- The brand discovery phase
- What questions you should be asking your clients
- Engaging clients on a brand level
Its a common scenario for designers… you have a rough outline of what the client wants from your initial meeting/call, and the ideas are already manifesting in your mind and you cant wait to fire up illustrator, photoshop or whatever your design weapon of choice is and get started building the next great iconic brand.
But it’s important to fight your creative temptation and take time to learn all you can about your client, their current pain points and reason for engaging you on a brand level.
Failure to undertake this vital phase of brand discovery can lead to completely misunderstanding your clients requirements. This insight will not only enable you to deliver a more focused brand offering, but also will allow you to develop your working relationship with your client and build a higher level of trust, as your client will know they’ve have ‘armed you’ with the necessary ammunition to deliver the brand identity they desire.
There are numerous ways to extract this precious information – some clients prefer face to face meetings and working through a pre-defined list of questions and video meetings via Skype/Zoom/Google Hangouts etc, whilst other agencies will deploy a digital questionnaire for clients to complete. Having gathered these valuables insights it’s important to distill them into a design brief that acts as a point of reference that designers can use to reinforce brand/design decisions and maintain focus during the design phase. A design brief is a succinct and accessible document that all brand stakeholders should have access to at all times.
Typical questions you should ask include:
- What are the long term goals of your company?
- What has driven this need? (get client to address existing pain points)
- What do you want your new brand to accomplish?
- How do you want customers to perceive your company brand?
- Who is the target audience?
- Where is the current brand failing?
- How are you different from your competitors?
- Have they consider their verbal identity as well as visual identity?
Your client’s answers to these vital questions will encourage on-going discussions and will result in greater client insights. Once the discovery phase is complete, you, the designer, will need to get as much out of the information you have compiled, and organise the qualitative data into definitive area’s such as:-
- What are the concerns of the client?
- What does the branding need to focus on?
- What is the primary brand proposition – are they selling a service or an immersive experience?
- Delivery considerations?
This constant brand insight refinement should leave you with a highly focused road map to deliver a successful brand design, or redesign, that fulfills your client’s requirements and positions, you, the designer as an potential brand guardian to help ensure the identity is delivered consistently across all channels.