Do Agencies Have a Branding Problem?

Strong advice from Digiday writer Jack Marshall on it being time for agencies to take their own advice and build stronger brands rather than resort to generic buzzwords to describe what they’re about.

Agencies are in the business of building and differentiating clients’ brands, yet many struggle to do so with their own. The names of their brands might be distinctive, but their positioning is usually far from it. Just try to read the marketing material from agencies; it typically sounds the same as the other shop’s. It’s little wonder prospective clients often have little idea exactly what agencies can actually do for them.

The problem is especially pronounced in digital. In an effort to capture what relatively little budget gets devoted by major marketers for online efforts, digital agencies claim to do almost everything under the sun. Mobile app? Sure. Social strategy? Of course. Banner ads? Absolutely. R/GA is “the agency for the digital age,” while rival AKQA purports, “The future inspires us. We work to inspire.”

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