Creating a brand from scratch can be difficult, and a bit scary, if we don’t know where to start. But by following this briefing and research process, step by step, whether for a large or small project, we will always get results. And the key to not starting the brand from the roof, is to start with the briefing.
What is a briefing? The term briefing, or brief, is an anglicism that refers to a document that provides information to an entity that creates it. In this case, this information is provided by the client or company and its stakeholders (employees, partners, suppliers, competitors, etc.) to the entity in charge of creating its brand. The objective is to discover the essence of the company and try to understand how the organization fits into a broader, competitive environment.
How can we obtain relevant information through the briefing?
There are a great variety of templates for the realization of a briefing, which can be as extensive and detailed as the project requires. But there is information that VIDI considers essential for the realization of any project, whatever its scope.
Starting with the SWOT analysis, where the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, of the company or business are analyzed. This analysis is useful both for companies that already have some trajectory, (to analyze their current state, their strengths and points that can be improved) and for newly created companies, (taking advantage of the opportunity to create their brand from scratch, and launch them to the market so that they stand out from the competition).
Strengths: The strengths of the business. Those elements that differentiate the company from the competition.
Weaknesses: Those points in which we lose with respect to our competition.
Opportunities: Factors whose presence in the market represent a competitive advantage over other companies in the sector.
Threats: Negative factors that put the company at risk.
We believe that this analysis is most relevant, since usually the founders and CEOs of a company start their project with great optimism and tend to focus on the strengths of their business idea. But by analyzing the weak points, and being aware of what are the points of improvement, we have the opportunity to strengthen the brand, changing or creating what it needs to remedy these weaknesses, (provided that this possibility is in our hand of course).
Next, some of the fundamental questions to ask to make a good briefing are:
- What is the company’s main business?
- Why was this company created?
- What is your mission or purpose?
- What are the company’s values?
- What is your target audience?
- What is your competence?
These are the questions that cannot be missing in any briefing. But we can add many more, and even differentiate them according to the stakeholders we are addressing. This way we will get a more accurate study for a good understanding of the brand.
The ideal would also be to find out the most emotional aspects and personality attributes of the brand, in order to determine its archetype and tone of voice. There are also several forms and templates for this purpose. Here is an example of a diagram to determine the personality of a brand:
What is your brand like?
What should you use to make a good briefing?
The easiest and quickest way would be to send a form to our client so that he can fill it in. But, this can be cold, and convey little confidence. Talking about the internal values and motives that drive someone to build a business is sometimes difficult to express in writing, and many times during a conversation, we can notice or feel much more than what is being said.
That is why it is always best to start the briefing face-to-face, either by video call or in person. If neither option is available, a phone call can also be revealing. In this way, we will let the client or stakeholder express himself without limiting himself to our questions, and let him share what he considers relevant. Then we can supplement the information with a form, sending those questions to which we have not found answers during the meeting.
This two-step procedure may work perfectly well for talking to founders, managers or marketing people, but not for other stakeholders, such as customers, competitors, etc. This will require some research after the briefing.
How to conduct a market research?
Once the briefing is done, a research is carried out, which is not only a method of obtaining data. It also involves its interpretation and analysis. That is why it is important that it is done correctly and as rigorously as possible, since, if it is conducted badly, it could get in the way.
For a company with a long history it may be easier, since it may already have some feedback from its customers, and even from its own employees. It may even have already requested an audit or conducted a study of its online reputation. Whenever possible, the company should transfer this information to the entity in charge of the creation or management of its brand, in order to have a global vision.
If the company has not obtained any of this data, we can obtain existing reports through large market research firms about customer preferences or marketing segments. According to Alina Wheeler and her Essential Guide to Brand Design, there are several types of research:
- Qualitative research: reveals the perceptions, beliefs and feelings of consumers. Some types of qualitative research can be face-to-face interviews, focus groups or monitoring the conversation about a brand in networks.
- Secondary Research: is the use of existing statistical and demographic data from sources such as web-based databases, syndicated data or market structure.
- Quantitative Research: generates statistically valid market information. It provides sufficient data from different people. Some types can be online surveys, usability tests, or demographic and psychological segmentation.
A good briefing is a fundamental step for any creative process, and even more so for the creation of a brand. This can be as broad and detailed as needed, depending on the scope of the project, but there are some basic questions that every briefing should have. If you have doubts or need help to make a good briefing and start the creation of a brand on the right foot, contact us, we are here to help.
If you would like us to analyze your brand and carry out a research process, you can request a Briefing here.
Hi, I’m Roberto Vidiella.
I am the founder and Creative Director of VIDI. I am passionate about graphic design, and through this blog, I try to deepen my knowledge and share what I have learned during my career. If you leave me a comment, you help me to keep learning and improving, and also because I’m really excited about it!