If you want to win more brand design work, you’ll want a structure to your proposal pipeline... And that’s where we can help!
If you work in brand management then you know where your value lies... In strong brand building strategy and execution. It’s easy to promise improved brand identity or increased brand awareness but how do you convince a client you or your agency are the ones to deliver it?
With a jaw-dropping proposal that showcases your expertise.
Your branding proposal needs to sell value from the outset. It should demonstrate your understanding of your client’s brand as well as your ability to take it to the next level.
For the best results we always recommend you take our base template and tailor it to your client. This way they will feel you are the right fit for them. And guess what? We’ve made it super easy to do. You can easily add in your own photography, videos or graphics as you please. Change the colors and the fonts as you go and save your settings for the next proposal. So save time and elevate your proposal game with our online proposal templates.
A lot of clients don’t have a clear idea of what their brand stands for or even how to use the brand effectively. Even though they spend a lot of the day working with the brand, it is quite common for clients to seek outside assistance when it comes to branding. If you send a lot of branding proposals, you probably already know this!
Using a template like the one above is going to save you time if you plan to send multiple proposals. If you want to actually win those proposals, though, you’ll still need to customize and personalize it. You’ll also need to know how to write each section to give you the best chance of winning the job.
Worry not! That’s what we’re here for. We’ll walk you through the 7 sections of a branding proposal template and tell you exactly what you should be doing with each one. By the end of it you’ll have supreme confidence in your own proposal. We wouldn’t want it any other way!
The first part is relatively easy and even more so for you. If you know branding you won’t need to be reminded that the visual impact of your cover image is crucial. It sets the tone, projects who you are and what you stand for and gives the client an idea of what to expect in the proposal itself. So, choose carefully.
You guys are the branding experts so we don’t want to tell you what to do but try to think specifically about this client and this proposal even if you have a go to background image that you often use.
The title should be even more straightforward, it needs to describe the proposal itself in a clear and concise way. Nobody is doubting your ability to write catchy taglines but what we need here is an, easy to understand, descriptive title. As always, you’ll need to do a quick check for contrast and legibility.
One of the best pieces of advice we can give is to conduct a thorough client interview before you even pitch your branding proposal. This is the best and, perhaps, the only way to truly uncover your client’s needs. Understanding the problems your client faces, what they hope to achieve with the branding or rebranding work and why they are undertaking it now is invaluable information.
Assuming you have done your homework, this section should be short and sweet. Simply state a summarized version of your client’s problem. This should come in the form of 2 or 3 sentences. You don’t want a laundry list of problems many of which branding cannot solve anyway. Neither do you want 2 needs which have the same underlying problem.
Try to get to the heart of the matter and show the client you truly understood what they are going through. After that, you’ll want to list your goals and these are going to match up one to one with the problem statements.
Let’s look at an example.
If you stated that one of the client problems was that the brand was not associated with their sector even by customers who have previously interacted with it, you might state as your goal something like:
“Review current branding collateral and propose a more impactful and intuitive design.“
Notice that the goal is a solution to the problem.
Once we’re done with the cover image, title, problems and goals, we are ready to start the proposal proper. This is where you propose your solution. Please note we didn’t say sell your solution, we said propose and that is what a proposal should do.
If you need to do a hard sell here then you either have aligned well with the client during your interview or you are lacking confidence in your capabilities. Either way, it would be bad news. Instead, focus on the value you will bring to the client.
Although there is a temptation to drop big ideas in the solution, that’s not usually a winning strategy. You should be reaffirming your understanding of the situation and highlighting your professionalism and unique ability to execute the project to the highest standards.
Being transparent, clear and professional in this part of the proposal will build trust in you as well as convince the client that you are easy to work with – not everybody is!
If you have a methodology or past case studies, this is a great place to include them. On the other hand make sure to keep everything relevant. That awesome case study for a well-known brand might not be the best choice is it is completely different to this client. Pick something that will resonate and complement the rest if your proposal.
Once you have detailed your solution it’s time to make a quick section regarding the scope. It might be clear to you what is included in a branding proposal but is the client aligned?
Some key thoughts to entertain here are
And of course, what are the deliverables exactly?
This section is useful for you and the client to be on the same page and also to be clear about all the value you will bring. Too many clients think of a logo design as a simple one-off task!
Just before proposing pricing, we recommend including an outline of the benefits. This primes the client to receive pricing in the best possible light.
Now, we know you are an awesome brand strategist but it doesn’t mean you need a long list of benefits. Instead focus on the core impact your work will have. A good way to approach this is to read back the problems and goals you wrote at the beginning of the proposal.
In the context of these goals, what are the benefits for the client?
Finally we get to pricing. Of course this is a critical part of the proposal but it doesn’t mean it should be difficult. A lot of agencies feel undervalued when they see their services itemized and priced up in a long list of tasks. Don’t worry, though, we actually recommend you avoid this.
Try to package your services into 2 or 3 options, one of which will be your full package. This allows you to charge what you think you are worth for the bundle of services that you believe are required for this project. You’ll sell this as the “full” package but you’ll also offer a “lite” version with a lower price point.
In this way you know you won’t be discarded based on price alone. You’ll also make it less likely the client will try to haggle you down.
The final part of your proposal covers the timings which is something every client wants to know and they are unlikely to sign off without knowing how long it will take. A great tip here is to use the sign-off as the marker. Set your first deliverable at X days or weeks after the marker.
This creates an incentive to sign the proposal right away. And with Nusii, our proposal software, you can capture the signature there and then. Leverage our e-signatures to make sure there is no friction when it comes to client signatures.
What can Nusii give you that more traditional methods cannot?
Not only will Nusii keep you in the loop about everything that happens with your proposals, but we’ll also help you see just how often your client is interacting with your proposal, whether they’ve downloaded a PDF copy and of course whether they’ve accepted!
Knowledge is power.
The easier you make it for your client to get on-board, the better your chances of closing a deal. Digital e-signing or online signatures is a great way to reduce friction. Gone are the days of scanners and email attachments. Let your client accept their proposal right from the browser.
Having an offline record of your proposals can be very useful, especially when accounting season comes around. Which is why at Nusii you can export PDF copies of all your proposals.
Our customer support is done by us, no outsourcing...and we’re pretty quick on the draw. Being a small team means if we want to succeed, you need to succeed first.
Really! If you work with 500 different client types and you need a proposal template for each of them, no problem. Create templates with the click of a button and save yourself countless hours of writing and proposal preparation.
Business is about maximizing profit. Knowing who your most profitable clients are can help you to find more, just like them. Nusii lets you drill down into your Revenue on a per-client basis, showing you exactly who your best customers are.