Mirror mirror on the wall...
While there are tens of companies claiming “branding” expertise in their portfolio of services, customers vote with their wallet. A quick look through the newly released official 2005 turnover figures suggests the following Top 3:
1. FutureBrand/BrandTailors/McCann-Erickson – 574k USD (based mainly on McCann-Erickson's clients),
2. Brandient – 470k USD,
3. Chrysopeea – 405k USD (a good design company from Cluj-Napoca that talks little but does much).
Further down the pyramid — under 350k USD turnover — there are many design, web-design, events and production companies (e.g. Grapefruit, Brânzaș Design, Synopsismedia etc) and freelance designers that cover parts of the branding jobs.
On a side note
Some of the also-runners are over-vocal for their size and portfolio, which is okay as long as it's a Darwinian “survival of the noisest” attempt. Nevertheless, it is outright goofy when a contender (respectable otherwise) that didn't even make it to the Top 3 is self-proclaimed “the largest Romanian branding and design consultancy”. In branding, bluffing is the worst strategy. In business, it can stain not only the bluffer's reputation, but the credibility of the whole industry.