Creating or refreshing your company’s brand is an exciting project and something we genuinely love to work on with clients. A branding project can often feel like a lot of time and work to get to a simple deliverable, but spending the effort to get it right will be the cornerstone of your company’s design and marketing efforts for many years to come.
Once you’ve committed to undertaking a brand project, you can do a lot to get the best work possible and help control costs. If you are just starting to investigate a brand project, you may want to read our resource, “How much does a branding project cost?”.
With any project we partner on, the client brings the knowledge of their business, offerings, and competitors, and we bring our expertise in creating brands and carrying them through all other materials. The more precise and organized you are about your business, the better, faster, and more cost-effective your branding project will be.
Spoiler alert, these are many of the questions we use in our strategic branding kick-off meeting.
What does your company do?
Asking what your company does is pretty basic, but being clear on the answers with your team before you engage a firm will make a world of difference. Make sure you can articulate what you do—be that selling products or services—and you understand your value proposition. If you have any literature that we can review, please provide it. Let us know what is valid going forward with the new brand and what should be left behind.
Why is it important?
It’s great that you are in business, but help us understand why it matters. Are you filling a void in the market? Are you innovating or disrupting? We want to know why you are doing this and why now. Help us become as passionate about your business as you are.
Why do/will your customers love you?
Let’s make sure that who you are or who you want to be is how your customers see you. A good brand unites all aspects of a company from the logo to the product UI to the way customer service interacts with people.
Do you have a mission and vision statement?
We hope you do! If you have one, please share it with us, even if it’s rough. Again, this is about connecting and unifying all aspects of your company personality into a brand.
What is your brand story?
Take us from the idea to the point where we are sitting together discussing colors. We want to know about the history of your company, the wins, and the losses.
How would you boil it down to a soundbite or elevator pitch?
If you have a pitch, tagline, or anything else, let’s hear it!
Who is your target audience, and how do they relate/resonate with your story?
We do a lot of user experience (UX) work at Anchor & Alpine, and we call these “personas” in the UX world. Help us understand not only the demographics (what age people are, where they live) but also psychographics (what is important to them, what are they trying to accomplish). The more we know about them, the better we can speak their language.
How do you plan on reaching your audience?
A business focused on trade shows, and other physical interactions may have a different brand than one that makes most of its sales and marketing online. In the first example, you need a brand that can be imprinted on swag and embroidered on shirts—in the second, we could be free to design an animated logo. While good brands work in all situations, if you have a specific focus, we can help cater to that.
Who are your competitors?
Tell us a little about them. We’re looking for a list of names and how they relate to you. Who is slightly better? Who always copies you? Who is the industry incumbent, and who is the new upstart?
Why are they successful?
What do they do well? What is dumb luck? What makes them better than you, and how do we close the gap? If they are worse than you, how do we widen that gap?
What are you going to do to differentiate yourself?
We’ll nail the differentiation on the branding side—but help us understand how you will be different as a company.
Thinking through these questions before you engage a branding agency will help you get the best branding project results. While we’ll be an expert on your company by the time we’re done with the project, you want to make sure we’re spending our time doing the right kinds of research and exercises to help you uncover and understand your brand personality. The more guidance you can give us about your company, the better. Once you have your brand guide, we want to make sure you have years of consistency and that everyone who works with your brand knows how to carry it through.
Do you want us to work with you to create your brand? Let’s talk.
You may also be interested in our resource: How much does a branding project cost?