When your organization recognizes the need to make a shift in your brand identity or marketing strategy, what are the important factors to consider when selecting an agency? 

Do you stay with what’s comfortable and hire a familiar partner, or look for someone who could bring about a transformational change? Making a meaningful shift with effective results requires an investment, so why not start with an investment of your time? Consider these tips in advance to increase your odds of success.

1. Do your own marketing research.

Make a list of brands you admire and think about what makes them special. Find out who their agency partners are. Ask trusted business peers for a recommendation. Look up each option online, paying special attention to these factors:

  • Authenticity: How do they define their company approach and services? Are they speaking in a voice that resonates with you, or are they trying to sell you on buzzwords?
  • Credibility: Do they have an impressive portfolio of leading successful change?
  • Alignment: Can you see your organization fitting in with their list of clients?

2. You don’t have to define the marketing solution.

The right partner will ask you the right questions. Their job is to listen first, recommend second, execute third. If you start at the third step, you might receive exactly what you asked for, but it may not be what your business actual needs to achieve its goals.

3. Be prepared to have all your stakeholders at the table.

When it comes to a brand or marketing shift, it is essential that there is buy-in from the top down. When key decision-makers miss the opportunity to weigh in from the beginning, the lack of context and ownership can poison the well, even when the creative solution is on target. On the other hand, engaged stakeholders make it much easier to align the company’s culture and strategy with the external message. This is where change leadership and change management can be a valuable asset.

4. Select the firm whose process you trust the most.

When meeting your candidates, ask about their creative process and request examples of how they have solved similar challenges. If everyone being invited to the table has similar portfolio capabilities, then the decision of the best partnership fit often becomes a question of who do you trust most to accomplish the goals and deliver on their promises. Everyone can say they will make you look good, so select the firm that gives you the most confidence and trust in their process. You will both come out winners.

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