What to Ask Before Placing Your Branding Order

Good branding takes time, and that's why we at Basically Branding recommend that you get in touch with your branding company well in advance. Too often, people deal with designers who don't have the skills or the equipment to fulfill complex branding requirements. Instead of saying so, they would sit on the brief for weeks until it is a last minute rush. The problem with rush jobs, is that they are rarely done properly, and often have to be redone resulting in the client having to pay more than they need to, as there is overtime and other additional costs. Proper planning is the most critical aspect of a successful branding job.

To avoid these problems, here are some of the questions you should ask while assessing branding companies:

Are all branding companies the same?

The branding industry has all sorts of suppliers. Most of them meet deadlines, but it happens that they sometimes don't - to their own detriment. In terms of big branding, you need to select a dependable supplier, who can, if need be, make a change on site or do whatever you need, when you need it. An industry that is easy to enter, many inexperienced individuals start up small businesses and tarnish the industry with bad service.

A true branding company's experience shines through only on delivery. The only way for a client to know that he is dealing with a reputable, experienced company, is not by price, but rather by track record. It would be well worth your time to find out who the branding company works for and what type of work they do.

Consider how long they have been around, and find out whether they have won any awards. Testimonials are helpful in letting you know how past clients feel about the level of service and quality they have received. If they deal with repeat orders from big corporates, they will most ikely be able to handle whatever you need.

How do I vet a branding company?

Quality branding companies belong to industry bodies such as Printing Industries Federation of South Africa (PIFSA) for printing and Resellers of South Africa (ROSA) for corporate gifts. These organisations ensure that their members uphold certain industry standards, which ultimately is in the best interest of the client. As a downside of the industry, other aspects, such as branding, are not regulated. Reputable companies would happily become affiliated with these industry bodies, as it is a way to show that they provide a high service and quality level, making it a good way for clients to find quality suppliers. Another good way for clients to look for a good branding company, is through the local chambers of commerce.

How do I avoid unsavoury branding companies?

Unsavory practices tend to infiltrate just about any industry, and branding is not free from its own share of underhanded schemes. Clients would do well to look out for hidden fees and undisclosed charges. Be sure to find a company that is transparent and includes everything in their fee. Reputable companies, such as Basically Branding, will include everything in your fee, and clearly specify anything that may not be included. Another issue is suppliers not sticking to their quotes and cut corners to increase their profits. Short deliveries and giving their clients less than what they paid for, is another problem that tarnishes the industry. Find a company who delivers what they promise.

How will the company deal with delays?

Before placing your order, be sure to ask what your recourse and/or backup plan is, should the company fail to deliver on your expectations. South Africa is facing load shedding and strikes at the moment, so you have to be sure that the company that handles your order has a backup plan in place in order to avoid delays.

What about guarantees?

Basically Branding stands by their work and will replace anything that is faulty or of inferior quality. However, we don't offer guarantees, as once an item leaves our premises, it is out of our control. One instance in which we have no control, is when your vigorous car washer pulls off your vehicle branding.

Are all corporate gifts made in China?

Many of them are, but in recent years, China has been steadily improving on the quality of goods it delivers. Most top brands get all their goods from China these days. Even computer and car parts from major brands come from China. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for, and we can cater to all your different needs. Depending on the type of gift and the size of the order, we are happy to take you, to our suppliers' showrooms where you can view the items. You can also go through the online catalogue to see what you like.

You also want to find out the process that will be used on the product before you place your order. When you deal with a reputable company, you can rest assured that they know what they are doing.

We would like to encourage you to implement the guidelines in this article straight away. If you are not sure how to get started or how it best applies to your business, please contact us and we will be happy to share some further thoughts with you.