10 questions to ask yourself before you start the brand identity process
So you’ve found a creative agency you think is a good fit. They “get” you. They’ll be the perfect partners to turn your business idea into a brand that will stand out from the competition and attract loyal customers.
The design process gets underway. A week passes, and another, then a presentation is arranged. You can see they’ve put a lot of work in… but there’s something not quite right. It’s not quite what you were looking for.
What went wrong?
We all know that design is very subjective. But that’s not it. You completely get that the brand isn’t based on your personal tastes and preferences, but on the needs and direction of the business, on its target market’s preferences and on the business’s tone of voice. That must be it. They haven’t quite understood your business and the directory you want to take it.
Getting it right first time
The key to branding a business, whether for the first time or for a rebrand, is for there to be a perfect understanding between the client and the agency. The agency needs to get into your head, know what you know about your business and your market, and you need to let them.
At the start of the process you’ll be asked questions that make up a project brief. You’ll need to give these a lot of thought – both your answer and the way you answer.
There’ll be a lot of questions, but the most important ones can be boiled down to the following. If you start thinking about your answers now then the process will be smoother and faster.
- What does your business do? What is the product or service? We don’t want your mission statement or the content of your “about page”, talk to us as if we were a customer. Who are you and what do you offer?
- What problem are you solving for your customers? This isn’t the same as the first question. Here we’re less concerned with your business and more concern with what you can do for us, your customers.
- Who are your three main competitors? What do you like about how they present themselves, their image, and what do you dislike?
- What sets you apart from your competitors? Why are you different? How do you compete?
- What keywords best describe your business? Stick to adjectives… bold, dynamic… really think about them. The words you choose say a lot about you.
- Who is your ideal customer? Is it another business or the general public? Do you have a customer profile built out? Details of the demographics? This are all extremely important data. Give us 5 adjectives that describe your customer.
- What is your primary message for these customers? What do you want them to feel when they see your logo, your colors, your website? What would you have them say to describe your business?
- If this is a rebrand, why are you changing it? What do you think isn’t working? How did you decide that now was the time to make the change?
- What are three other brands, which don’t need to be competitors or companies, or the direction you want to take with your brand, but that inspire you and work for you?
- What are three brands that you don’t think work? Why?
Are you ready to start the branding process? Let’s get going.