With all due respect in all caps: YOUR AGENCY IS BEGGING YOU TO LISTEN TO THEM.

Bringing on an outside agency takes a level of trust akin to a budding relationship. There has to be an element of trust, but more importantly a layer of transparency which you cannot spell without most of the letters in trust. Give your agency the agency they deserve by allowing them to fine-tune your brand. You hired us for our expertise and here are some things that’ll help you get the most out of the relationship:

Your agency is begging you to stop saying your brand is “for everyone” 

In an ideal world, your brand would be for everyone and people from all walks of life could solve wars and hunger and famine and quicksand through their shared love of said product. In reality, even Coca-Cola can’t claim world domination (Irn-Bru consistently outsells in Coke in Scotland) which means you need to find your niche. Writing messaging that tries to appeal to everyone often leads to messaging that appeals to… no one. 

Concentrating on a smaller audience allows for better focus–both communication and resource-wise–for better impact. A narrow target audience will help you create a more meaningful and resonant brand that’s gobbled up by early adopters and then spreads organically outside that small niche to a larger audience.

Your agency is begging you to be fearless

Big bold campaigns and next-level rebrands require a leap of faith (atop a robust foundation of strategy, creative, and data) that’s bound to cause some discomfort. 

On that note, try not to get bogged down by everyone’s differing opinions. That’s the quickest way to Founder Paralysis™. Sure, your nephew and your mailman and your sister in law all have different ideas of how your brand should show up–but focus and be decisive! Creating something new is about ruthless decision making; a healthy mixture of going with your gut and taking the advice of your agency partner–who you’ve hopefully hired because they’re the expert–is key. And if you’re not creating something new, rethink your brand.

Same goes for research. Take research with a grain of salt because consumers might not always know what they want when it comes to truly new ideas or products. People “don’t know what they don’t know”, so relying solely on feedback might miss potential opportunities. Research is invaluable, but you also have to trust your instincts to really innovate.

Your agency is begging you for the whole story

Give your agency a comprehensive view of your product: past, present and future. Go beyond the web forms and surveys by providing the full story. Why is this product the right product for the right audience? Why did you start this brand? What problem does it solve? How will it evolve – if at all – in the next decade? 

Your agency needs all the info so they can craft a unique personality for your brand. Personality is more than tone of voice; it’s the look, feel, color palette, font library, stance on additives, founder story, etc. Personality guides how your brand shows up in the world and is perceived by consumers. 

Give your agency the long story – hit us with your decks, designs, napkin doodles, and long-term strategy goals. 

Your agency is begging you to PUMP THE BREAKS

For now. Don’t start a campaign, or packaging, or even social before finishing the foundational brand work needed to answer the question of what role you play in customers’ lives. 

Get to the root of your brand purpose, vision, and mission. Write out your brand values and ask yourself how your brand differentiates from the competition. Or hire an agency to do the deep thinking for you; don’t fit a square peg into a round hole if the idea isn’t there. Our jobs are to take that proverbial square peg and shape it into something with a personality. It’s like driving across the country without GPS in the 90s – without a detailed map outlining your trajectory, you might get lost. 

Get your money’s worth. We know how expensive some agencies can get. Rest assured with this knowledge you’ve taken a proactive step in getting your brand to that next level. A weak agency has no opinions — a strong one pushes, prods, makes you think and rethink, and challenges boundaries. That’s what you’re paying us for and why you have to remember how far a leap of faith can take your brand.