The report The Health of Branding in Spain 2015 reflected what type of suppliers companies in Spain were hiring for the Brand Management, with advertising agencies being the ones they used the most (59%), followed by design studios (50%) and leaving the real protagonists, the Branding agencies and consultancies, in a discreet third place (49%).

This shows the confusion in which many organizations in Spain (and even individuals) are immersed when it comes to hiring services and companies that help them in the audit, creation, strategy, communication, implementation and control of their brand. In addition, mainly, it expresses the confusion that exists when it comes to understanding what a brand is and what benefits it brings to its business, the organization and society. Consequently, it shows that there is too widespread a lack of knowledge about what branding is and what solutions and services a brand consultancy or branding consultancy offers.

Understanding the Brand Management Process: Understanding Branding

As regular readers of Branderstand already know and have explained during several articles, especially in What is branding for you? the A brand is a set of meanings, perceptions and experiences that are created in the minds of the audience and that allow them to identify an organization (or individual) and its activities, products and services.

Every organization needs to build a defined brand identity : know how to explain and demonstrate in a coherent, constant and consistent way why it exists, what it does and how it does it to generate differentiation, preference and value. Every brand must know its
essence
and its
positioning
. With these values, personality , and behavior of your own, you will be able to positively influence the business, consumers, and even society. In addition, you have to take care and pay special attention to how your brand image is molded (what others think it is) in order to know how to adapt and understand your audience.

Branding (and consequently branding consultancies), therefore, is responsible for the construction and strategic management of this set of meanings.

For those who still have doubts, we recommend reading the following articles to dig deeper:

The Usefulness of Trademarks

What does branding mean to you?

The health of branding in Spain 2015

The explosion of branding

From marketing to branding

Where Branding Fails

Private Labels Don’t Understand Branding + From White Label to Emotional Meaning (Whitepaper)

Love is to branding what advertising is to sex

Brand Essence: the essence of a brand

Social Branding

The Johari Window as a Branding Tool

Brand consultant, the “True Detective”

consultancy-branding-branding-spain-body

Services of a Brand Consultant or Branding Consultant

In the aforementioned article
What does branding mean to you
, we explain, among others, one of the main factors why we continue to drag this confusion with the terms “brand” and “branding” and why many organizations contract brand management and implementation services to the wrong companies. Remember:

There are different agents (independent professionals and organizations) that have offered different brand creation and communication services depending on the moment in history. Advertising agencies to create creative paid communication campaigns; design agencies to create visual identities and packaging; PR agencies for the relationship with stakeholders and the media; media agencies for media planning; Marketing agencies for the study of needs and distribution of products and services in the market… Branding consultancies are part of this dance of suppliers.

The intrusiveness between one and the other leads to the appearance of comprehensive services that are mixed with each other, detract from the effectiveness of the objective of each action, delegate tasks to the wrong professionals and do nothing but confuse CEOs, communication directors, product managers, brand managers…

The main thing is to know what stage your organization is at and what it needs. Do you have a tested and up-to-date business plan? Have you defined the essence and positioning of your brand and your competitors? Does your team demonstrate this positioning on a daily basis? Is your brand architecture coherent? Are you in the distribution phase of your product and service? Do you need an advertising campaign to increase your brand’s reach and awareness? Do you want to know what consumers think about your brand? Do you know how much your brand is worth?

Below, we explain the general needs that a brand has to cover and the services that, to a greater extent, you will find in a brand or branding consultancy.

1. Brand Diagnosis and Audit

1.1 Internal

Brand Essentials

Values, Benefits, Differentiators, Signals

1.2 External

Trend, Context, Market Analysis

Customer insights, market insights

Customer Analysis & Benchmarking

Reputational diagnosis

2. Brand Strategy

2.1 Brand essence

Values, Benefits, Differentiators

Brand Positioning

Brand Personality

Brand Platform

Brand architecture

2.2 Nomenclature systems

2.3 Brand extensions

2.4 Brand Reputation Plan

2.5 Sponsorship strategy

2.6 Co-branding strategy

3. Branding

3.1 Naming

3.2 Visual identity

Logo

Visual universe: colors, typographies, secondary graphics, photographs, illustration…

Branding System & Brandbooks

Primary and general applications: corporate material, editorial, merchandising, spaces…

3.3 Verbal identity

Naming

Tagline

Voice, Tone, and Style

3.4 Sensory identity: sound, olfactory, auditory

3.5 Packaging

3.6 Retail and environments

3.8 Digital applications and touchpoints: websites, social media, apps, etc.

4. Brand Expression, Activation, Implementation, Communication, and Experience

4.1 External communication plan on/off

Advertising

Personal Selling

Sales Promotion

Public relations

Direct Marketing

Branded Content

4.2 Brand culture and internal communication on/off

4.3 Brand experience, user experience and on/off implementation

4.5 Commercial activation and marketing

4.6 Reputation, Crisis and Influence Plan and Management

5. Management & Performance

5.1 Health and Brand Equity

5.2 Brand Guardianship

5.3 Sentiment Analysis

5.4 Neurobranding

phases-services-creation-management-consultancy-brand

 

Brand consultancies in Spain

Each consulting firm has different methodologies and ways of communicating its services. In addition, each one will be more specialized in one area or another due to their team, experience… But what is certain is that they all work daily in these 5 areas.

The main brand consultancies in Spain are part of the Spanish Association of Branding Companies (AEBRAND).

Agency or consultancy? Brand or branding?

The client will come across the terms brand agency, brand consultancy, brand consultancy, brand consultants, branding agency, branding consultancy, branding consultancy, branding consultants, branding company…

While it is true that historically the terms agency and consulting carry with them intrinsic specific methodologies, it is not so much what the company is called but the services it offers and how it approaches each project.

CTA

Ruben Gonzalez-Roman Quignon

Brand Consultant at Branward®

Photos: Shutterstock