Being a branding agency, it becomes a pain in the neck for us when people don’t really understand what branding stands for.
Branding is not a new subject for the Indian market. However, it is also true that we, as a country, have a long way ahead of us in the area.
There are many amongst us who don’t understand the importance of branding. Or its meaning. So we’ll start with that.
[If you are already enlightened on this subject, feel free to scroll down to the list of world’s top branding agencies below. Although, I’d recommend reading this part too; who knows what you might learn!]
What is branding?
If you go to Wikipedia or other such websites, chances are that they’ll complicate the definition.
Here’s a simple one by Jeff Bezos instead:
Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.
This perfectly explains a lot in just a few words. Branding helps project a view of your company in front of people. It helps you tell what your company stands for.
You can also think of a brand as something that people have in mind when they think of a product.
Let’s take the example of Google. A few years ago, looking something up on the Internet was known as… looking something on the internet. But now? We don’t search for something on the internet, we Google it. Google has created such a strong brand identity that searching something on the internet has become synonymous with their brand’s name. If that’s not good branding, we can’t think of any better example.
Why is branding important?
Many people just up and start a business and think that there is nothing to branding. That they’ll do it themselves.
Think of this: most of us know that to paint a wall, we need to dip the brush in the paint can and swish it on the wall. But we still employ workers who can do it for us. Why? Simply because they’ve been doing it for years and know how to do it better than we do.
Similarly, when you start a business, you spend a lot of money ensuring that the product or service you’re providing is perfect for the customer. So, why would you want to skimp on the branding?
I’ll tell you a secret: when you go out in the market, you only have 2 options. Brand or be branded. If you do not spend enough time and energy in building a brand, then people will brand you as per their vision of you.
People are already perceiving your brand according to themselves. If you do not shape their perception, then you’ll risk ending up with a brand that is shaped by others.
Great Branding Companies Around the World
With such tremendous advent in the field, branding agencies have great responsibilities lying ahead of them. Hence, to hire a professional brand builder in India is a task that involves much thought.
It is no revelation that companies around the world have established themselves as branding pioneers. Moreover, many of them also have offices in the megacities of India.
Bass & Company is one example, being the pioneer of international brand marketing. It is a British brewery founded in 1777, which published a logo in 1876, making it the first ever image to be registered as a trademark.
Similarly, in 1905, Coca-Cola produced a simple slogan. And tiny steps like these proved to be revolutionary. They constructed a base of what branding, marketing, and advertising look like now.
Since then, branding has only evolved further. So much so, that now it is a major industry in the world.
So, what does Branding look like around the world? Come, let’s have a glimpse at some of the top branding companies in India and around the world to get an idea.
Found in 1941 by Walter Landor, the company is a world leader in brand consulting and design. According to their About Us page, Landor invented branding in the 1940s and the company has been reinventing it ever since.
Sir Walter Landor is credited for inventing many research, design, and consulting methods. Above all, his methods are still very much in use in the branding industry.
And having worked for a variety of clients from the airline, sports, tourism, hospitality, and other such industries, Landor Associates certainly boasts of a rich history.
This American brand strategy and design company was founded in 1943 in New York. In these 73 years, they managed to build offices around the world. They’re present in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other big cities, with a vision of expanding.
They have worked for brands like Coca-Cola, Samsung, and Starbucks in their rich pioneering since their establishment.
Giving utmost importance to strategy, design, and experience, Lippincott has set many examples for the rest of the world to follow. They do branding for companies that allow them to thrive and grow into the future.
Founded in 1969 by Alan Siegel and Robert Gale, the corporation now supports 200 employees. Their headquarters are in New York City, but they have offices and clients around the globe.
Their speciality lies in the digital, communication, and design fields. They believe in the power of simplicity in unlocking the potential of companies. In fact, they believe in simplicity so much so that they release a report on the World’s Simplest Brands and named Netflix, ALDI and Google in the top 3 spots for 2018.
Also, using facts, intuition, and creativity is their claimed method behind their work. Worshippers of simplicity, they believe in blending science with art. They are present in 6 cities around the world.
Specializing in brand insight, strategy, and design, Interbrand spells growth as only a few companies do. They began in 1974 and now are globally set with 18 offices in 14 countries.
Interbrand operates in India with DDB Mudra, a reputed marketing and branding company in India.
Founded in 1999 in London, UK, FutureBrand is evidently one of the top brand management companies the world has. They call themselves ‘The Creative Future Company’, deservingly so.
Being a multi-discipline business, the FutureBrand works on various aspects of branding such as product innovation, digital transformation, and more. The brand is a chain of 21 offices in 17 countries. This not only makes them big but also gives them a global perspective on branding.
Their clientele includes companies like Nescafe and Cadillac. Over the years, they have broadened their canvas to include many more branding sectors. Their group caters to areas like industrial and product design, hospitality experience, and digital design and build.
6. FROG DESIGN
Relentless believers of ‘form follows emotions’, Frog Design is a top brand strategy consulting firm. Their journey began in Germany in the year 1969. Hartmut Esslinger, the founder became known for his work for German brands like Sony.
In 1984, the company finally got the name they have been proudly using ever since. Their design for Apple Inc. in the same year was recognised by Times Magazine as the Design of the Year. Eventually, they transitioned from mechanical to digital designing.
Currently, they are present in umpteen major cities like San Francisco, Milan, Shanghai, London, and many more. With their offices in Bangalore and Gurugram, they are one of the top branding companies in India as well.
Pentagram has its offices in London, Austin, New York, and Berlin. They are the world’s largest independent design consultancy. Run by 21 partners across the 4 major cities of the world, Pentagram’s approach to branding is fresh. Mostly into graphics and identity, their team of 21 experts personally work for each client.
They provide their skill in the field of websites, digital experiences, product packaging, advertising, and communication. They come off as a comprehensive package of branding, consulting, and advertising.
They began in 2007 as Brand Union and slowly grew into a team of 750 people across 18 countries. With 22 Clio awards on their shelf, they rebranded themselves as Superunion in January 2018.
Their global CEO Jim Prior believes that brands should be brilliantly designed. Moreover, they should have a beautiful connection with the audience and their roots.
With studios in 23 cities across the world, they truly define themselves as a global branding agency for small and large businesses. Some of these cities are Bangkok, Beijing, Cape Town, Moscow, Jakarta, and Seoul.
10 years old in experience, Ruckus has surely brought the world to their office in a short time. As a full-service agency, Ruckus helps its clients with marketing strategy, SEO, digital, media, and lead generation.
With the services they offer, they prove to be one of the best branding companies for start-ups. In addition, their clientele includes top companies like Harley Davidson and HSBC.
This agency has bagged the prestigious Clio award for Brand Design. They’re present in London, New York City, San Francisco, and Copenhagen. It is one of the top branding agencies in NYC.
The agency has also worked for Cadbury and Reeves. It’s clear by now that the brand needs no introduction.
Pearlfisher. calls themselves a future-focused design company. But they do more than just designing. They have prestigious cases of rebranding, digital design, and communication under their coats as well.
As a brand reputation management and digital marketing service in India, we are hungry for two things. Firstly, knowledge. And second, setting an example ourselves. As they say, learning is an unending process. And we will always have so much to look back on and learn. But we are positive we also have a lot to look forward to and create.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in September 2018 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy.