Flag The Starting Point
Before you can define a desired destination, it’s important to plant a flag in the ground as to where the brand currently is.
This discussion revolves around an understanding of how things are now, what the business or brand is achieving and what the challenges and problems are that need to be addressed.
Define Your Goals And Objectives
Before any work begins on developing the brand, the group must have clarity on the objectives of the workshop, the project and the overall brand.
Having a clearly defined goal for the workshop helps to keep the sessions focused while the project and brand objectives are used later as a yardstick for measuring success.
The Internal Brand
Any entrepreneur worth their salt has heard of the terms Purpose, Vision, Mission and Values.
Though many business owners draft up a statement for each, few are truly connected to the meaning and importance behind each.
Getting deep into the “Why” behind the brand is not just important for the workshop, it’s critical to the foundations of the entire brand.
The Audience Personas
This is often one of the most enlightening sections of the workshop for the leadership team because they’ve often spent a lot of time trying to appeal to someone they didn’t have clarity on.
In this section, fictional characters are created to represent the typical buyers in order to understand their personality, what they want and how they feel.
By developing realistic personas with names and faces, the leadership team can begin to develop a real connection with who their brand is trying to appeal to.
The business leaders will likely have an informed understanding and opinion of their competitors though the brand strategist should encourage the group to look beyond the obvious players at other brands serving their audience.
Drawing out the competitor’s strengths and more specifically their weaknesses can open up ideas, opinions and discussions about where the opportunities lie which often gets the collaboration and creative juices flowing.
The Positioning Strategy
This is without a doubt the most critical stage of the branding workshop as it defines the new direction for the brand.
Flowing out from the discussion about the competition, the gaps and opportunities, the group (led by the strategist) must take these initial raw ideas and develop them into a clear and distinct differentiation strategy for the brand.
It’s critical that the group is on the same page about the strategic direction as the brand building process from this point on hinges on that difference.
The Brand Archetype
With a focus on appealing to the collective audience and their shared desires and characteristics, this section of the workshop sets in place the foundation for the brand personality development.
Using the archetype framework, the group sets out the personality type or mix of personality types that will best represent the brand and resonate with who the audience is.
The Brand Personality
Using the brand archetype or archetypal mix, the group can begin to develop out the personality of the brand using characteristics and keywords to bring the brand persona to life visually.
Moodboards and image collages allow the group to put a hypothetical face to their brand providing clarity in who they are and how the might behave.
The Brand Voice
Once again, using the understanding of the audience and with the advantageous position of having a defined personality, the group can begin to uncover how the brand will communicate.
The language the brand will use and the tone of voice with which it will deliver its message is the cherry on the top of a human brand persona that now begins to feel like a real person.
The Brand Message
Armed with a defined position and a lifelike human brand persona, the group can begin to uncover the messages that will resonate best with the audience.
An understanding of the journey your audience is on and the touch point they have with your brand allows the strategist to extract exactly how the brand’s communication should roll out at various interactions.
The Brand Story
This can often be an enjoyable and creative session for the group as they piece together the narrative the brand will communicate.
Though many will jump to stories of the founders and their history, it’s the strategist’s job to keep the focus on the audience, their story and the background and interests that connect them with the brand on their road to success.
The Visual Brand
One of the most gratifying sessions of the brand strategy workshop, this is where the strategy comes to life visually.
The group leans on the brand characteristics it has developed to extract and isolate a look and feel that will represent the brand visually.
Although the identity itself is not developed in the workshop, images, keyword and even moodboards can be collated to corner that image.
The Brand Expression Plan
Based on who the audience is, the group will look to uncover where they congregate and go to for answers related to the brand solution.
These insights will form the basis of a marketing execution plan for the brand to begin marketing and sending their brand message into the world.