B2B branding agency vs in-house: pros and cons

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is a competitive world and branding plays a central role in helping your business stand out from the competition. When it comes to branding, B2B companies have two options: hiring a specialized B2B branding agency or handling branding initiatives in-house. Both approaches have their perks and drawbacks. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of these B2B branding options, introduce a powerful alternative solution and help you decide which path is best for your brand.

The Power of B2B Branding

Before diving into the pros and cons, let’s define why branding is so crucial for B2B companies. Effective B2B branding creates a distinct identity, communicates value propositions, and builds credibility in the market. A strong brand helps B2B organizations set themselves apart from their competitors, attract potential customers, and foster long-term relationships.

In other words, your B2B brand is what makes you memorable and approachable (or not). Now that we understand why your B2B brand is essential to business success, let’s examine how you can go about building that brand. We’ll look at the pros and cons of hiring a traditional B2B branding agency and design your brand in-house. We’ll also go over how working with SketchDeck, a next-generation creative partner, gets you the best of both worlds when it comes to B2B branding projects.

Pros of Hiring a traditional B2B Branding Agency

Expertise and Specialization

With B2B branding agencies, you get a dedicated, up-to-date understanding of the unique challenges, dynamics, and trends behind B2B marketing. Their deep industry knowledge, insights, and expertise guarantee their ability to craft a brand strategy that supports your business goals. By leveraging their experience, agencies can develop a comprehensive branding approach tailored specifically to your needs and target audience.

Fresh Perspective

By hiring an external B2B branding agency, you gain an objective, outside viewpoint. They can identify gaps in your existing branding strategies you might not have seen and propose innovative ideas to enhance your brand image. A fresh perspective is crucial if you’re looking to revitalize your brand and make it more appealing and relevant in a competitive market.

Time and Resource Efficiency

Branding is a time-intensive process. When you outsource branding efforts to a B2B branding agency,  you free up valuable internal resources. Working with a B2B branding agency allows your team to focus on the day-to-day without sacrificing bandwidth. Agencies have dedicated teams and streamlined processes to efficiently execute branding initiatives. They can handle everything from brand strategy development and creative design to implementation and ongoing brand management, saving you tons of time and effort.

Cons of Hiring a traditional B2B Branding Agency

High cost

Normally, working with a B2B branding agency is a big investment. Depending on the agency’s reputation, expertise, and the scope of the project, the cost can vary significantly. If you’re a smaller business, dedicating such a large part of your budget to branding and agency fees might not be feasible. When considering an agency, it’s important to get a clear idea of the cost and weigh the potential returns against the investment.

Less Control and Transparency

When you outsource your branding efforts, you tend to have less control over the process and execution. While B2B branding agencies strive to understand your vision and objectives, there might be instances where their creative direction doesn’t align perfectly with your internal expectations. Make sure you find an agency that prioritizes effective communication and collaboration. A strong partnership is essential to ensure alignment and bridge any potential gaps.

Limited Internal Skill Development

If you choose to partner with a B2B branding agency, your in-house team might miss out the valuable opportunity to learn about brand development. Building your brand in-house empowers your team to better understand your industry, customers, and market trends. However, this requires a commitment to ongoing training and allocating resources for skill development, another big investment and time suck.

Pros and Cons of In-House Branding

In contrast to hiring a B2B branding agency, managing branding efforts in-house offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look.

Full Control and Alignment

With in-house branding, you have complete control over the direction, execution, and consistency of your brand. A brand developed in-house will encompass your overall business strategy, messaging, and values. Also, building your brand in-house allows you to provide immediate feedback and eliminate unnecessary back and forth. 

Cost Savings

Handling branding internally can save costs in the long run, especially for businesses with limited budgets. Instead of outsourcing to an agency, you can allocate resources toward building an in-house team capable of developing and implementing branding strategies. However, it’s important to consider the time, effort, and expertise required to build and sustain an effective in-house branding team. If you don’t have the resources required to build your brand in-house, the cost and time it takes to assemble such a team might be comparable to simply hiring an agency.

Limited Expertise and Perspective

In-house branding teams may lack the breadth of expertise and industry knowledge that specialized B2B branding agencies possess. This can limit your brand in the long run.  You can invest in ongoing training and development programs to bridge this knowledge gap. However, it’s unlikely your internal team will be able to bring the fresh, outside perspective that an agency can provide.

Finding a better B2B branding solution with SketchDeck

Choosing between a B2B branding agency and in-house branding depends on your unique business needs, available resources, and long-term objectives. B2B branding agencies bring specialized expertise, fresh perspectives, and efficient execution, while in-house branding offers control, alignment, and potential cost savings.

However, there is a third, better option that gives you the best of both worlds. SketchDeck is a new kind of creative agency with established expertise in building B2B brands. SketchDeck combines the efficiency and expertise of an agency, with the transparency and control of your in-house team.

Unlike traditional agencies, SketchDeck is completely on-demand with a unique platform that gives you full insight into your project from start to finish. Unlike developing a brand in-house, SketchDeck’s branding experts provide the full-range of skills necessary to build a relevant B2B brand along with a streamlined process that guarantees on-time delivery.

Once your brand is built, SketchDeck continues to work with your team on everyday design projects, ensuring that your brand is maintained over time. The best part? SketchDeck is a flexible, scalable branding and design solution built to fit into your existing budget and in-house structure.

Make the right choice for your B2B brand

Whatever B2B branding approach you choose, it’s important to assess your specific requirements, weigh your options, and make an informed decision that aligns with your branding goals. Remember, your brand significantly impacts your company’s visibility, reputation and success in a hyper-competitive B2B marketplace. Picking the right B2B branding solution is crucial to your success.

Ivy Croteau

Ivy Croteau

Redefine what's possible with SketchDeck.

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Redefine what’s possible
with SketchDeck.