Brands with a strong sense of who they are and the problem they solve grow more consistently over time. They make more organic sales, retain more customers, and can raise prices – the most powerful tool out there to increase profits.
This is why, in today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, companies are recognising the importance of establishing a strong brand presence to drive sustainable growth and success.
A pivotal step in this process involves investing in brand discovery workshops, collaborative sessions that enable organisations to delve deep into their brand’s essence, understand their target audience, and lay the foundation for impactful brand design.
Whether you’re a massive multi-million-dollar organisation or a startup founder with an ambitious product idea, it’s crucial to make sure everyone on the team is on the same page about which direction to take.
That’s what discovery workshops are for.
According to a McKinsey survey, companies that prioritise brand discovery workshops are three times more likely to witness significant revenue growth compared to their competitors.
What are discovery workshops?
It might surprise you to learn that discovery workshops aren’t a gratuitous opportunity for your chosen agency to flex their creative jargon and dazzle (or send you to sleep) with their very clever insights.
In fact, they are vital, and if an agency that you’re looking to partner with for your launch or rebrand, doesn’t offer one as part of their process…run!
Why? Because we’ve all heard those horror stories of designers and agencies disappearing for a month and then delivering an identity design that misses the mark so hard, it leaves the team in tears (and out of pocket!).
A discovery workshop is the initial meeting that takes place a the beginning of your project. No surprise there. It involves a series of activities to help you to define your brand proposition and makes the business goals and core values clear. Workshops are designed to clarify the vision for the future.
This stage of the process is essential because it helps the project managers, designers, content creators, strategists, writers, your team and stakeholders understand what’s needed. It’s for setting goals, determining what success looks like, who you’re talking to, where your audience is hanging out and how to create a sustainable brand that stands the test of time.
It helps everyone involved gain a clear understanding of what needs to be done, and why.
And, it always starts with an open and honest conversation about you, the brand, and your story so far.
What if I don’t know what I need?
Don’t worry, that’s what discovery workshops are all about! They’re like a Sherlock Holmes investigation, but instead of solving crimes, we’re uncovering the mysteries of your brand. Picture yourself in a room with a team of brand-savvy detectives (aka the agency). They’ll ask you the right questions, dig deep into your brand’s DNA, and help you discover the answers you’ve been searching for.
When you find yourself stuck and unsure about the direction to take, engaging an agency for an initial brand discovery workshop can be incredibly valuable. The workshop becomes a collaborative space where you can tap into the expertise of professionals who specialise in brand strategy and design.
Their objective is to guide you through the discovery process and help you gain the clarity and insights necessary to make informed decisions about your brand.
During the workshop, the agency will facilitate discussions, conduct exercises, and ask thought-provoking questions tailored to your unique situation. They will encourage you to articulate your goals, target audience, brand values, and aspirations.
By exploring your current brand landscape and delving into your desired outcomes, the agency will assist in uncovering the core essence of your brand and identifying opportunities for growth.
The experience your chosen agency comes with, along with that outside perspective can bring fresh insights to the table. They can draw upon their knowledge of industry trends, market research, and successful brand strategies to offer guidance and spark innovative ideas. Through this collaborative process, the agency acts as a partner, supporting you in discovering the best path forward for your brand.
By embarking on this fantastical brand discovery journey before you commit to a full brand project, you’ll minimise the risk of wandering aimlessly in the branding wilderness and the risk of investing resources in a direction that may not align with your goals or resonate with your target audience.
The insights gained from the workshop will inform the next steps, allowing you step forward (backwards, or sideways) with confidence.
What Does a Brand Discovery Workshop Look Like?
A brand discovery workshop is like a treasure hunt, with each step revealing valuable insights and hidden gems about your brand. Let’s take a peek into what you can expect.
Unearthing Your Brand Identity: In the workshop, we’ll embark on a quest to uncover the essence of your brand. We’ll delve into your brand’s history, values, and personality. Through engaging discussions, we’ll identify the core elements that define your brand’s unique DNA.
Defining Target Audience and Market Positioning: To truly understand your brand’s potential, we’ll delve into your target audience. We’ll explore their demographics, motivations, and pain points, ensuring your brand strategy aligns perfectly with their needs. Additionally, we’ll conduct a thorough analysis of your market landscape, identifying opportunities to differentiate and position your brand for success.
Clarifying Brand Objectives and Goals: No adventure is complete without setting goals and objectives. We’ll work closely with you to define your brand’s aspirations, both short-term and long-term. Whether it’s expanding market share, increasing brand awareness, or launching new products, we’ll help you articulate clear and measurable objectives to guide your brand strategy.
Crafting a Compelling Brand Story: Every great brand has a captivating story to tell. We’ll dive deep into your brand’s narrative, exploring its origins, values, and the unique experiences it offers. Together, we’ll refine your brand story, creating a compelling narrative that resonates with your target audience and leaves a lasting impression.
Conducting a Competitive Analysis: To triumph in the market, we must understand the landscape and your rivals. We’ll analyse your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, identifying opportunities to differentiate your brand. Armed with this knowledge, we’ll craft strategies that position your brand as the hero in your industry.
Mapping Customer Journey and Touchpoints: Your brand’s success hinges on delivering exceptional experiences at every touchpoint. We’ll map out your customer journey, examining each interaction point between your brand and its audience. By understanding their needs and expectations, we’ll identify areas for improvement and create strategies to enhance customer engagement and satisfaction.
Fostering Internal Alignment: Alignment within your organisation is crucial for brand success. We’ll facilitate discussions that foster collaboration and ensure all stakeholders share a unified understanding of your brand’s values and objectives. By aligning internal teams, we’ll create a strong foundation for consistent brand messaging and experiences.
By covering these areas and more, a brand discovery workshop lays the groundwork for a powerful and effective brand strategy. It’s an exciting journey that unveils the true potential of your brand, equipping you with the knowledge and insights to make informed decisions and propel your business forward.
What happens after a brand discovery workshop?
After a brand discovery workshop, it’s time to harness the insights and momentum gained during the session and move forward with your brand development. The next steps will vary depending on whether you have commissioned a branding project or if you’re still considering your options.
Let’s explore both scenarios…
Commissioned Branding Project: If you have commissioned a branding project, the workshop is just the beginning of an exciting journey. After the workshop, your agency will compile and deliver a document, reporting the insights that we captured together during the workshop. This document serves as a valuable resource, providing a roadmap for the subsequent stages of the project.
Following the delivery of the report, the agency and your team will collaborate to bring the brand to life. This may involve the creation of vision boards, where visual elements, such as colour palettes, imagery, and typography, are explored to shape the brand’s aesthetic direction.
The agency will work closely with you to refine and finalise these visual elements, ensuring they align with the strategic objectives defined during the workshop.
From there, the agency will begin the iterative process of brand design and development, crafting a range of deliverables that may include logos, brand guidelines, marketing collateral, and more. Through ongoing collaboration, feedback, and revisions, the agency will help transform your brand strategy into a tangible and visually compelling representation of your brand.
Exploring Next Steps: For those who have not yet commissioned a branding project, the brand discovery workshop provides a valuable resource for decision-making.
Following the workshop, you’ll receive a detailed report encompassing the key insights, strategic recommendations, and actionable steps discussed during the session.
Armed with this report, you have the knowledge and insights to assess the direction and priorities for your brand. The report serves as a guide, enabling you to make informed decisions about the next steps for your brand strategy. Whether it’s moving forward with a branding project, refining internal processes, or exploring other avenues, the report provides a foundation for strategic planning and action.
Should you decide to pursue a branding project in the future, the insights gained from the workshop will serve as a solid starting point. You can share the report with potential agencies, providing them with a comprehensive understanding of your brand and its strategic goals. This will facilitate a smoother transition into the branding project when the time is right.
In either case, the brand discovery workshop sets the stage for the next phase of your brand’s journey. It empowers you with the clarity, direction, and insights needed to make strategic decisions and move forward with confidence.
So, let’s embark on this adventure together, uncovering the treasures that lie within your brand and crafting a strategy that will leave a lasting mark in the hearts and minds of your target audience.