfect tone for your business. This can be anything from humorous and fun, to strong and aggressive.
A consistent brand voice will help your audience immediately recognise your brand no matter what and should be used consistently across all platforms including your company website, social media, and all content. It should reflect your brand and successfully represent your company.
Social media branding is all about taking your brand from your website—and brand guidelines document— to social media, using the brand style guidelines and strategy set out by the agency.
A strong social media presence is an important aspect of any business these days, and it’s important to use these channels to balance your voice, brand messaging and values, in a way that’ll entice new customers, as well as your current audience.
The aim is to boost brand awareness and attract people to engage with your brand.
Your current customers will have visited your website, but it’s this consistent approach across all interactions with your audience that can help build brand recognition and awareness.
The creation of a clear and understandable brand style guide is key to ensuring your voice, messaging, design principles and more are codified into a document that everyone from employees to stakeholders can follow. It’s essentially an instruction manual on how your agreed branding should be communicated!
A good style guide will specify everything from logo usage and tone to colours, typography, visuals, grammar and more.
As well as being used internally, this should be shared with any media and partners to brief them on how to effectively communicate your brand correctly and consistently.
Implementing these branding strategies will ensure that your business is viewed exactly how you portray it. With proper branding, you can increase brand recognition, increase business value, generate new customers, and increase goodwill and trust with your entire audience.
Studies show that 38% of the users will leave a site if they think that the layout is unattractive, whereas there will be an improvement of up to 80% in your brand recognition by just changing the colour palette of your marketing materials.
Branding is a necessity if you’re committed to the growth and success of your business, and a reputable agency will be able to create a tailor-made strategy based upon your business needs, requirements, and the industry it falls in.
Business growth strategies are constantly evolving, and no one person can keep on top of the running of a business, as well as undertaking constant research, analysis and implementation of a brand design strategy intended to increase positive recognition.
While you may have a good understanding of branding yourself or even have an internal marketing department, a dedicated agency can still be invaluable.
When working with an independent brand design agency they can bring a fresh pair of eyes, and a new outlook to all projects. Sometimes it’s hard to be objective when you’re too immersed in a project and see the same branding all day every day.
They can also bring an innovative, creative outlook. A creative, experienced, and unbiased opinion can often bring forward the very best ideas and creates space for strategic opportunities that may have been disregarded if suggested internally.
While not always the cheapest venture (depending on the agency and project), the employment of an established brand design agency is well worth the investment. When hiring a skilled team, you’re paying for more than just ideas. You can be confident the team’s knowledge is up-to-date, that they’re skilled and experienced in all aspects of branding for a variety of industries and business sizes, and that they’re pooling their creative ideas and technical skills to give you the best possible results.
They will also be skilled in and have access to the latest and most advanced software tools to turn all visual branding ideas into reality.
Ultimately, a brand design agency can offer an unbiased, dynamic, and strategic perspective, that combined with their technical and creative skills can bring your brand to life.
When working with a brand agency, keep an eye out for one with a measured approach. While some offer full branding packages that can include everything from stationery design to marketing materials, this may be overkill and isn’t going to be a smart use of finances in the early days of a business.
Brand design isn’t one-size-fits-all, and a start-up will require a different set of services from a larger, already established brand.
If your business is particularly niche, it may be worth contacting brand agencies with in-depth knowledge of and established experience in your field, whereas a more diverse agency that works across all sectors can be invaluable when creating a strategy that’ll cut through the noise and be heard and seen in all the right places.
Establish your business requirements, budget, and timeline before seeking referrals, researching reviews or poring through online portfolios.
Visit How Do I Choose a Brand Design Agency? to learn more.
As the sheer number of choices and channels increases, brand trustworthiness is more important to consumers than ever.
Modern consumers want to feel that they’re making good choices when choosing to support and invest in a brand, and branding is invaluable in communicating that you’re the business they can depend on.
These days it isn’t enough to have the best pitch or product. Studies showed that as much as 81% of people need to trust a brand before they’ll consider buying from it and that consumers are more than twice as likely to buy first, stay loyal, and advocate for brands they find trustworthy.
With around 1.2 million company websites currently live in the UK, anything that can set you apart, establish yourself within your industry and differentiate you from competitors is a must. And well researched, well-planned and well-executed branding will be at the top of any smart business owner’s list.
With the number of online businesses rising, and competition fierce, entrepreneurs all over the UK are heading to reputable brand design agencies to help them create an intelligent, considered and effective branding strategy that’ll help them become a reputable and memorable name in their respective industry.