The purpose of creativity in business more often than not is to elevate, enhance, engage, change perceptions or help build connections through your branding and marketing.

Creativity may challenge, create empathy, instil curiosity, motivate and inspire change; it may give a new meaning to a few simple words, or it may find amazing ways to communicate visionary ideas.
For these and many other reasons, choosing the right creative agency to elevate your brand is important.

In our experience, over the last 20 years with market opportunities fluctuating enormously, searching out a creative agency that can become a long term stakeholder in your brand and business will yield the best creative results and give you the best return on your investment.

What is a creative agency?

The range of creative agencies to choose from come in many different guises and are called many different things. Below are just some of the descriptors:

  • Design and production agencies
  • Design studios.
  • Ideation consultancies.
  • Branding agencies.
  • Marketing firms.
  • Public relations agencies.
  • Digital agencies
  • Advertising agencies.
  • Promotional agencies.
  • Entertainment companies.

So, in the search for a creative agency, the first thing to do is decide what exactly you want to achieve; what do you want, need or expect creativity to do for your brand?

Starting with your business objectives or brand strategy – are you looking for a short-term fix for falling sales, a fast turnaround tactical marketing campaign or are you looking to add value to your business as a whole, for example with a rebrand, brand pivot and/or ongoing strategic marketing support?

Once your specific objectives for creative input are clear, it’s easy to select the kind of agency you need.

What makes a good creative agency?

There are lots of great agencies out there – from big agency names, to niche agencies and freelancers and from specialists to generalists; they all have their place, so the real challenge is finding the one that is right for your brand, your immediate business needs and your long term goals.

Either start your search by looking for great creative work – or start searching by more practical needs such as agency size or price.

Whichever way to choose to go, a written check list of criteria will help narrow down the options in a considered way.

Key criteria for choosing a good creative agency:

a. Quality of creative – in their work to date, have the agencies under
consideration generated original ideas or concepts as well as great visuals,
clear wording and emotive messaging that cut through the noise in a given

b. Price. It’s unrealistic to aim for instant brand fame if you only have a small budget; but a small budget well spent can deliver great returns on which to build awareness, understanding, engagement and conversion. From a good creative agency, you should receive a proposal that is well-grounded with no overpromising.

c. Good fit. How do the agencies you are checking out present themselves? Do their values and aspirations resonate with your own purpose and values as a business? Do they sound customer-centric, focused on client needs before all else?

d. Expertise and skills. Do they offer the specific skills you need and inspire you with confidence? Do you want a one-stop shop or do you feel more comfortable managing individual agencies and specialists yourself? Beware of agencies trying to be all things to all people with their in-house team; most of the best agencies are open about their partnerships with external specialists because this model delivers a more creative and cost-effective result for clients and agencies alike.

e. Service. Do they really want your business? How quickly did they respond to your query when you were searching? Did they make time to call you or meet with you? Whether it was a response by phone, email or a meeting – did they listen to you and understand your needs?

f. Experience. Always check who will be managing your account; also check who will be leading on strategy and heading up the creative should you go ahead. Will you be dealing with senior, experienced people? Experience and expertise are what you are paying for, so make sure this is a priority for them in the day to day running of the account.

g. Tailor made. However good their website, video or collateral may be, a good creative agency will always put together a professional and engaging proposal to meet your specific brief, complete with costings, timelines and information about themselves as a team. This way you can weigh up their creativity and your practical needs before your final decision.

Finally, however immediate your current creative need – try to put it into a longer-term context if possible. The time you invest in finding and selecting the right creative agency will pay dividends and will save having to invest more time and energy in the future to repeat the process.

Services offered in creative agencies

Once you have your shortlist together, here are a few more pointers to help you choose the best creative agency for you.


Rather than just logo design, look for a branding agency that offers the full strategic branding spectrum. From brand vision, brand values and market positioning to designing brand identity and rolling it out to all stakeholder touchpoints. Even if you only need a logo, appointing an agency that thinks from a holistic brand perspective will give you the best brand design.


This covers many different skill sets – both digital and non-digital – from advertising and PR to brochures, brand content and internal engagement. Just check that the creative outputs your business requires are within the remit of the agency; for example if you want truly creative conceptual thinking and ideation that is a very different skillset from putting together a simple piece of content design or brand collateral.


In these times of reduced internal teams, outsourcing elements of your marketing can be a good strategic decision. Aligning brand and marketing with business plans and future vision requires senior input that is not always needed full time, so using an external consultancy will be an efficient way of achieving great results. Many companies have now discovered the benefits of finding a  strategic marketing agency that can work seamlessly and cost-effectively with their internal teams.

Sales support, pitches and winning new business.

The pressure is always on, so there is always a need to win more business. Whether it’s a template for sales presentations, a professionally branded sales deck, a bespoke corporate bid or a full-blown multi-media pitch, we find most clients that opt to outsource this kind of work say it takes away a lot of the internal stress of pitching and gives the sales team, in particular, a lot more confidence.

We are a long-established creative and branding agency and have worked with clients of all sizes across the spectrum from finance, professional services and hospitality to travel, education, lifestyle and healthcare. We are always ready to chat and advise on any of the services we offer, including our particular areas of expertise.

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