Probably not. For a couple of good reasons.
Ad agencies have different skill sets, and thus talent, compared with creative branding and design firms.
– Ad agencies are focused on messaging. They inform customers and prospects about a product—its features and benefits.
– Once the messaging platform is in place, ad agencies then build a communications plan supported by a range of tactics to reach the desired target audience.
– Ad agencies then produce the messaging and place the media.
Branding and design firms start with Brand strategy (who is the ideal target audience or user, what are the benefits and the Brand point of difference, what are the proof points to support those claims). Only then are design elements conceived, shaped, and matched to bring the Brand strategy to life.
– The challenge is to be distinctive, attention getting, attractive, and engaging—all while presenting the Brand as different, and better, than competitors.
– The best branding and design firms take the entire customer experience into account, so that the packaging is effective at the point of purchase and in use—and Brand value is clear and compelling.
– Often times, customer research is valuable to inform strategy where insights help shape the Brand platform.
– At Damen Jackson, we establish a strategic foundation for EVERY project, so creative solutions are reviewed against objective criteria. This makes design a problem-solving method, not an exercise in subjectivity.
For ad agencies, it is often about the clever idea and words. With branding and design firms, the Brand and its design are paramount, not an afterthought. Brand standards and identity are pillars in a go-to-market gameplan.
– As a result, ad agencies tend to be full of creative types, idea people, whereas, branding and design firms lead with brilliant strategists who challenge and collaborate with marketers, product managers, artists, and designers to give the Brand its best shot at winning in the market.
Selling a Brand is in our view harder than selling a product.
– Features and specifications are important, no doubt. The most powerful and persuasive approach is to combine the rational “how it works” story with the emotional elements of the Brand. Head and heart, as they say, in a wholistic manner. Weaving Brand values into the design elevates and differentiates your Brand, especially when they naturally fit. Some Brand value examples include adventure, belonging, comfort, dependability, elegance, freedom, harmony, intuition, logic, mastery, passion, resilience, safety, or wonder. Getting this key piece of Brand strategy right can make a real difference.
For many Brands, compliance with FDA and regulatory requirements is critical.
– At Damen Jackson, we not only get that. We guide clients through the gauntlet based on our deep understanding and knowledge, whereas ad agencies often outsource those tasks since they are not core competencies.
Lastly, for many Brands in keenly competitive categories, it is the “tiebreaker” statement(s) or claims that can make or break success and influence purchase at the point of sale.
– Design these statements into your packaging and merchandising materials to make sure your Brand gets put into the shopping cart. This is another sweet spot for Damen Jackson. And another reason not to use your ad agency to design your packaging.
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