Creating Impactful Brand Strategies for Businesses in the UAE

Creating Impactful Brand Strategies for Businesses in the UAE

March 21, 2024


Starting your own branding consultancy in the UAE? You've got a great opportunity ahead of you. With many new businesses launching in this dynamic market, skilled branding advisors are in high demand. But turning your passion into a profitable consultancy takes strategy and savvy. This article will help you lay the branding foundations so you can grow a distinctive consultancy and attract ideal clients.

We'll cover practical steps from developing your brand identity and niche expertise to marketing your services and scoring those crucial first projects. Read on for insider tips that will give your consultancy the winning edge as you establish yourself as a branding guru in the UAE startup scene. Whether you're dreaming of launching your consultancy or already taking those first steps, these proven ideas will set you up for branding success.

This article covers:

Essential Elements in Corporate Identity Services

Designing a Brand Identity
To build a successful branding consultancy, you need to master the essential elements of corporate branding. Focus on designing unique yet professional brand identities for your clients. Work closely with them to determine their key brand attributes and values. Then, translate these into visual identities with logos, colour palettes, and typography that reflect their brand essence.

Crafting a Brand Strategy
A brand is more than just a logo. Help your clients develop a comprehensive brand strategy to shape how their brand is perceived. This includes determining their brand positioning, voice, and messaging to resonate with their target customers. Advise them on brand architecture to establish brand hierarchy and relationships between sub-brands. Guide brand experience to deliver a consistent brand encounter across all touchpoints.

Implementing Brand Guidelines 

Create brand guidelines to outline specifications for using your clients’ brand elements properly. These guidelines ensure brand consistency in all marketing and communications. They specify rules around the brand logo, fonts, colours, imagery, messaging, and more. Develop guidelines that are easy to understand and share with internal teams and external agencies working with your clients.

To build a successful branding consultancy in the UAE, mastering these essential corporate branding services is key. But also focus on cultivating soft skills like communication, creativity and business acumen. Stay up-to-date with trends in brand strategy and design. 

Define Your Branding Niche in the UAE

To build a successful branding agency in the UAE, you must determine your niche. With so much competition, focusing on a specific industry or service offering is key. Some options to consider include:

Hospitality and Tourism
The UAE's tourism industry is booming, so agencies specialising in hospitality and travel brands are in high demand. You could help hotels, airlines, tourist attractions, and entertainment venues strengthen their brands.

Technology Startups
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are emerging as tech startup hubs, with new companies launching every day. Positioning yourself as an agency catering to tech startups and helping them craft their brand stories could tap into this growing market.

Luxury and Retail
The UAE is a premier luxury and shopping destination, with the Dubai Mall attracting over 80 million visitors annually. An agency focused on fashion, jewellery, automobile or other high-end retail brands would have a distinct advantage.

Healthcare and Wellness
Healthcare and wellness are growth areas in the UAE. An agency targeting hospitals, medical centres, gyms, spas and sports facilities could help these businesses reach health-conscious customers.

Build a Portfolio of Logo Design and Branding Projects

To build your portfolio, you'll need to take on some real-world jobs. Start by offering discounted or even free logo and branding services to local small businesses, charities or startups. Make it clear you're looking to build your portfolio in exchange for the experience.

Find Your Niche
Focus on a particular industry or style you want to become an expert in, like tech companies, lifestyle brands or non-profits. Develop a cohesive portfolio showcasing your skills in that niche.

Showcase Your Process
Include sketches, mood boards, font explorations and other materials that demonstrate your creative process. Explain the rationale behind your design decisions. Clients will appreciate your transparency and attention to detail.

Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Only include your best work that you're extremely proud of. Four or five stellar projects are better than ten mediocre ones. Ask former clients if you can include a case study in their project. Explain the business objectives, your solutions and the results.

Building a portfolio takes dedication and patience, but it is essential for establishing your credibility as a branding consultant. By targeting small jobs to build experience, defining your niche, showing your process and focusing on quality work, you'll have a portfolio that wins over new clients in no time. 

Becoming a Brand Strategist in the UAE

To become a branding consultant in the UAE, you’ll need the right skills and experience. Many brand strategists start their careers in marketing, PR or design. Over time, they develop a specialism in branding.

Build your knowledge
Immerse yourself in branding theory and best practices. Read books on brand strategy, follow industry thought leaders on social media, and take online courses. Familiarise yourself with successful brands and understand what makes their brand strategy effective. Continuously improving your knowledge will make you a better brand strategist.

Gain experience
The best way to learn brand strategy is through experience. Apply for jobs in marketing agencies, PR firms, or design studios to get exposure to branding projects. Pay attention to the processes and methodologies the teams use. After a few years, you’ll develop expertise that will enable you to work as an independent brand strategist.

Develop a portfolio
Build a portfolio of branding projects you have worked on. Case studies and examples of your work will help you demonstrate your skills to potential clients. Include strategic insights, creative concepts and the results achieved for each project. An impressive portfolio is essential for establishing yourself as a brand strategist.

Promote your services
You can set up your consultancy once you have the necessary experience and skills. Develop a professional website to promote your services, share your portfolio and establish your credibility. Network, get active on LinkedIn, and connect with marketing agencies and business owners who may need branding support. With hard work and persistence, you can build a successful brand strategy consultancy in the UAE.

The key to becoming an in-demand brand strategist in the UAE is continuously honing your craft through learning, experience and creating a reputation for developing impactful brand strategies that deliver real results for clients. If you have a passion for building brands, the opportunities in this field are vast.

Network and Market Your Branding Consultancy

Building a network is key to finding new clients. Start by attending local business events, conferences and networking sessions in your industry. Introduce yourself to people, exchange business cards and connect on LinkedIn. Look for opportunities to join relevant organisations and become an active member. The more you put yourself in front of potential clients, the more likely they are to think of you when they need branding services.

Once you've built up your network, it's time to market your new consultancy. Create a professional website to establish your online presence and credibility. Showcase your branding process, services and examples of your work. You'll also want to start building your email list by offering a lead magnet like a free branding checklist or guide.

Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to raise awareness of your services. Post regularly about branding topics, share examples of effective branding and promote your latest blog posts. Look for opportunities to guest blog on other sites to increase your visibility.

Remember offline marketing tactics as well. Design business cards, flyers or postcards to hand out at events. Pitch yourself to local organisations and business centres as a speaker on branding. Offer a free initial consultation to new clients. Once they experience your branding knowledge and enthusiasm firsthand, they'll be more keen to hire you.


Setting up a new business requires a lot of skill, and it also requires a lot of money. So, the more of that money you can save in the setup stages, the more funds you can invest to ensure your business has all the resources necessary in those all-important early months.

Starting a Branding Business in the UAE with a UAQ FTZ Consultancy Licence

A UAQ FTZ (Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone) license offers several advantages that can contribute to the success and growth of your business. Here are some key benefits:

Global Recognition: Having a business presence in the UAE, a global business hub, enhances your company's reputation and may attract international clients seeking services in the Middle East.

100% Foreign Ownership and tax exemptions: In the UAQ FTZ, foreign investors can enjoy 100% ownership of their companies, and tax exemptions, including corporate taxes, personal income taxes, and import/export duties.

Easy Company Setup: UAQ FTZ streamlines the company setup process, making it relatively quick and straightforward. This includes simplified documentation and administrative procedures.

Strategic Location: The UAE is a gateway between the East and the West, offering easy access to regional markets. UAQ's proximity to major logistics hubs makes it an ideal location for businesses involved in branding and marketing services.

Infrastructure and Facilities: UAQ FTZ provides modern and well-equipped office spaces, and infrastructure to support businesses. This facilitates a professional and efficient working environment.

Networking Opportunities: Being part of a free trade zone opens up networking opportunities with other businesses within the zone. This can lead to collaborations, partnerships, and a supportive business ecosystem.


How much does it cost to start a branding agency?
The costs to start a branding consultancy can vary but you’ll need funding for office space, employees, marketing, and other overhead. Expect to invest in a credible consultancy license to get up and running. The good news is as an entrepreneur, there are ways to keep costs down, especially when you’re just starting. Look for affordable office spaces like the flexible office options at UAQ Free Trade Zone.

Do I need any special licences or permits?
To operate legally in the UAE, you’ll need a consultancy licence to start a business. The requirements vary between the Emirates, so check with your local municipality. You may also need additional permits to employ staff or lease office space. If you register with a Free Trade Zone like UAQ FTZ you will have a one-stop window to all your business needs.

Can I work from home while running my branding consultancy?

Absolutely, running a branding consultancy from home is a great way to keep overhead costs low, especially when you’re first starting. When you’re ready to expand, you can look for outside office space and bring on additional staff. The flexibility of working from home allows you to grow your business at your own pace. UAQ FTZ is a wonderful option for a startup as it allows you to scale up according to your needs.


So there you have it, some top tips for building your branding consultancy in the UAE. Whether you're just starting out or looking to grow your business, focusing on networking, developing your expertise, and targeting key industries will help get your name out there. The UAE is a great place for ambitious entrepreneurs, with support and funding available. Have confidence in your skills and be persistent - your hard work will pay off as you make connections and demonstrate the value you can bring clients. There's no better time than now to turn your passion into a thriving consultancy. Believe in your vision and make it happen!

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