MAT MARTIN | Branding – Brand Design Questions for Businesses

6 April, 2017, 11:00

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Brand Design Questions for Businesses
Brand Design Questions for Businesses

When defining and/or developing a sense of brand identity it is important to be familiar with a basic set of information about your business. This may seem obvious, but it is surprising how often we cannot answer simple questions if we haven’t put some thought into what they mean for our practice. Brand design questions can be as simple as “What does your business do?”, but can lead to answers which help a brand to gain clarity and really define what it is trying to communicate.

Try working through the questions below, and making a note of your answers. Put together, they should go some way towards providing a basis for the decisions you make about how to present your brand to your clients.

If you are considering working with a designer on your brand assets (logo, style etc.), website or print material, the more time you have been able to spend considering such brand design questions, the better you will be able to get them to understand what you need. Good designers may well be able to see further into ideas than their clients, but even their best ideas can only come from what they are given to work with. Take some time to prepare yourself for this kind of investment in your business – it will make for much more rewarding results.

Brand Design Questions

Many of the questions in this article are owed to some fine work done in this article over at SitePoint, with a few tweaks here and there. I have included some of the information again here as part of a series intended for clients’ reference, but highly recommend reading the full article too.

About Your Business:

  1. What does your business/product do?
  2. What problem do you solve for your clients?What is your clients’ most basic problem, for which you offer a solution?
  3. Who are your three main competitors?
  4. What do you like about their brand/presence?
  5. What do you dislike about their brand/presence?
  6. What makes you different from your competitors?
  7. Describe your company in 5 words of any kind.

About your Ideal Client:

  1. What is your ideal client’s end-goal in using your services?
  2. What are the most important features of a service like yours to your ideal client?
  3. Why do your clients like working with you in particular?
  4. Who is your ideal client? Are they a certain age or belong to a certain demographic?
  5. Describe your ideal client in 5 words of any kind.
  6. What is the principal message you would like to convey to your ideal client?
  7. What is the single thing your ideal client should know on visiting your site?
  8. Where is your ideal client likely to go for information? What sort of search terms is your ideal client likely to use?

About your Brand:

  1. What do you hope to achieve from this exercise? Why now?
  2. If you have an existing brand, what is no longer working for you about it?
  3. Describe the desired look and feel of your new brand in 5 words of any kind.
  4. Share 3 examples of a brand whose identity works for you. Why are you drawn to them? What do you like about them?
  5. Share 3 examples of a brand whose identity you dislike. What do you find weak? Why don’t they connect with you?

Practical Information

If you’re working on a specific project with a designer or consultant it may be useful to ask yourself the following questions, too. The clearer you can be about your needs and expectations, the more likely you are to have them met.

About the Job in Hand

  1. What are the desired deliverables on this project (logo, stationery, brand guidelines, font stack, colour palette etc.)?
  2. Do you have existing materials/guidelines which need to be kept or updated rather than replaced?

Wrapping Up

Take a look at your answers to these brand design questions. What have you learnt about your business that you didn’t know at the start of this exercise? How could knowing how to express your business’ strengths, qualities and intentions more precisely help communication with service providers, colleagues and peers? Better still, how could knowing this shape the decisions you make about how you present your business to your clients?

The document you have created is one to which you should be able to refer back regularly, and one which will benefit from regular updates as you come to know your brand better over time. The clearer your communication with your clients, the better the feedback you will receive, and the more you will be able to refine your answers to these questions.