Hi Anna. First things first, congratulations.  

If you’re reading this, chances are you have just done the seemingly impossible and secured a new wave of funding for your business. You’ve shared the belief you have in your business with the right people and they’ve decided they believe in you too. Incredible.

Now the (next) hard bit starts. Working out how to spend it – particularly, when you’ve probably got dozens of things on your wish list, and making sure you don’t waste it by making the wrong decisions.

When it comes to making decisions, the one thing that will make your life easier? Getting your brand sorted. Maybe you have always thought brand was just how you look or what font you use? But done the right way, your brand is the foundation that you build your strategy, your product choices, your comms, and yep, your decisions on. It guides your behaviour and keeps you true to who you are as you grow.

That’s why, put simply, we’re here to tell you not to waste your money on a brand agency. Well, don’t waste it on the wrong brand agency anyway. Because, don’t get us wrong, if your business is going to take this new step and really run with it, you’re going to need to get your brand sorted. You need to work out who you are and how your going to prove it, as your business and your reach grows.

So, what’s the right kind of brand agency? Take a look at our three golden rules for picking the right brand agency to help your business thrive – through purple patches, crunchy moments and where-next-wondering.

Rule 1. Beware the big sparkly names

If we had a quid for every business leader we’ve spoken to who was bemoaning their treatment at the hands of a huge, swanky brand agency (you know the sort – massive reception area, big art on the wall, lots of black jumpers and horn-rimmed glasses) we might not be retiring tomorrow, but the first round would definitely be on us.

After the thrill of signing up to a really big name, the same old story starts to emerge. Business leaders don’t feel listened to… off-the-shelf solutions… tortuous processes… pages and pages of presentations and data that don’t really say anything. And the worst of the lot, the Brand Bible. A huge PDF that drops into the boss’ inbox with an almighty thud. And then quietly disappears into the server, because it simply does not work for your business. It was their version of you, not a true representation of who you are.

Beware the big names that create beautiful brands, but don’t know how to take the next step into how you actually use them to make a difference to your business.

Rule 2. Don’t be afraid to invest in your brand

Okay, so we’ve said you shouldn’t splash the cash with a huge agency you don’t need, but you’ll be unsurprised to read, you’re going to have to part with some of your hard-earned dosh.

After the early days of really watching the cash, we understand how spending on your brand can feel like a big outlay and a pretty nerve-wracking at that. But investing in your brand is just that, an investment. The right brand experts will give you the tools, confidence and strategies to serve you as you grow and take on new markets, audiences and challenges.

A new logo knocked up by a mate of a mate, a few stock shots and a tagline aren’t going to give you the foundation you need to represent your business brilliantly and really capture the value you bring to your customers. They might just get you through a couple of meetings, but you’re at a key time where your brand should evolve and last you at least the next 5 years. Don’t undersell your business with an underwhelming “brand”. It’s just not worth it.

Rule 3. Think beyond the brand

This one’s a biggie. Let us explain. Time and time and time again, we have seen companies that have spent all their money on a big fancy brand and are understandably excited to see it come to life. But that’s where they hit a problem. There’s a huge gap between what they’ve been given and how they activate it – how it becomes real for your business and your customers.

How will your website work and what will it look like? What messaging will you use and what content will you need? What is your social persona and how will you use your channels? How will you know that a campaign is worth putting some media behind and how will you make sure the work is brilliant?

Without that vision and plan for the future, suddenly logo design and mockups in brand books seem a little bit… unhelpful. Expensive and not that useful. Damn.

Find yourself an agency that pride themselves on creating brands that are going to serve businesses in every channel and every touchpoint. A team who spend the time to understand who you are and where you’re heading, and who use that to build you a brand positioning and identity that captures that. And then, you might check if that agency has any experience building engagement strategies to take your brand out into the real world. And developing compelling creative communications that convinces your audiences that you are who you say you are. And compels them to choose you, again and again.

And that’s where Keel comes in

A tough ask, but as it happens, that’s what we do. All that. In one place. No wasted time, no wasted work, brilliant brand and engagement to help you make the most of your opportunities and support you in your business growth.

So yeah, don’t waste your money on a brand agency. Invest in a bespoke brand and engagement solution that will help you work out who you are, how you prove it, and what you need to grow your business.

Who we are

We are a London-based, independent brand and engagement agency.

We create brands and show businesses how to use them to engage with people effectively – across the right channels, all markets and shifting audience needs. Giving your brand the tools, roadmap and creative execution you need to thrive in today’s landscape.

Yes, we establish positioning, identity and direction – we create guidelines and tone of voice – but we also build content and communication strategy, deliver campaigns and kickstart engagement programmes. We don’t stop when the Work starts.

No interruptions, no inconsistency. Brilliant brand and strategy that you can get stuck into and really use and communications that take you into the hearts, mind and hands of your audiences. Brand and engagement. Together.

Get in touch to talk to our brand and engagement experts. Straight talkers, big thinkers and get-sh*t-done people.

Keel. Work with conviction.