Creative Agency or Branding Agency – Which is ideal for your brand?

Creative Agency or Branding Agency – Which is ideal for your brand?

All you need to know about Creative Agency and Branding Agency

For every brand, there comes a time in its life stage when the in-house marketing team is unable to manage the growth of the brand. The brand owner is compelled to seek the help of external professional service providers like creative design agencies or branding agencies to make the brand bigger.

Most brand owners confuse between a Creative Agency and a Branding Agency when it comes to choosing the right service provider for their brand. Here is all that is needed to know about these two entities.

What does the creative agency do?

As the name suggests, the creative design agencies specialises in making creatives! By creative we mean ‘communication’ here. It could be in the form of posters, leaflets, advertisements etc. Anything that will convey things about your brand is a piece of communication and hence a creative.

They conduct research to know the customer pain points that the brand is trying to address or search for the customer’s latent needs that the brand could fulfil. Thereafter, the creative agency would develop multimedia communication which would help the customer to choose a particular brand over others.

What does a Creative Agency do?

As their name suggests, a Creative Agency specialises in making creatives. A Creative Agency is a communication specialist. It creates communications with which a brand reaches its target audience and creates an impression on their mind. Once potential customers consume this communication, they may get impressed with the brand beliefs and the brand ideologies.

That is when the customers start identifying themselves with the brand and start consuming it. Over time, these customers become so loyal to the brand that even if there is no communication from the brand, they still remain loyal to it. Sometimes their brand loyalty is so high that customers are willing to wait for the brand if it is not available or are even willing to pay a premium to have it.

Only in certain rare cases do such loyal customers switch a brand and often it is just for the short-term. It takes a series of goof-ups from the brand to shake the brand loyalty of such customers.

Creative agencies create communication for multi-media channels like print, television, radio, outdoors, Point of Sale (POS), Point-of-Purchase (POP) and digital marketing channels like social media or video platforms.

What are the advantages of a Creative Agency?

A Creative Agency brings certain distinct advantages to the table. Some of them are:

  • A Creative Agency has a team of specialists like creative thinkers, content writers, designers, etc. which are crucial for creating any marketing communication. Creating an in-house team with such skills would prove not just prohibitively costly but also difficult to manage.
  • A Creative Agency offers a fresh perspective to look toward customers which may be different from the in-house marketing team.
  • Creative agencies have means of peeking into a customer’s mind and hence understand them better. This in turn helps them to create communication that is far more effective and precise when it comes to brand building services.
  • The world is changing very fast. If a brand decides to train and keep its people updated with all the latest happenings in the world, then it is a very costly proposition. But for a Creative Agency, it is their job to remain updated. Also, since they work on multiple clients, the cost of training gets distributed over many brands.
  • Creative agencies provide a neutral opinion to the brand which the in-house marketing teams sometimes may not even think of.
  • A Creative design Agency is far better equipped to create communication right from scratch.

What are the disadvantages of hiring a Creative Agency?

While it is a fact that a Creative Agency definitely adds muscle to a brand, it also comes with several disadvantages detailed below:

  • Sometimes if the Creative Agency does not understand the brand values clearly, then it might end up creating communication that may end up taking the brand in a different direction.
  • Creative design agency deal with multiple brands at any given time. Sometimes this causes brands, especially the smaller ones, to lose out.
  • If the brand team and the Creative Agency are not on the same page when it comes to the communication objectives, then it may cause serious problems for the brand.
  • To stand out from the clutter, communication needs to be very precise and different. But if a creative advertising agency has a ‘one size fits all’ approach, which many smaller creative agencies do have, then the entire effort proves futile as it fails to help the brand grow.
  • Generally, the brands that generate the most revenues get preferential treatment from creative agencies. Hence smaller brands generally lose out.

What does a Branding Agency do?

Unlike best advertising agencies which are communication specialists, branding agencies are specialists in building brands. For a branding company, brand communication is just one aspect of brand building. It looks at several other inputs like 4P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Promotion and Place) the brand identity, branding services the brand’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP), competitor analysis & benchmarking, consumer research, digital marketing strategy, digital branding agency etc. which play a crucial role.

For instance, if we have to draw a parallel between a cricket team and a brand, then a Creative Agency is like a specialist bowler or a batsman, but the Branding Agency is like its captain who knows everything about the team and designs strategies on which the rest of the team works on.

What are the advantages of a Branding Agency?

Here are some reasons why you should hire a Branding Agency over a mere Creative Agency:

  • Since a Branding Agency works on various brands, it can bring a fresh perspective to not just communication alone, but a host of other branding inputs.
  • A Branding Agency can offer better and more innovative solutions to brand problems instead of a Creative Agency. Infact, a creative agency may not even understand certain issues which a branding agency can understand.
  • A creative digital marketing agency has access to brand-building resources which are far superior to what a Creative Agency might have.
  • A Branding Agency is exposed to cross-industry brand-building experience. Hence they can apply some of the cross-industry best practices to your brand.
  • Unlike a Creative Agency, a Branding Agency is very strong when it comes to strategic marketing & branding and tactical execution of things on the ground.

Which is better for your brand – a Creative Agency or a Branding Agency?

It is worth mentioning that brand building is much more than mere designing of communication. So irrespective of what stage of life the brand is, it is important to first understand what is the objective of hiring an external agency?

A brand needs to strengthen the pillar which it feels is the weakest. For instance, while recruiting the players in a cricket team, the team management needs to decide whether it needs a specialist bowler, a batsman, a wicket-keeper or a captain to manage them all.

Once a brand has clarity on its needs, it is very easy to decide what it needs – a Creative Agency in India or a Branding Agency in India!

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