Many businesses don’t understand what branding is or how essential it is to their business.
Without a strong brand, customers won’t be able to differentiate products/services in a crowded marketplace. So, unfortunately, your customers could be losing out on potential sales and market share.
As a brand consultant, you can help you create a branding strategy that will help businesses attract and retain customers. And help clients overcome any challenges that negatively impact their brand image, equity, and performance.
What is Brand Consulting
Brand consulting provides expert advice and guidance to businesses to help them improve their brand image and performance.
Brand consultants work with companies to help them develop more effective branding strategies, identify opportunities for brand growth, and overcome challenges.
What is a Brand Consultant
A brand consultant is a professional who helps businesses improve their brand identity, brand awareness, and performance. They can work for an advertising agency or independently as a freelance branding consultant.
Brand consultants help businesses with their marketing efforts to create more successful branding strategies and address problems that are hurting their brand reputation.
Brand Strategist vs Brand Consultant
The terms “brand strategist” and “brand consultant” are often used interchangeably. However, some people believe there’s a difference between the two roles. Those people think the following:
A brand strategist is someone who works with a company to develop long-term branding goals and approaches. They help businesses define their target audience, create unique selling propositions, and determine the best channels to reach their target market.
A brand consultant, on the other hand, is someone who provides expert advice and guidance to businesses to help them improve their brand image and performance.
However, many brand strategists are consultants and consultants are strategists. In fact, whether someone calls themselves a brand strategist vs brand consultant is well, “brand positioning.” For some strategic reason, a person is trying to position themselves as one over the other.
But their reasoning might be as simple as believing one sounds cooler than the other.
So, don’t get too hung up on the differences.
What Does a Brand Consultant Do
A brand consultant works with a company to develop and maintain a consistent message across all platforms and media. Their job responsibilities might include:
- Conducting market research: Research market trends that might impact their brand or determine where the brand is positioned in the market.
- Analyzing voice of the customer research: Help businesses understand what their customers want and how they feel about the brand.
- Performing audience research: Develop an understanding of the brand’s target audience and what they want.
- Developing brand strategy: Develop a plan for how the brand will be positioned in the market.
- Creating brand guidelines: Create standards and best practices for how the brand should be used internally and externally to be consistent with the brand identity.
- Providing brand training: Train employees to effectively communicate the brand message to customers.
- Evaluating brand performance: Conduct audits of brand communications to ensure they are aligned with brand strategy.
- Creating brand awareness campaigns: Develop and implement a marketing plan to increase brand equity, reach, and awareness.
- Creating brand names: Works with businesses to create brand names that are impactful and memorable.
- Executing rebranding: Help businesses successfully execute a rebranding strategy.
- Developing brand architecture: Develop the framework that defines how a brand is structured and how its sub-brands relate to each other.
- Working with ad agencies: Collaborate with advertising agencies to develop creative materials aligned with brand strategy.
- Conducting competitive brand analysis: Keep up with the competition and understand how they are impacting the brand.
- Managing the brand reputation: Working with the communications department to respond to negative press or events that could damage the brand.
Example Brand Consulting Projects
As you can see, there are many areas to offer brand consulting services. But let’s go a little deeper and provide a few examples of brand consulting projects.
Analyze brand perception:
It might surprise you that many companies don’t know how their target market perceives their brand. Or that they have opinions not backed by data and are entirely wrong.
Without customer feedback, your clients are flying blind when it comes to understanding their brand perception. As a result, they may not know how well they’re solving customer problems or where you could be doing better.
You can conduct a brand perception analysis to understand how customers view their brand. By researching customer perceptions, you can make recommendations to help your clients solve customer problems and ensure they’re meeting market expectations.
Plus, you can use this valuable insight to help clients identify areas where they need to improve to increase retention and gain new clients.
Analyze the competition:
Most companies aren’t very good at competitive analysis. For example, many marketing departments don’t have formal competitive intelligence programs to analyze their competition.
Without a clear understanding of what your competitors are doing, it’s tough to figure out how to differentiate your brand and stand out in the market. And when you analyze your competitors, you’ll have the potential to spot future trends.
As a brand consultant, you can offer services to help analyze your client’s competition and develop a plan tailored specifically to their brand that will give them the edge they need in the market.
Develop product differentiation strategies:
It’s hard to create a unique brand identity that stands out from the competition.
Standing out in a competitive market is essential for any business looking to increase its market share and revenue. However, with so many products and services available, it can be challenging for companies to differentiate themselves from the competition.
As a brand consultant, you can provide services to help your clients develop product differentiation strategies that will make their product or service stand out in the market.
In addition, you’ll help them create a unique brand identity and marketing campaigns that resonate with their customers and target market.
Build customer loyalty programs:
Most companies struggle with creating a brand loyalty program that provides value for their customers and encourages them to keep coming back.
You can offer brand consulting services to create a customer loyalty program that delivers real value for your customers.
You’ll work with your clients to develop a strategy that meets their unique needs and target audience while helping to retain existing customers.
Develop a rebranding strategy:
Sometimes a company’s brand image isn’t what it used to be, and its leadership doesn’t know how to fix it. And it’s tough when customers have a negative perception of a company’s brand and products.
If you’re a brand consultant, you can help a company create a rebranding strategy. You’ll work to develop marketing strategies and tactics to change customer perception.
You’ll help a company focus on changes to improve quality, packaging, service delivery, or anything else that negatively impacts the brand.
Brand Consultant Qualifications
Brand consultants need to have a deep understanding of branding, marketing expertise, and business strategy. They should be able to think strategically, be creative, and have excellent communication skills. In addition, brand consultants should have the following skills:
What Skills Does a Brand Consultant Need
Analytical skills: Ability to analyze data, understand trends and see the big picture.
Creative thinking: Ability to be creative to come up with new brand positioning and messaging.
Strategic thinking: Ability to think strategically to develop long-term brand plans.
Communication skills: Ability to communicate their ideas to clients and other stakeholders.
Project management skills: Ability able to manage projects from start to finish.
Collaboration skills: Ability to work with a team of designers, copywriters, and other professionals.
What Education Does a Brand Consultant Need
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as brand consultants come from various backgrounds. However, most brand consultants have a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field.
In addition, many brand consultants have experience working in branding, marketing, or advertising.
Challenges of Working as a Brand Consultant
Many companies don’t understand the full importance of branding. Some are even reading this post to find an answer to what is a brand consultant. They only think about logos, colors, fonts, etc. However, branding is much more than that. It’s how a company is perceived by its customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
Because of this, brand consultants often face the challenge of educating their clients on the importance of branding and how it can impact their business goals.
Another challenge brand consultants face is managing client expectations. Branding is a long-term process, and it can take years to see results. Therefore, brand consultants need to manage their client’s expectations and help them understand that branding is a marathon, not a sprint.
Finally, brand consultants need to be able to deal with rejection. Not every client will be happy with the brand consultant’s ideas. Therefore, brand consultants need to be able to take constructive criticism and use it to improve their work.
Benefits of Working as a Brand Consultant
One of the main benefits of working as a brand consultant is the ability to help businesses grow. Branding is a powerful tool that can help companies increase their sales, attract new customers, and improve their overall brand image.
Another benefit of working as a brand consultant is the flexibility it offers. Brand consultants can work with a variety of clients in different industries. This allows brand consultants to gain a wide range of experience and knowledge.
Finally, brand consultants can also be their own bosses. Many brand consultants are self-employed and work as freelancers. This allows brand consultants to set their own hours, take on as many or as few clients as they want, and charge more money per project.
Brand Consultant Salary
How much do brand consultants make? This is a difficult question to answer, as brand consultants’ salaries can vary widely depending on their experience, skills, and employer size. However, brand Consultants in the United States make an average salary of $85,441 per year or $41 per hour.
However, brand consultants who work for agencies typically earn a salary somewhere between $50,000 to $100,000 per year.
But if you work as a freelance brand consultant, you have unlimited earning potential. The average hourly rate for a brand consultant is $100 to $200 per hour. And it’s common for brand consultants to charge hourly rates between $200 to $400 per hour.
The brand consultant job outlook is positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is expected to grow by 10% from 2020 to 2030.
So, if you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career, brand consulting may be the right fit for you.
Freelance Brand Consulting
If you’re considering working as a freelance brand consultant, you should definitely keep reading The Weekly Consult.
As a freelance brand consultant, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a variety of clients in different industries. This allows you to gain a wide range of experience and knowledge. Plus, you can be your own boss, set your own hours, and take on as many or as few clients as you want.
Plus, charge more money per project! Freelance brand consulting is an excellent way to earn a great living while helping businesses grow.
How to Become a Brand Consultant
Now you know what is a brand consultant. If you’re interested in becoming a brand consultant, there are a few things you need to do.
First, you need to get a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field.
Second, you need to gain experience working in branding, marketing, or advertising. Many brand consultants start their careers as junior brand managers or marketing coordinators.
Third, you need to develop a strong portfolio of brand consulting work. Use your portfolio to show potential clients what you’re capable of and convince them to hire you.
Finally, if you want to be a freelance brand consultant, click here to read our article, “How to Become a Marketing Consultant.”