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Building A Brand - Part 1

This is the framework utilised for most of our brand-building offerings. Typically, we consider this part one(1) of our process, and at this stage, a client consult was already done; the project scope was agreed upon, a signed contract and a downpayment was received.


Blog Post Header Banner: Brand Discovery


The Brand Discovery Session is
Sub-Headline "The Most Critical & Necessary Step When Building A Brand.











It's not just a meeting; it's a game-changer. Both client and brand architects should emerge with crystal-clear clarity. The goldmine of insights gained here allows you to decode goals, mastermind strategies, and set the stage for productive action.

These sessions can be virtual and in-person, typically running for thirty(30) minutes to two(2) hours, depending on the scale of the client, the range of products/services and the number of decision-makers present.



Introductions


We start sessions by briefly introducing our team and persons present, noting names, job titles, and functions. This simple practice helps us direct questions better, effectively distil insights gathered and, most importantly, control how we navigate the session. If it's a larger group of persons in attendance, it's crucial to maintain focus in a way that is optimal for productive collaboration.


Next, it's helpful to reiterate the purpose of the session, what discovery is, why it is essential and the best practices for maximising the value of the session to both parties.



What Is Discovery?


It's important for us to understand exactly who our client is, therefore the session is really a candid deep-dive. Extracting essential insights: pain points, views, values, promise/s, and other valuable insights that accurately depict our client.


Brand Discovery Session

Who knows about the client better than the client? We view our clients as the experts here, and we're here to learn about them.


This audit-of-sorts, should be two things, a. realistic; extracting a brutally honest assessment of the current position is important, and b. ambitious; understanding where our client sees themselves in 5-10 years. In this session, we attempt to extract four(4) key insights.


The Client - Who? What? Why?

This insight helps us build a strategy that addresses pain points and aligns with the client & their goals.

Perception

Audience

Communication


 

Brand Discovery Session in progress


The Client


Here, we unpack -

Who is the client? We seek an in-depth understanding of the structure, operations or processes, strengths, weaknesses.

What is important to this client? What are their views and values?


What is the culture like? Here we seek to get an understanding of the people, mood, vibe and atmosphere associated with the client. The main exercise usually entails presenting a prompt list of adjectives and have the client select up to three relevant ones and make note of the common themes.


Here's a look at a typical prompt list -

Professional

Loud

Transparent

Mature

Youthful

Family

Nurturing

Hip

Motivating

Motherly

Autonomous

Tough

Happy

Inclusive

Sarcastic

Casual

Progressive

Fun

Relaxed

Challenging

Offensive

Nimble

Empathetic

Motivating

Collaborative

Personable

Dynamic


Why does their business exist? We unpack the need/s are the client trying to address, their promise to the target audience and why should that audience care.


What are the minor and major problems they face? We dig deeper to understand if there were any attempts to address those issues in the past, how was that done and the results of those attempts.

What are the goals, objectives and targets they have set for themselves? We seek to understand the reason for setting these, the timelines they've set, along with how it's going thus far.


We also ask about the competitive landscape, the market share holders, nearest competitors and aspirational neighbours(1). It's important for us to note exactly how the competitive landscape is laid out from the perspective of the client and also from an objective point of view. We note the qualities of the competition that is appreciated or not.

Perception


We run a quick exercise where we ask the decision-makers to list a. one thing that the company is known for, and b. one thing they would like to be known for.


Usually when we gather all the 'one things' from the group, there are commonalities. In the cases where they are all misaligned, it signals to us that there needs to be greater clarity and our job is to assist by the additional questions we ask.

How are goods or services viewed? We want to know what is the customer service like and how important is the customer's experience to the client.

How do employees, partners, and suppliers feel about working with the client? Understanding this and comparing against notes from other sources like focus groups or general research is important to our strategy process.


Audience


Who is the ideal audience? We like to prompt clients to describe their ideal customer using an adjective and a noun, Eg: Busy mothers, Creative professionals, Stressed teenagers, Hungry dads, Hunky men, Classy lawyers, etc. Based on this description, we generate an audience persona during the strategy phase and have the client confirm if this persona aligns with their ideal audience.



Communication


How and where does the client currently speak to their audience? This is mostly an assessment of existing marketing/brand communication, if applicable.


How does the client want to sound to their audience? Here's an opportunity to consider the brand's voice so we utilise another prompt list of adjectives and have them select up to three relevant ones and once more, make note of the common themes.

Here's a look at a typical prompt list -

Formal

Irreverent

No-nonsense

Playful

Rough

Direct

Casual

Humble

Common

Personable

Confident

Sage

Polished

Soothing

Poetic

Academic

Sarcastic

Manly

Philosophical

Stoic

Girly

Good ol' boy

Bubbly

Sensitive


How would they like to appear to the audience, their aesthetic, favoured design style? We may display relevant visuals from top brands; we show logo types - with examples of popular brands that utilises each type, colour palettes, copywriting styles, etc. We also utilise another prompt list to understand how they want to be visually represented.


Here's a look at a typical prompt list -

Professional

Elegant

Grass roots

Rustic

Mature

Refined

Dark

Funky

Nurturing

Bold

Light

Chic

Motherly

Classic

Luxurious

Vintage

Happy

Urban

Posh

Heritage

Casual

Youthful

Cozy

Charming

Relaxed

Prestigious

Regal

Militant

Nimble

Reserved

Traditional

Hipster

Collaborative

Minimal

Maximal

Gothic

Because words and expressions can be subjective, after the three(3) prompts are selected we like to have the client define what these words mean to them in the context of visuals.


 

Footnotes:

(1) Aspirational Neighbours: can be a brand you are competing with or a brand from a different industry, the main takeaway, is that you respect or look up to those brands. This is what we consider an Aspirational Neighbour to be.


 


Next Wednesday, we’ll discuss Step 2 in building your brand –

Brand Strategy.

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