10 questions to ask before you start branding


The responsibility of creating (or reviving) a brand identity for a client is a daunting one. The agency is faced with the challenge of both discovering what makes a company tick and also developing a visual identity that encompasses those qualities.

I recently worked with our marketing team on a client’s brand development process to determine which factors differentiate its products, its services and the quality of its customer experience. This process involved a series of questionnaires, face-to-face meetings, visual reworking of the company logo and brand guidelines, and strategic communication materials that relayed the new brand to both internal and external audiences.

Changing the client’s logo and more importantly, their identity associated with the visuals, was a sensitive and steady process (think of all the pieces of equipment that needed a new logo…). We needed to gain the client’s trust and buy-in for the brand to be successful.

Similar to our own brand questionnaire, Sitepoint’s blog discusses several key things to ask your client before you start the brand development process. Use these 10 questions to kick things off:

  1. What does your business or product do well?
  2. What problems do you solve for your customers?
  3. What are you deeply passionate about?
  4. Is there a unique story behind your business name or logo?
  5. What are the biggest points of differentiation between you and competitors?
  6. What are the biggest areas of improvement for your company or product?
  7. What are your greatest challenges to achieving growth opportunities?
  8. What are some of the latest trends in the industry that are going to affect your product/your business?
  9. List adjectives that describe what your company is.
  10. List adjectives that describe what your company is not.

Have your clients answer these questions individually and away from his or her colleagues, in order to get genuine responses. There are also plenty of ways to engage an entire group so that the collaboration and interaction between individuals helps to strengthen the branding exercise.

Ultimately, agencies can save a lot of time and effort by getting clients to answer questions and delve into their brand personality upfront.  This helps ensure a successful brand launch and results in a happy and trusting client.

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