Someone posed this question on Quora, "What is the difference between an advertising agency and a branding consultant?" Horin Branding Co-Founder Fahim Mugdho answered saying that basically, ad
agencies just make ads and are not involved with the development of a brand's strategy.
He says branding consultants do all the heavy lifting; brand diagnosis, brand architecture,
brand strategy, brand execution and media and ad planning. He writes: "It's like branding agencies do the math, advertising agencies do the jump according to the math." Yes, he really did say that.
Branding consultants say "jump" and ad agencies respond, "How high?"
I’d agree that there are a lot of creative shops out there that do indeed simply react to an assigned brand
strategy. But most agencies have brand development capabilities in-house and can certainly take the lead on brand development. To just toss off ad agencies as order fillers is disingenuous at best,
and well, just plain wrong. Every ad agency I've worked for and most every ad agency I am familiar with is fully capable of developing a brand strategy.
What are your thoughts? Does your
agency help your clients develop their brand strategy? Or do you just make ads?