The term brand consulting isn’t exactly the most exciting term in the branding glossary.
It doesn’t speak to timeless logos, engaging billboards and exciting campaigns.
Yet an experienced brand consultant can understand your business, audience, competitors and industry and map a plan for iconic brand status.
In this article, you’re going to learn what brand consulting is, how it differs from marketing and design and why you might need or want to sell brand consultancy services.
What Is Brand Consulting?
(Become A Brand Consultant)
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Brand Consultants Provide Strategic Direction
When an entrepreneur or business owner wants to build a brand, they’ll engage a professional.
That might be a brand designer, a strategist or an agency, and that person or that group of people will put together a brand and hand it over to the manager.
This brand manager might be the business owner or they might have a brand manager in-house.
The size and the type of business will determine how engaged that brand manager role is. The manager might be full-time, part-time or the business owner might play the brand manager role and manage the brand when they have time.
But when the business and the brand needs some strategic guidance, that is when they need brand consultancy. And for that, they’ll engage… (you guessed!), the brand consultant.
What is Brand Consulting? A Definition…
Brand consulting is an advisory service that provides strategic guidance and direction for the brand and the brand manager.
They’ll typically use competitive analysis and audience research to provide a strategic roadmap.
Now, this will guide the brand as to where it should go and the consultant might use competitive analysis, audience research, positioning strategy, key messaging, and storytelling.
All of these services and tasks will help the brand to navigate the market landscape.
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What do brand consultants do?
A brand consultant is a marketing expert who provides solutions and makes informed decisions to help companies grow and achieve their objectives.
Some of the tasks involved include:
Understanding the nature and objectives of the company
Defining the audience
Understanding customers’ perceptions
Carrying out competitive analysis
Planning the marketing strategy
Where do brand consultants work?
In addition to being part of brand consultancy agencies and firms, these professionals work independently with companies, supporting them in their marketing, strategy, and branding efforts.
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Brand Consultant vs Brand Strategist
So, what’s the difference between brand consultancy and strategy?
Well, these terms are used interchangeably and that’s because their tasks are pretty much the same.
They all do the same thing:
All of these tasks are both in the wheelhouse of the consultant and the brand strategist.
The only real difference between the two of them is that strategists tend to work with both start-ups and existing businesses.
Conversely, consultants tend to just work with existing businesses.
Now, that’s not to say the consultants never work with start-ups, but that’s the main difference between them.
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Why Use A Brand Consultant?
Why would a business want to use brand consultancy services?
Well, if a brand exists in the marketplace already, and it’s not achieving the results that it would want, then typically the business owner will search for a marketing strategist.
This strategist will put together a series of tactics to try and generate leads and sales.
But if the company does not already have an effective positioning strategy, if it doesn’t have messaging that is derived from who the audience is and what they want, then any marketing effort is going to be ineffective.
If the business is not going where it wants to go, if it’s not achieving results, then it needs brand consultancy services to help.
This person or brand consultancy firm will ensure there is an effective positioning established and a messaging is aligned with who the audience is.
If that is the case, then the leadership team can look towards a marketing strategist, if not, then the consultant will need to establish one.
How Much Does A Brand Consultant Cost?
So how much would one pay or charge for brand consultancy services as well?
Like all service-based businesses, there is no hard answer here.
There’s no one-size-fits-all because it really depends on the experience of the professional.
It also depends on the businesses that they’re targeting, but typically brand consultancy services can range anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How To Become A Brand Consultant?
If you are wondering how to become a brand consultant, you should know that it all starts with experience.
You need experience working on and in companies. If you’re able to bring some experience to the table, this can come in many different forms.
You could be a brand designer, a copywriter, a social media manager, or a marketing manager.
Obviously, the more experience you have, the better! If you have one year of experience as a designer, you’re not as well placed as somebody with 10 years of marketing experience.
So, it really depends on how much experience you’re bringing to the table as to how seamless the transition will be.
But, really, it’s only about learning the processes, the elements within a given brand and how those elements can appeal to the audience.
When you’re able to start thinking strategically about the brands that you’re building and the elements that play a role in the overall experience, that’s when you can start to think like a strategist and like a consultant.
Over To You
Anyone with any kind of business experience understands that you don’t just build it.
There is strategy involved in every given success within business. But just because you have a strategy, it doesn’t mean it guarantees success.
If your brand has lost its way, then brand consultancy is a great way to have a look within the company to see if they are positioned correctly, to see if the audience that they are targeting is the right audience.
It’s also a great chance to see if their messaging is aligned with the image that they want to project in the mind of their audience.
For all of that, you need a brand consultant.
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