Why You Should Choose A Smaller Branding Agency
Is bigger always better? In the world of branding agencies, the answer is a resounding NO – one that grows more deafening as we move into 2019.
How brands tell stories is different than it was 10 years ago (heck, 2 years ago). A 2019 startup is not going to have similar marketing and sales strategy than a brand new company from 2005. Imagine traveling back a decade and trying to explain to your CMO what an “influencer” is? You couldn’t. Everything is evolving around us, so why should your creative dollars be shackled to the same agency of record?
Talking with countless business owners and thought leaders over the past 5 years since Mindbrew began, I hear the same idea over and over again. Big agency = big exposure. Small agency = smaller exposure. Not everyone flat outs says this, but it’s the central theme to the worries that are shared. But when you break it down a bit further, this notion that your ROI magically stays in perfect harmonious rhythm with your creative and marketing spend makes little to no sense. I’ll prove my point with a few points:
The larger the agency, the higher the overhead.
Everyone should know this, right? Larger companies need to spend more money to exist. It’s not an inherently evil statement, it’s just a fact of how businesses work. Yet, those making the decisions on what agency will handle their web design, branding process, or marketing campaigns rarely seem to think about it. Bigger, more traditional agencies have high rents and high utility bills. They’re spending money on office supplies, paper goods, applying for awards, and office furniture – and they need to pay for all of it. Where do you think those housekeeping needs get met? Your invoice.
Smaller agencies, like ours, don’t have to sneak in margins to power some self-made engine. Our overhead is extremely low! You won’t see WB Mason dropping off paperclips and staplers. Our communication comes through face-to-face and phone meetings. We send email and utilize useful tools like Skype when we can. We use BaseCamp to work with clients throughout a project (for $10/month, the horror!). So our costs are reflective of the value of the work that YOU need done, not the cost to support a lavish corporate lifestyle.
Bigger agency doesn’t mean better talent
This is not a personal jab at any creative who works for a large agency, but merely a PSA on how creative talent is dispersed through agencies. Many owners look to big companies because they see their agency size as a direct correlation with the talent in the average employee fingertips. But that’s not always the case.
Creatives are a nimble bunch, and not one is the same. For example, there can be a photographer who loves the job security of working for the largest media agency in NYC, while an equally gifted photog feels pigeonholed within the confines of a more “corporate” environment.
Don’t forget, a massive clientele means you need all hands on deck. Larger agencies need to fill chairs, and that can mean hiring en-masse and not always being able to sift through to the right candidates. When an agency is built on 10 people of less, there is no hiding. Brand and web companies like us rely on the specific assets and experiences that every team member brings to the table because there isn’t a city floor full of less-experienced personnel to cover for us.
Smaller Agencies build relationships.
This is what it all comes down to for our team. We built Mindbrew Creative into the boutique-size agency it is today not to sell $50/month support plans or to write nonsensical click-bait web copy. No no no. Mindbrew = relationships. Our clients can get the most out of our team, because they meet us face to face. When they call us, they talk to me, the owner, their creative. And if I’m not the one currently working on their project, then we’ll make sure they speak with the right person. It’s as simple as that. We know your business well, because we don’t have time to get distracted by useless meetings and presentations. We dive right into your start-up, nonprofit, or company and strive to become an integral part of your team from day one.
2019 will be a year of change, there is no escaping that. And as a roller coaster economy begins to push more businesses to take a hard look at their creative spend and those who manage it, smaller agencies will see a tremendous boost in business.
Interested in talking to our team regarding an upcoming project? Send us a line here and we will be in touch shortly.