The Brand Strategy Discovery Session

The role of conversations in our entire problem solving creative process.

At the core of everything we do are a series of conversations. Conversations facilitate the reassurance and repore-building needed to build commitment. By getting into the practice of having them as early as possible, we will have gained what we need to determine if both parties would be well served by working together.

When we decide that working together makes sense, and determined that moving forward will be valuable to the client, the next step is another conversation in the form of a workshop called the "Discovery Session." This is where we lay the foundational work for establishing what our goals are in order to solidify them into every creative step going forward.

Click here to read more about why we always start our creative process with strategy.

Research and Diagnosis

From these conversations and the supplemental research, we lay the groundwork together. We determine:

We will articulate:

  • how you make or made your money,
  • your challenges,
  • your successes,
  • your failures,
  • your technical restraints,
  • your editorial process,
  • your content strategy, - Read our article on content strategy.

I hope to gather as much relevant information I can about:

Most importantly, our conversations are an opportunity for clients to collaborate with us on the brand strategy: The expectations and goals for your brand. This collaboration is to be used as the frame for the entire creative-decision-making process moving forward.

Further along the process, we would be digging deeper into technical aspects of the problem and may require:

  • Examples of all existing and past marketing material
  • Your social media accounts and history.
  • Web-host and domain registrar accounts and history.

Audience profiles

In our conversations, we will working to figure out who we will be designing for. Together we will come up with a few profiles of hypothetical people (and companies with people in those companies if B2B) that will represent various parts of your audience. We will be designing the brand, and content to appeal to them. These can include some very much like your existing customer-base and some that represent the kind of customer you are hoping to attract going forward.

Click here to read a preview ideal customer profile worksheet.

Translating words into feelings and feelings into style

The Brand Strategy workshop’s number one goal is to collect information about your vision for your business and the brand that will effectively represent who you are. From those conversations, we will have collected a list of descriptive language and adjectives. It will be up to us to translate these words into the visual language and the overall look of your brand.

The possible stylistic directions with which we can use as reference when designing will be organized into a series of collages. This is a way we find effective in bringing together visual elements to sum up a stylistic direction for your brand. It is customary to provide a small number of these for the client to choose from and provide feedback on. Our discussions will give us what we need for a firm foundation on the stylistic direction of our designs going forward.

The goal and the result of the discovery sessions.

We will have determined your Brand Strategy and answered the four questions that sum it up:

  • What does your brand do?
  • Who do you do it for?
  • How do you do it?
  • What does the competitive landscape look like and how do you stand out?

The answers to those questions and our active collaboration will have informed a consistent:

  • Look/feel for your brand
  • Voice/tone for your brand
  • Behavior for your brand

With our focus established and path visible, we can now confidently and effectively create:

  • Logos
  • A formal corporate style guide
  • Packaging Design
  • Letterhead, envelopes, business cards, and other company collateral
  • Signage
  • Product labeling
  • Catalogs
  • Brochures
  • Websites
  • Etc.

With our foundation underfoot, all discussions and critique of creative decisions will be grounded in the context of the Brand's Strategy:

  • “Does this visual style convey the ideas that we wish our brand to represent?”
  • “Does this creative decision appeal to the brand's resounding message and will it appeal to our existing audience as well as the audience we wish to expand towards?”
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