5 factors to consider when choosing our Design Agency

Never the buyers of retail have been as demanding with the brands as nowadays. If a few years ago they referenced a very high percentage of innovation, their level of acceptance today is much lower. We have to get their attention and convince them to reach the shelves of their supermarkets.

At the same time, never in the history of retail, consumers have had as much offer available as now. It has never been so complicated to emerge on the shelves and impact that consumer to become a shopper of our brands.

If we add to these factors the enormous distribution and the current quality of the Private Label, we could conclude that never in the history of trade has it been so complicated to do what we have all come to do: SELL!

If the level of market demand has multiplied exponentially in recent years, we must also multiply our level of quality requirements for our portfolios, our products and our marketing mix, to respond with guarantees to this great challenge. For this we must be very disciplined when choosing our partners and especially those who will help us to update our historical brands and prepare the new ones that we will launch to the market. It is key to have the best design agency at our side.

The 5 factors that we should take into account to choose it would be the following:

The Talent of the design agency

It can be complicated to define what talent is when we talk about design, packaging, … but deep down we talk about creativity. When we choose a design agency, we are looking for that: CREATIVITY, in capital letters. For this, to understand and to see in depth the historical “book” of that Agency will be key to understand if that creativity that we look for is or is not, and if with those wicks we can make good baskets.

The team

That creativity that we will need will come from a team of professionals with their history and their experiences and background.

It will be key to understand if with these professionals we will be able to build a good affinity in the short term. This affinity should be at two levels: vision and language. It is key that the vision of the company and that of the Agency be shared and univocal. Both partners walking in the same direction will be a guarantee of success. If so, the technical language they use will have to be very similar to the beginning and identical to the end. When both parties speak the same language (in vision and technicalities) we will be very close to success.

Undoubtedly, it will be easier to reach this symbiosis between client and agency, if the agency team has worked on both “sides”. If the team members have worked at the beginning of their professional careers creating, developing and selling brands, if they understand, because they have lived, the pressure of a P & L and how important it is to understand the problems of brands from a point of view of business … we’ll have half the way done.

Track record

Obviously, we are going to ask that our future agency have done their homework in La Liga Santander and, if possible, in the Champions League! Who already trusts them? Since when? With what companies do they work, for which brands are they developing projects, how often and, above all, with what results?


Speaking of results, the question we will ask is what kind of results are we talking about.At this point, experience shows us that winning Prizes and various Awards in the different contests to which the world of Design and Packaging is presented, is not always synonymous with business success. In other words, they often win Design awards that are not selling anything. That is, brands that are going to disappear … What design and packaging they should have! To win prizes maybe … but if those designs are not used to sell … we will not get very far …It is important that those packaging projects, those design projects, those projects of new shapes, are selling. That is the best letter of presentation of a good Agency: customers who sell!

Trusting the design agency

The last aspect to consider is trust. It is important that this Agency generates trust in us first. That they understand the briefing immediately. A briefing that will not only talk about packaging, design, forms, … the briefing will talk about a business problem, a corporate and brand strategy, some future positioning objectives and, above all, some business objectives … that will speak a good briefing … well, all that has to understand and interpret a good agency … and that is called confidence. For this reason, once a professional relationship with a good Agency has begun, once the first outputs have been obtained, once that affinity has been created, that common language, that ability to generate jointly, … in short, once a trust relationship has been created At the highest level, the best we can do is continue with our Agency and with your team, … in the middle and in the long term. The results will always be superior, with respect to a more “Agency by project” or “Systematic Contest” type strategy, ..

These would be the 5 factors to consider in choosing a good agency. Some very rational, others more emotional in nature. To these 5 factors, some would like to add a sixth factor: the price. Well, the reality always ends up showing that the price should not be part of these factors to consider, because normally “you get what you pay for” … and what we are looking for is the best design and the best packaging to increase the value of our brands. Pay the fair value for that work and we will obtain the added value we have been looking for.

About the author: Xavier Mitjavila | Former General Manager JDE France
• Former General Manager JDE France
• Former General Manager JDE Southern Europe
• Former General Manager Danone Italy

April 10th, 2019 | Branding
Little Buddha Brand Design Agency

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