Agency Solutions

Guide To Brand Consultants and How To Choose The Right One

CopyPress

Published: January 25, 2022

When developing a brand, it’s important to make sure your marketing and branding strategies are effective. If you’re ever unsure about the strategies you’re using or the steps you’re taking to develop your brand, it’s helpful to hire professional consultants who have the experience to assist you. One of the most effective professionals you can hire when developing or reshaping your business’ image is a brand consultant. In this guide, we discuss:

 

What Is a Brand Consultant?

Image via Unsplash by @freegraphictoday

A brand consultant is a professional who helps companies define, develop, and grow their public reputation and business. They perform various roles within a company, but, most often, consultants analyze a company’s brand and see how it performs against its competitors. Depending on how the brand is performing, consultants then take action and work with the company to create more effective branding strategies to attract its target audience and further develop its brand awareness and public reputation.

Brand Consultant Roles

Brand consultants fulfill different roles in a company or business, depending on its needs and objectives. Some of those roles include:

Market Research

One of the main things that consultants can give your company is effective market research and analysis. This includes researching your customers to see how the audience is responding to your current brand reputation and marketing efforts. It also includes researching your competitors to see how your brand is currently performing against them and if there are any gaps in your brand development and marketing. While a consultant is working in this role, they might perform various tasks, including:

  • Researching and analyzing a brand’s keywords
  • Understanding a brand’s current social media and online presence
  • Analyzing a brand’s current market position
  • Creating user or buyer personas to help brands understand their target consumers
  • Providing feedback on current marketing strategies or goals

 

Experienced brand consultants often know how to perform effective research and gather data by using various strategies. Those strategies can include focus groups, interviews, surveys, and ethnography, or scientific studies of people and cultures.

Related: How To Conduct Marketing Research in Five Steps

Company Audit

Sometimes this role goes hand-in-hand with researching a company and its competitors, but consultants can also help businesses thoroughly audit their brand to see how people are responding to it. They audit a brand’s website, social media, and overall online presence. Consultants accomplish this by examining different online analytics, such as social media engagement, website visitors, click-through rate, and conversion rate.

After the audit is complete, consultants make recommendations about a brand’s current operations and highlight things it’s doing well and other things that might need improvement. Consultants also tell companies if some strategies they’re trying might cause more harm than good and that they should stop right away.

Content Creation

Consultants sometimes help businesses develop their brand style, voice, and tone through content writing and creation. Content creation and marketing is a great way for your brand to increase its awareness and attract new customers to your business. That’s because content gives your customers useful information that improves their knowledge about topics in your industry.

When people learn new information from your content, it can increase their satisfaction and loyalty to your brand. This can encourage them to visit your brand more often for even more information or to interact with your business in other ways, like by signing up for an email newsletter or making a purchase. When consultants understand your brand and audience, they can often help you develop different types of content to attract them to your website and business. That content includes:

  • Blogs and articles
  • EBooks and white papers
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Videos and animations

 

Strategy Development

After researching or auditing a company, consultants can help brands develop better strategies to improve their outreach and reputation. Most often, consultants start by helping brands develop goals and new focuses for their marketing and branding efforts. For example, if a brand consultant notices that most of a company’s problems or challenges lie on their social media pages, they can help the brand create stronger social media objectives that are measurable and achievable. That might include improving their engagement or simply increasing their total number of page views.

Next to setting stronger short-term goals, consultants can also help brands create overarching strategies that help businesses develop and grow as a whole. This often includes helping brands develop their purpose, mission, or values to create a more recognizable product for consumers. For instance, a consultant might focus a brand on developing strong values and communicating those values to their customers. When customers see those values in both statements and actions, it might increase their brand loyalty and encourage them to make more purchases.

Visual Identity Development

Developing a visual identity is a great way to ensure that customers instantly recognize your brand. This includes the development of a brand’s logo, as well as its color scheme and general visual style. Some brand consultants might help businesses develop these visual elements and test them with various focus groups or audiences to ensure that they attract their target consumers. Companies then use this visual identity in every corner of their business, including website and content design, advertisements, and marketing materials.

Why Is Brand Awareness and Reputation Important?

Having a strong brand awareness and reputation helps to build relationships and trust with your consumers. That trust can help customers develop loyalty toward your content and brand, which can motivate them to purchase more of your products and services. According to Content Marketing Institute, 81% of B2C companies have focused on brand awareness as a major goal in the last 12 months. That’s probably because brand loyalty is hard to get and even harder to hold on to. As of May 2021, 24% of consumers said they needed no reason at all to change their loyalty to brands.

Sometimes, with maintaining brand loyalty, all companies need to do is remind consumers they exist. Getting your website and content seen by more people can help ensure that your brand stays recognizable. Brand awareness and reputation are also important because they help you achieve a variety of business development goals. When you promote your brand more efficiently, you can increase your website traffic, conversion rate, click-through rate, and create potential leads to improve your sales numbers. As you develop your brand awareness, you can achieve your other goals and objectives more easily to quickly and efficiently develop your business.

Related: How To Build Brand Awareness Through Content Marketing

Why Hire a Brand Consultant?

There are a few signs that brands and companies should look out for when determining whether they need to hire a brand consultant. Some of those reasons include:

  • Underperforming websites or social media profiles
  • Introducing a new product or product line
  • Undergoing a merger or acquisition
  • Attempting to reach a new market
  • Reaching company goals or objectives more effectively

 

Though brand consultants can help you correct some of these issues or challenges, it’s also possible that other strategies can help you improve your business’s functions. For example, if your website or social media profile is underperforming, it’s possible that you might need to enhance your content marketing strategies. Content marketing includes writing blogs and articles, creating impressive visuals, like infographics, and improving your webpage’s written copy.

CopyPress has a team of expert writers and graphic designers ready to help you boost your content marketing efforts. We know the best ways to create consistent content for a brand that fits within its style and tone. Schedule a free call with us today to see how you can use content marketing to increase your brand awareness and attract the attention of your target audience.

How To Choose The Right Brand Consultant

Here’s a list of steps to help you choose the right brand consultant for your business:

1. Ensure They Understand Your Business

Before hiring a consultant, it’s important to know if they understand your business and what it’s trying to accomplish. If a consultant doesn’t accurately understand your business and its brand, it’s possible they might make suggestions or decisions that don’t work well with your target audience and negatively affect your business’s development. As you meet with various consultants or consulting agencies, it’s important to ask them questions about your business to see if their answers represent your company and its current goals.

It’s also helpful to look at first impressions. How does a consultant approach your company or business? Do they seem excited at the prospect of working with you or uncertain about the idea? When looking for a consultant, it’s important to find someone who’s passionate about working with your brand and helping it develop and improve.

2. Check Their Background and Experience

Examining a consultant’s background and experience can help you understand their skills with brand development and how they might benefit your business. When interviewing consulting candidates, it’s helpful to ask about previous companies they worked for and the roles they fulfilled. Also, check to see if they have any physical examples of their work, especially with visual identity development. Looking at examples can show you how helpful some consultants might be with your own brand’s visual style and creation.

If a consultant provides you with a list of previous companies or brands they’ve worked for, contact those companies and talk with them about the consultant’s role. How did the company like working with the consultant? Was it a pleasant experience? Was there anything they wished the consultant had done better or different? Asking these questions can help you see any benefits or detriments that a consultant might bring to your company and what you can expect from their skills and experience.

3. Examine How They Communicate

As you reach out to different consultants and agencies, it’s helpful to look at how they communicate, including how quickly they respond to your phone calls or emails. More than likely, the consultant responds similarly while actually working with your brand. For example, let’s say the consultant is slow to respond to your emails or questions. That’s an important factor to consider in case you need an immediate response while working on your brand’s development.

Another important factor to consider is if you notice their emails or phone calls are often very short or lack additional explanation. When working with a consultant, it can be more helpful to have too much detail versus too little detail. That’s because more information and data is useful when making decisions that might affect your brand’s image or reputation. When interviewing or talking with consultants, if you’re unsure about their communication style upfront, it might be good to consider pursuing someone else.

4. Understand Their Workflow and Process

It’s important for consultants to have a strong background and experience in their field. But it’s also crucial that their strategies and suggestions bring results. As you talk with brand consultants, consider asking them questions about their workflow to better understand their process and how they can guarantee positive results for your brand. A good thing to look for in their answers is a consultant who uses data and analysis to drive results.

Research and analytics are a great way to monitor branding strategies and determine what’s working and what needs to be changed. If your consultant uses a data-driven approach to their workflow, you know they base any decision or suggestion on statistics. Using data and statistics helps to remove any guessing or decision-making that might negatively affect your business and brand.

If your business is looking for help in developing its brand and public reputation, a brand consultant might be an excellent choice. Brand consultants can help fulfill various roles in a business to help it compete with other companies, attract its target audience, and develop a unique identity or style so it’s more recognizable to consumers.

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