Whether it’s a new business or a business that needs rebranding, there’s a pretty demanding process that begins with every thought of creation or renewal. This process includes the creation of a corporate identity, but also the entire communication framework in which it will be promoted.
It’s enough to google the phrase “corporate identity” and you will get literally millions of results. Within these results you may find everything: Exclusive companies and agencies, design studios and freelancers … Everyone claims -in their own unique way- that they can create something perfect; everyone believes that they are the best; and indeed, some may say the truth. But again, the issue is that every category, but also every professional of company, offers something different, but not everything is for everyone.
Let’s take a look at what each category offers:
Freelancer: A man and a job
Are you looking for a logo, or for a leaflet? Probably a freelancer is the best choice. But we should be clear from the beginning: When we say “a logo”, we just mean a logo for a small business, such as a small picturesque tavern, a nice coffee house, which does not require much “fuss”. A freelancer is exactly what his title defines. It’s just a single person and therefore tries to cope with everything needed. But, it will be wiser to hire them for a job that suits their specialisation. And that is perfectly reasonable, since specialisation is the basis of professionalism. Hiring a freelancer means lower prices, but this doesn’t apply if you have an integrated project, because in that case you need to hire two or three different freelancers to complete such a quest.
The cost of a freelancer’s services is probably the lowest you find on the market, in line with the range of services they offer and their expertise in a particular field. Still they are a fair choice for small businesses with limited needs and budget.
Design Studio: Flexibility and Efficiency
A Design Studio is something completely different from a bunch of freelancers. And this is for many reasons. Initially, a Design Studio has a dedicated staff member for each and every job, and therefore you buy a service. Whether this is called Branding, Marketing or WebDesign, there is the right Studio that you can address. They are ideal for small and medium-sized businesses and all their projects, respectively. To its advantage, a Studio can easily develop collaborations for a specialised issue with third-parties, providing you with the complete coverage of your business needs.
The cost of purchasing a Design Studio’s service is obviously greater than addressing a freelancer, initially -as the real cost of a non-specialised service could be much higher in real market data, even in the short term.
Creative Agency: Complete services, full cost
At this level, we are usually talking about a multinational Agency, which only collaborates with companies of similar range. The word “collaborates” mainly has to do with the process an Agency follows by offering exclusive cooperative relationships for a certain period of time, and not just per project, with its multinational corporation / client. They have specialised design, development and communication staff, offices in several countries of the world, and are at the same time the best “service resellers”, since most of the time they outsource individual projects to other Design Studios.
Prices are 10 times higher compared to a Design Studio, while the process and the “customer choice” is usually inverse, based on the value of the client and its marketing audience.
What suits you best?
Let’s summarise: A freelancer consists the best choice for small businesses and, mainly, individual start-ups, which have no budget for integrated services. The result will be related to the specialisation of the freelancer, so caution is required in choosing a person who will fit perfectly into the aesthetics, needs and philosophy of the your small business.
A Design Studio has just what it takes for a business, from the smallest to the largest. It offers a complete package of services and has a more organised way to serve its clients, by a full-house of specialised staff. Design, web-development, photography and content creation are essential and equally important components for the perfect result.
An Agency is a complete but at the same time impersonal choice, that chooses its own clients in order to sell them its co-operation, or resell their project to a third-party contractor.
How can you make a choice?
Surely, you have definitely identified the class of your own business and the option which suits, but still millions of search results have not been winnowed enough to provide you with an easy choice. So, your next step is to check the portfolios of the prospective collaborators, listen to the opinion of people who have worked with them and trust your own taste in order to choose the people you can work with, those whose creations and results inspire confidence. Everything is judged not only on the result but also on its actual implementation.