As I'm going through the steps of re-branding and reorganizing my creative business, 12th House, I'm completing some branding exercises intended to help me hone in on exactly what I want to convey with my visuals going forward. These exercises are intended to keep all future design decisions focused on the goals of who, what and why behind my brand. Think of it as an important reference point for not only the design work, but all sorts of business decisions in the future. Even the most established brands would benefit from some branding exercises! Exercises are intended to help you answer questions like: who is your ideal client/customer, what it is you are offering and why you're offering it.
Before I meet for a branding or website design consultation, I always ask potential clients to fill out my brand questionnaire. The answers you provide allow me to get the basics of your biz, what your expectations are, what your needs are, and whether or not I would be a good fit for your project. Laying this groundwork also allows us both to be more focused and directed in decisions going forward. It helps me figure out what questions to ask when we meet for an initial consultation.
The initial introductory branding questionnaire that I use is short and to the point. I always tell my clients, if you don't know the answer, that's ok! I can help you figure them out these answers during the consultation and provide additional branding exercises that are a fun way to help you find these answers. The branding questionnaire also allows me to put together a formal proposal which will properly estimate the scope of your project. I'm a planner! The more we plan ahead of time, the more I am able to stay on target and meet each goal we set.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, 12th House Studio began 7 years ago with little to no direction. I knew I wanted to print t-shirts. I needed income. I wanted to share my creativity. But that was about it. Pricing, branding, target customers and marketing? I had no clue what I was doing.
The first portion of the questionnaire is intended to gather some of the more boring details - the point of contact for your business, contact information, what your expectations are in terms of pricing and timing, etc. The remaining questions are more fun and thought provoking. As you read over these questions, think about how you might answer them for your own venture. If you come to a place where you don't know the answer, I invite you to give that question some extra brainstorming time in the near future. Not sure who your target audience is? Look at some of the analytics of who engages with you on social media, who has purchased your products in the past and who you primarily work with (depending on what it is you offer). Not sure what features you need on a website? That's ok! That's what I'm here for.
What to go in depth with exploring more questions about brand identity? I love this post from Lean Labs, which includes 20 questions you should ask yourself when creating a brand identity. Check it out!