Brand Strategy for Designers: How to Facilitate a Brand Workshop (with Exercises) | Ilya Lobanov | Skillshare

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Brand Strategy for Designers: How to Facilitate a Brand Workshop (with Exercises)

teacher avatar Ilya Lobanov, Creating brands that make impact

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (1h 31m)
    • 1. Welcome

      4:20
    • 2. Why Conduct Brand Workshops

      3:53
    • 3. Benefits for Designers and Clients

      5:44
    • 4. Project Objectives

      3:29
    • 5. Workshop Preparation

      9:25
    • 6. Online vs Offline

      6:12
    • 7. Research Overview

      6:42
    • 8. Exercise One: Definitions

      7:14
    • 9. Exercise Two: Audiences

      8:18
    • 10. Exercise Three: Brand Values

      8:11
    • 11. Exercise Four: Brand Personality

      8:42
    • 12. Exercise Five: Competitors

      4:53
    • 13. Putting It All Together: Positioning

      7:27
    • 14. BONUS: Additional Exercises, and Class Project

      6:14
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About This Class

Hey, my name is Ilya Lobanov, I run a creative agency called Studeo, where I help business owners build better brands. 

My other passion is empowering designers to maximize their potential and build stronger careers by learning skills that take them from order takers to creative partners.

I am all about breaking up the massive elephant topic of brand strategy into practical mini-courses to give you some actionable tools – and in this class, I am going to show you how you can run a Strategic Brand Workshop.

I've heard from plenty of designers, even those who have an established freelance business, who still send a questionnaire to their logo clients.

I don’t believe that designers need to ‘evolve’ into Brand Strategists to become more valued and become more trusted as experts. 

But you can improve the success rate of your design work by thinking about those client projects more holistically. Not just from a layout and color point of view but also from how that project may impact their business and their overall perception of a brand.

And one effective way to achieve that is to conduct a Strategic Brand Workshop with your clients.

Just to reiterate, you don’t need to be a Brand Strategist to run these, I have specifically kept this class focused on Designers who want to apply a strategic approach but don’t necessarily want to change careers in the process =)

Inside the class you will learn:

  • Key workshop exercises I take my clients through;
  • Workshop benefits (from designers and client’s perspective);
  • As well as workshop pricing and preparation tips.

This is the first class of its kind since anything that’s connected to Brand Strategy tends to be very ambiguous, and covered with a thick smoke of mystery.

So hopefully I can show you that it’s not so unattainable.

Who is the class for:

  • Brand Designers
  • Brand Strategists
  • Marketing Professionals
  • Freelancers

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ilya Lobanov

Creating brands that make impact

Teacher

I help ambitious designers and marketers level-up their skills and boost creativity.

A passionate ambassador of the Creative Thinking Mindset, I teach designers and creatives how learning and practicing this skill can transform any creative into a more powerful and confident problem solver and designer. Join me and explore my classes on Skillshare.

To stay up to date with latest design tips, free access to latest classes, as well as free downloadable guides and resources, join the Studeo Insider club.

See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Welcome: Hey, welcome to this introduction video, my friend. If you're watching this, it probably means that you're interested in brand strategy. Because I think this is probably the trendiest topic for designers out there at the moment am I right? Now the thing is, I've spoken to plenty of graphic designers, logo designers and even those who already have established freelance businesses who still tend to send logo questionnaires to their clients. Now, if this type of process works for you and it gets you the type work that you enjoy doing and the benefits outweigh the disadvantages of using this process then more power to you. I think there's different kinds of niches and for different types of designers and approaches for you to be able to do it in your own way. However, if you are the type of designer who's looking to add a little bit more of that clarity to the businesses that you work with and to add more value to the ways that you conduct your logo design projects, then you should consider conducting a strategic brand workshop. Hey, if you're not familiar with my content or my work, my name is Ilya Lobanov and I'm a creative director and founder of Studeo an agency that helps business honest to build better brands. My other passion is also helping designers to do the same, building better brands and level up and hopefully become better creative leaders. And also become trusted partners rather than order takers. Now first of all, let me warn you that this is not a course on brand strategy. The courses of that nature would probably cost thousands of dollars and be 20 hours long. And would still probably only give you the theoretical side of strategy without any good practical tools. And even though I have 18 plus years of experience in design and branding, officially, I've been applying brand strategy or strategic thinking in my projects probably for the last five or six years. But even in that short period of time, I can tell you that no project is the same. And even though, yes, you can have certain fundamental exercises and activities and frameworks to be able to conduct your brand strategy. You still need to find a way to reinvent them and to customize them based on the unique challenges and requirements of which project. So this is why I'm focusing on breaking up that huge elephant on the topic of brand strategy into kinda mini-courses that the cover different aspects of conducting a strategy into your design process. And in this particular class, I'm going to focus on conducting a strategic brand workshop. So my educational content always encouraged the designers to think more strategically about the projects. But I don't believe that you need to necessarily become, evolve or transition into becoming a brand strategist in order to be seen as a valued and trusted partner for your clients. But what you can do to improve the success rate of your projects and also to start building better relationships with your customers, is to start looking beyond the just logo, colors and layouts and things of that nature. And start looking at how you work and actually impact their businesses and how you work can impact the overall perception of their brand. And one of the ways that you can achieve this is to conduct a strategic brand workshop into your logo design process. And again, just to reiterate, this is not a strategy course of any kind. This is a way for any logo designer to actually take some strategic thinking and apply that to your own process. Without hopefully changing your careers in the process, you can still remain being a designer and continue to do the work that you love doing, that he just will start conducting it in a slightly more strategic and holistic way. And so inside this class, you will learn some of the exercises that I take my clients through within a brand workshop. How to prepare for one, as well as benefits of having the brand workshop for yourself and also for your clients, and some of the other tips and tricks that are involved. Anything that's connected to brand strategy always seems to be covered in this ambiguity and thick smoke of mystery. So I want to show you in this course that it's not so unattainable. And some of these techniques can be easily applied to your own logo design process. So I hope you join me in this class and click to enrol now. 2. Why Conduct Brand Workshops: Welcome back. So as I mentioned, I don't encouraged Zionists to transition or convert themselves into becoming brand strategies. Actually think that brand strategies, not everyone. For me personally, my sweet spot does lie somewhere in the middle of that creative process of thinking about the pretty pictures and graphics and really understanding the client's business and needs and that strategic approach to their business. However, many designs that I have spoken to and coached, I have observed that once they dip their toes into brand strategy, many of them get what they didn't really expect. And there is that whole 10 K strategy train that many designers jump on. And usually it's for the wrong reasons. It's usually for that big promise of a bigger paycheck that you would get as becoming a brand strategist. And I think this is just not true because you can actually earn just the same we've just being a brand identity designer is just the way that you position yourself. And if you position yourself right, you can remain being just a designer and still continue being seen as a valued partner and creative partner for your clients. The thing is, what many designers don't understand or grasp straight away is the fact that when you start becoming a brand strategist, you have to take off your head of design something pretty and put on the head of, let's take a deep dive and have a look at the big picture for business. So questions like, what makes your business unique and what would compel your customers to buy from you and not your competitors, become the bedrock of strategic thinking. And they go beyond just surface level questions that you use to create some direction for your logo designs. You're actually taking a whole big dive into their business and truly trying to understand it and finding some way to move the needle forward for them. Now is probably hundreds, if not thousands of social media girls have already told you the brand is not about just the logo or the website. It's about all of the different touch points for brand. And it's everything from customer experience and customer service to the website of the stationary, to any other way that your customers can come across the brand. And what we can do is brand builders, whether we are just designers or brand strategies, we can influence those perceptions through our creative work. But also as part of brand strategy, what you might start diving into is trying to influence the pricing structure of your client's business. And also the, the kinda the product offering that I have and things of that nature really taking a deep dive into how the business may conduct themselves and even down to their processes. And so this is the point where many designers kinda of DOD, It's become way too uncreative for them. But if that sounds like too much, you can still add a strategic brand workshop. Well, you can also look at it as a discovery workshop. Basically a tool that will help you conduct a workshop place to face with a client or remotely to be able to position yourself as that trusted partner. And it will really take you beyond just sending a logo questionnaire and will help you earn more respect and also get a higher paycheck. Hopefully if you play your cards right, without becoming a brand strategist. So in the next videos, I want to discuss the exercises that I take my classroom within this brand workshop. But first I want to take you through some of the top-level thoughts of how we can essentially sell this extra engagement to your clients. So how can we explain the benefits of conducting such a workshop with your clients? And as well as how to talk about and consider the pricing of it as well. 3. Benefits for Designers and Clients: Nice work. So you've decided to go beyond sending a simple logo questionnaire. But wait a second. If you start conducting a brand workshop, that's more work than just emailing a pre-made PDF file to clients, right? And how will you convince your clients to probably pay more for the service if they already see logo design as somewhat of an annoying expense in the first place. Now this is the most common question that I get from designers and I will share my tactic for how I price this. But first, let me dive into some top level benefits that you can take a client through and explain to them that conducting a brand workshops like this can actually bring hips of value to the process and to their business at large. So benefit number one is really about the business that you're working with, understanding and getting more clarity as to who their customers should be. And that's the main prerequisite for any business, is having customers in the first place. So a strategic workshop helps to get that laser focus on the primary target audience. And that will make it easy for them to choose your clients bins over their competition. Now, as far as benefit number two, I have noticed that many business owners actually lack the answers to many of the questions required to be competitive in the market. And the smartly designed strategic workshop alone can bring much needed clarity internally about what makes them unique and what they stand for. And as well as the advantages that they can tap into. Some of the businesses and large businesses that I have worked with complained about being reactive and kinda conducting the processes and the way that they do business in an ad hoc manner in strategy can provide this direction and alignment for the team to think more holistically about each action. Benefit number four is marketing effectiveness. Not only will your business understand how to target more specific type of customers and therefore reduce the budget required for marketing. Because essentially the more people you are targeting, the more money you typically spend. But also it can give you and your business that coherent communication platform to refer back to for that strategic approach. Strategy can be that guideline for them to make decision-making easier. Benefit number 5 is actually about resources. And so knowing what not to do and what not to invest your money in can be as helpful as knowing what to invest in. And that can help them save a lot of resources in the process. Now the thing is that they're going to be plenty of more other benefits of conducting a brand strategic workshops such as this, and also specifically for your unique type of clients and projects. And the more of these workshops that you conduct an and as you go through all these types of exercises, once you've finished this class, you should get better at spotting some of these missing gaps with your clients. And that would be a key to be able to tell them how a brand workshop can actually help to solve those problems and solve those challenges and fill those gaps for them. Now, as far as pricing, a brand workshop, this is a tactic that I use personally and feel free to apply something similar or adapted to your own process. I priced their brand workshop as a separate fixed priced item. I wholeheartedly believe that even just the workshop along often can provide that tremendous clarity to the business columns and also give them that edit perspective that they haven't considered before. Especially for those who are starting a new venture. Now as far as what the deliverables that clients would get as part of this fixed price P that I price my husband workshop at. They do get access to the completed work worksheets that they've completed during the workshop, as well as any recordings, audio or video recordings if I conducted them on the day. And even just this alone can give them edit, value and benefit of understanding more about their business and the customers and what they spend on brand values and things of that nature that we'll discuss in the following lessons. And just to be clear, this typically three to five hour workshop is a fixed fee. And the delivery of a strategic brand document, which kinda this tails all of that information into some recommendations that is a separate fee. So even if they only choose just to go with the brand workshop alone, that can accomplish three things for them. By pressing U service as this modular phase, it can make it more palatable for the clients. So while all businesses will want to know the overall investment, smaller progressive payments can often make it easier to deal with from a cash-flow perspective for them. Benefit number two is that it can actually give you kind of a sampling for for your clients as far as what you can provide and what that clarity can provide for that business. And hopefully, open up the eyes as to what the rest of your steps and rest of your process can help them accomplish as well. It also plays into the human psychological trick called the escalation of commitment. And that's also something known as the sunk cost fallacy, where we as humans typically justified the ongoing increased in basement based on cumulative prior investments. Now let's talk about how you can set some objectives for conducting your brand workshop. In the next video. 4. Project Objectives: All right, Let's talk about one of the most important and critical factors. And that is understanding the client's objectives for their projects. Now, typically only initial discovery call, what I will do is I will ask them several questions to try and understand the expectations for my client and their goals. And this is something I may revisit in one of the workshop exercises. However, at the outset, I want to know, kind of get a better understanding of that. Because that will actually give me more clarity as to how I need to design the brand workshop, where I need to tweak some of the exercises to suit them a particular objective or take some exercises odd because they're not relevant and so on. And so just a tip as you go through some of these questions that I'll give you, some example questions that you can ask your client. Just make sure to keep them kind of organic and free-flowing. And rather than memorizing this questions, just tried to keep that conversation going organically and bringing them up when that way it's relevant fall within that conversation. So one of the questions you can ask is, do you have specific goals, the hope this will accomplish for a business? Tell me more about your vision for this project and your business in general. What target audience I was speaking to and what problem will we help them solve? What do you think our customers value and what other factors drive the purchasing decisions? What do you want this particular deliverable to communicate to the customer? How will we define and measure success for this particular project? Now, if your client hesitates or kind of gives you a bag answers for any of these questions, that can be your cue to know that there's probably some gaps that can be filled. And you can talk about how conducting a strategic brand workshop can actually feel those gaps for them. And what we're trying to do for this questions is dig deep up to really understand what the expectations and goals for your clients are. And usually, this is something that goes beyond just one thing, a new logo on your website. The things that they may actually need, I think such as discovering a competitive gap in the market. Or maybe increasing the brand awareness or increasing the leads. Maybe increasing the CLV, which is customer's lifetime value, and any number of other business-related things such as these. So while many of my workshop exercises, I kind of set in stone and the fundamental one side the stands and get a better clarity of expectations and goals. Like, like I will tend to customize the exercises in some way. So for example, if there's a client that I know one of the objectives and key goals is to increase the conversions on a website, for instance. Then, as part of the original customer persona's exercise that already conducted my workshops, I might add some additional exercises to do with play you some UX work. Or we may have more prompts around the customer journey for the client, for the customized, and go to the website. And we might conduct several exercises to kind of analyze the competitor websites as well. So in the next video, let's have a look at some prep work that you can do for your workshop. 5. Workshop Preparation: All right, So you've set the time with your client for a brand workshop. Just remember, it's good to give yourself a buffalo couple of weeks just to make sure that you have time to prepare some of the exercises required and also potentially do some of that preliminary research, especially if this is one of your first workshops. Now, once you establish in that initial discovery call condensation of your client, what the key objectives and goals up you'll start, should start getting a better idea as to what kind of exercises can be most beneficial within that workshop. Exercises maybe need to adjust slightly or add two. So I will talk about the specific exercises and kind of steps that I take, those individual unique exercises. But here's some general rules of thumb of the kind of exercises that I conduct an a like to run through with my clients. First of all, we have the definitions exercises. So in any communication, we tend to assume that we know what somebody else means, but often we actually misinterpret that. So in this first set of exercises actually gets all the stake holders do to provide some of the initial definitions about that business. Then if I have an exercises for the audiences. And so we take a deep look at the ideal customers and those that we can help as a business with a set of exercise. Then we also have brand values. We established some of those foundational pillars for the brand, something that we can stand behind as a brand. We also have the brand personality exercises, which can help us define how will we will shop in the world and define our communication style. Then another set of exercises focuses on competitors. Of course, we must not forget that the business exists in the context of competition. So we run through a set of exercises trying to kind of spot the market gap and determine our strategic approach there. And last but not least, we need to start to distill all of those things into something more meaningful and actionable through a purpose for the brain and how we will position the brand in the first place. So for the actual exercises, what I do is I typically print out a worksheet with someone excises as an A4 cup of worksheet for all the participants. And I also like to print out either a2 or A3 pieces of paper with some of the other group exercises and I either stick them to the wall or whiteboard. Oh, I prepare some kind of a projector exercises if that's the setup, if they're using some kind of a digital whiteboard. Of course, it helps to speak to a client about how and where you will conduct this workshop, whether it will be at the premises or whether you take them into like a coffee shop or something, which might be tricky. But either way, once you have a rough idea of the kind of exercises that you are going to run through and you have designed exercises. Then obviously give yourself some time to either go to your local print shop to print the exercises and the worksheets and all. Prepare yourself by purchasing the tools that you might need for the various exercises as well, such as post-its and things of that nature. I'll run you through a quick list of some of the generic things that I usually take with me. So what you'll need is some post-it notes. Hopefully, you'll have at least as many unique colors as now participants yourself included. Then also you might need some kind of a voting mechanism. Like in this case, I have this, I'm kind of sticky labels are stripes that you can use. And again, I like to have at least three different colors for green, orange, and red for as a voting mechanism. Sometimes you can also get kind of this circle labels in similar sizes. This then of course, you should get as many different paints of different colors and Marcus whiteboard markers and also a permanent markers depending on where you are, if you're running your workshop on a whiteboard or a kind of your exercise or whiteboard, the whiteboard markers for. And also don't forget to have some kind of a blue tack to be able to stick your exercises to the wall or to the whiteboard or some other sticky material. Of course, if you're doing this online, then you'll need to consider how you're going to conduct your exercises in a remote situation. Typically would use some kind of a digital whiteboard tool like Myra a mural. So again, take your time to set up your exercises, your boards with the different exercise as well. Then what I recommend you do you spend 15 to 20 minutes to kind of really visualize yourself running through each of the exercises and kind of visualize your interaction with your participants of the workshop too. That might really give you a portrayed spot, any gaps, or being able to think about what kind of things that you need to just slightly or to prepare for. Because sometimes brand workshops don't go always as you kind of visualize it straight away. Especially if you don't actually prepare or visualize it in the first place. So actually thinking about running it through your head ahead of time can help you. And then once you have that rough idea of how you will conduct the, the exercises and what that will look like. Then it can be a good idea to touch base with your client and give them a loose agenda for the workshop on the day or if you run it across several days, then give them a loose idea of what will be involved without going very, very detailed. So kind of give you a rough idea as to what the day will look like. So I think it's a good idea to give them some ballpark understanding of what the exercises will be and maybe rough ideas of Khatami. And also the Importantly do, do remember to let them know if they're going to be any breaks, if they're going to be set times for different breaks throughout the day. But there are two main reasons for why you want to leave out specific timing and providing specific detail timing to your clients for two reasons. First of all, if you provide the exact time frames for specific exercises, but then, then they'll run over time for whatever reason. Then they might start actually losing the participants confidence in you because they'll think, Well, what's going on? Ilia, you said said that this exercise is going to be half an hour and 50 minutes into it and we're still doing it, then maybe you haven't prepared very well for it. The second reason why we want to keep that kind of detail out is, is still want to keep some level of flexibility for yourself to either swap out the order of some exercises or maybe sometimes skip them altogether. So then when you're actually in the workshop, you want to kind of remind people of the agenda and also set some expectations. Go through some of these things as I'll go through with you right now. So remind them that and explain that while there's a certain structure to the workshop to make sure that in order for it to be effective, you will use your discretion as a facilitator to either extend, shortened, or sometimes swapped exercises as needed, based on the flow of the workshop, requests that the participants fully in trust yourself in the process, themselves in the process rather. And to kinda give you the range of running and facilitating the workshop and to contribute to you as they're requested and a guided by you. And number three also explain the importance of full participation without them being distracted by their cell phones and other interruptions. In fact, this is point that maybe you want to even raise when you're emailing that original agenda through to them is to let them know that maybe fonts might be a destruction. So whether they can keep them on silent throughout the duration of the workshop. I sometimes even tend to collect them into a box when we first arrived in the workshop, just to make sure that no one is distracted. And I explained the reasons for that we want full participation and focus on this workshops that are really, really important and critical to the success of, of this brand workshop and a brand in general. Essentially want to set up some control and some structure for the workshop itself. Because sometimes if they are kind of more dominant people and participants within the workshop, they can sidetrack conversations and kind of take all of the conversations and the exercises so you want to assert yourself and to kind of steer the conversations and exercises back on to the agenda at hand. But at the same time you don't want it to be so robotic and kind of a dictatorship. You want to keep that balance. And so I think as a facilitator, it's one of the probably most difficult parts of flexion in running a workshop as being the facilitator and being able to read the room. And it's always that tricky balance between maintaining that the Florida and having the control and structure of the workshop and also having the flow and kind of full participation problem from everyone involved. So in the next video, let's look at the differences between running a face to face workshop versus running one online. 6. Online vs Offline: So remote workshops, online workshop versus running it face to face myself. I always recommend running any kind of workshop as a face-to-face, I find that gives you the best engagement from the participants. And also you as a facilitator, gives you the best sense of control and flow of the workshop. So, I mean, personally, I have found running online workshops pretty challenging. I'm the kind of person who likes to read the room and see those kind of body language signs and unspoken words. And kinda the general field of the workshopped in order to control the flow of the exercises. But I understand that in this current situation, running a face-to-face workshop is probably out of questions, are questions for most of us. So with that in mind, all is not lost. That actually benefits to conducting a workshop online versus offline. So I'll benefit number one is that you can control the flow of the workshop essentially by designing it around, focusing on a single screen rather than having multiple inputs around the room. Then benefit number two is that many people don't generate the best ideas in a group. This is something our font actually working with various creative agencies in brainstorming sessions and so on, is that some, some people actually tend to be a lot more natural into generating ideas individually. And so when you run a workshop on line that can give kind of a natural environment for providing that individual time for people to think and structured and to combine individual tasks and recombine participants into groups after those initial individual tasks. Benefit number 3 is that using a digital whiteboard tool means that you can easily record sessions for future reference and not taking, rather than having to set up complicated additional tech for audio and video recordings on the day. Benefit number four is that participants can actually join remotely and from any location, meaning that they can maybe feel more natural on their own, maybe more familiar surroundings and as a result, be less reserved and closed off with the right facilitation. So conducting a workshop on line typically means that you'll probably need to be a little bit more tech savvy and so will your clients. So you'll need to take that into consideration whether they need additional time to kinda get to know the tool that they're using. Maybe you send through some instructions ahead of time before the workshop. Usually you would use a tool like a digital whiteboard tools such as mural or mirror. And so this is some of the things that you can set up ahead of time and some of the things that you can prepare for, what he can do is you can actually use that tool to upload those exercises as boards within the mirror or mural. You can export those barriers, a CFO or a free exercise worksheets as JPEGs and you can actually upload them as background images and log them in into those different boards. So within the tool, you might want to think about once you set up those exercises as to how they will interact with those exercises, whether they'll use those digital sticky notes within those tools. Welcome some other voting mechanism. And then you'll need to decide it ahead of time so that you can either provide instructions or just think about how you're going to provide instructions on the day. Also requested all of the participants set up a free account ahead of time within that platform that you going to use. And then once they've actually registered, I asked them to kinda take the time to just get familiar with the tool a little bit. But then I will advise them that on a day when we have the Zoom call, which is usually what I use to conduct my line workshops, is within the chat system of Zoom, I will actually send them the direct link to the boards. And if they're already registered for the accounts, they shouldn't just be a matter of time logging into the accounts and they'll have access. Obviously, that saves time rather than kind of advising them on the day that I'll be using Myra and then waiting for them to register for an account and verify the email and all of this kind of stuff. So with an online workshop, of course, you most likely will be on a Zoom call together. And it's always good to see the video of each other and make sure that everyone's switches on the camera and the voice. And possibly mute themselves if they're not speaking. And then you will have access to that mirror board. In most cases you'll have all of the exercises and different boards probably within the one link. So we've got in mind, you'll want to be a little bit more structural as to how you present each exercise and kinda guide your clients through each exercise. Because the might get overwhelmed if they get to see all the exercises as one and there might get lost in the whiteboard tool. So keep that in mind. Also with an online workshop, it's a little bit trickier to be spontaneous, I suppose, than it is to be spontaneous in the live face-to-face workshop. So for instance, in a face to face workshop, I actually sometimes swapped exercise order. If I see there's a like a golden nuggets or some kind of bits of information that is really interesting. That has to do with specific kind of category, like if they're talking about the competitor and we kind of finish that exercise that sometimes I might bring in the competitor exercise into play with an online workshop might be a little bit more tricky to kind of change things on the fly like this as well. Sometimes in the live workshop, I might just keep like size altogether. In an online workshop that might look strange if they see that you kinda skipped all different exercises, so just keep that in mind. So in the next video I want to discuss the research phase. Because depending on how you want to approach that, we'll essentially backed how you conduct a face and what are the things you need to prepare for it. So check, check it out in the next video. 7. Research Overview: Hey, welcome back. Now let's talk about research. Whenever you do any kind of brands strategic work, that needs to be a level of research involved. Otherwise he just making assumptions. And so that to kind of key approaches that I have observed whilst talking to various brand strategists and working with brand strategies. There are two kind of key approaches to take for research. Now, just once I can for this bit, I need to put on my URI hat. For those of you who might not be in the known URI is kinda like my alter ego. He talks about stats and data a lot on my social media channel. It's got a 50k rational x. And so this give me 1 second introducing URI. Hello, My name Uri. I will talk to you about the research and very, very good, an important step for, for your brand's strategic approach. Now, with that, out of the way and out of my system, the two kind of approaches that I've observed is number one is going in as sort of an empty vessel. Doing very minimal research ahead of the workshop. Just to give yourself a bit of a kind of an overview of the industry, especially if you're not familiar with the industry, might be good as a refresher or was that kind of an introduction to the industry? But the idea here is that you go in without those preconceived judgments and ideas as to what the client kinda should do or whether at, before you've even had a chance to talk to them and do some explorations within the actual workshop. The second key approach for main approach that strategist tend to take is of course, do extensive research ahead of time, which can often take four to five weeks depending on the size of the project and size of the company that you're working with. The kind of research that you will be conducting like customer interviews, desktop research, maybe observations within the actual workplace of the business and so on. So with something like this, you do need to incorporate that additional kind of time within your preparation, the initial preparation that we've discussed for to get yourself ready for the workshop. Obviously, something like this, as I mentioned, might take four to five weeks, maybe longer depending on the project. So you'll want to consider that when, of course, making the planning out the actual date and scheduling the date for the actual workshop. So the kind of the biggest judgment around the first approach is that if you are going in without any kind of research or very minimal research, the idea is that you might be perceived as having a lack of experience or having a lack of knowledge. So with that, I usually retort that I position myself as a branding expert, not actually an expert within the industry. So my climb typically is somewhat of an expert within the industry, so I'm relying on empty to provide me the data. And, um, there as more of a facilitator and a guide to help them see additional perspectives and explore additional perspectives that they may have not seen as an outsider. Rather than going in with those preconceived notions. And so we are really on the exploration and collaboration within the workshop, trying to uncover hopefully new things within that workshop. So with that in mind, the first approach where you kinda do minimal research only suggested if you feel like you can really think on your feet and you can emphasize with the client to be able to position yourself as just more of a guide or, or kind of a collaborator as an outsider rather than someone that has preconceived ideas and do recommend that you set those expectations with your client at the outset. So you explain that, that this is how your process works and the reason behind that. And so with the first approach, the second approach, I kind of lie somewhere in the middle of that because I do some preliminary research about the industry and my client as well about the history. And just having a look at competitors in general and especially prominent, really not familiar with the industry. I do like to get myself up to speed as to the latest trends or things that are happening in the industry. But a very light level of research I would say. And then what I do is then once we've had the actual brand workshop, then I would then go through additional desktop research and analyzing some customer reviews and analyzing competitor's websites in more detail to kinda try and validate festival the insights that we've uncovered in the workshop and also our assumptions that we've, that were raised in an actual workshop itself. And kind of the things that had been said in the workshop. Because sometimes clients obviously also can have set assumptions that may or may not be true. So you do need to validate that up to the actual workshop. So with that in mind, with the second step, if you do decide to do the kind of full on research, that is something that typically would happen before the workshop and would actually be something that's a separate cost altogether, a separate step. And the clients that small to medium business owners and businesses that I work with, they don't really have additional budgets for extensive research. Sometimes there are startups. That is, there's kind of minimal existing customers. So, so I tend to kind of do that kind of balanced approach. And I find that that can be sufficient for the top clients that I work with. But of course, if you work in floods of businesses AND logic lives when that big, a bulk of the research needs to be done. Then I would suggest that you discuss that with the client of hand and make them understand that this is obviously an initial costs involved for that. This particular course is, of course, aim the designers who, who are thinking about becoming a little bit more strategic rather than trying to convert your brand strategies. And hence why I'm focusing more on the, although the light side that the present strategy, if you like. I would even almost scores splice site. More about brand discovery workshop with strategic thinking and strategic exercises included in corporate. So with that being said, let's have a look at some of the exercises and I'll go through some of the individual exercises that I take my class from within the workshop. 8. Exercise One: Definitions: All right, so now that we've got to the part of actual exercises, it's good to do a bit of a change. It's good to be presentable when you're running a workshop or doing a presentation. So let's get to the first exercise. And in fact, I've already mentioned this in one of the early exercises is the definitions. So we tend to, as humans have certain definitions and certain expectations of what we believe in. And we tend to think that what other people might have the same opinions in the same definitions, put things, and especially in businesses is very crucial. You understand this point of view that we actually can sometimes have varying differences in perspectives on the same things. So the very first exercise that actually get my participants to do. And this is an exercise that actually get into the, even before the workshop has begun, is actually e-mail each participant. This worksheet ends our digital PDF file that they can put their name in and answer these three boxes. And basically the free boxes are who you are, what you do, and how you do it. And so I assign a particular timeframe before the workshop, before the scheduled date where they have to submit this worksheet, worksheet back to me, they can fill it out. Or Scandinavian basically give you the answers. The boxes. In the digital version, they have a set character limits so that, you know, give me a whole big story. That dude have to give me kind of concise statements and ask them, can you please write this free boxes in a concise manner as possible? So what this accomplishes, one of two things. It actually before the workshop, when they submit this workshop worksheets back to me. I can already identify if there are some missing gaps, some misalignment, some different definitions, different things that people believe in. Mason the same basic, very granular kind of descriptions of the business. Then when we do hold the workshop, this is the very first exercise, is just to review it and I call it, Let's review your homework. So then I print out obviously these worksheets that they've completed and ask them, each one of them to read out those three statements. So then the point of the exercise is not to show how people are wrong or incorrect, but there is the show them if there's some misalignment issues happening there. So I might say, Well, you said that who you are as a business is such and such. And Jeremy, you've said something else, maybe slightly different. Maybe there's a language difference or maybe it's something completely different. Maybe they have different beliefs about what the business is. So especially if their partner, so people that should be kind of aligned within their business, they should have similar kind of expectations of what they're doing within that business. And so that's a great opportunity to show that this is the lack of clarity that trying to solve. And then this exercise probably takes only 15 to 20 minutes no longer depending on amount of participants that you have. And then we'll move on to the next exercise to do customer persona's and brand valleys and so on. Then at the very end is the last exercise. I pull out this final worksheet. And essentially it has the same free boxes. Who you are, what you do, and how you do it. But also it has two additional questions, why you do it and what makes you different. And so I assign this worksheet to each individual person and then give them five to ten minutes to complete this exercise again. And so what that accomplishes is actually, once you read out the completed worksheets for the free first boxes, you might say, Hey Bob, this is what you said originally about who you are. But now this is the language that you're using or this is the way that you're describing the business now. So that actually creates a grade kind of transformation for those who are participating in the workshop to show them that how maybe they perspectives have changed around the business and what they believe in. And maybe even then being able to communicate it in a slightly better way, in a more clarity with more clarity. And also you should see that the statements should be somewhat kind of circling around similar themes. So in fact, they'll already giving me some keywords and insights is to creating that final piece, the brand positioning statement, with the keywords that they use and some insights that they're giving you net. The other key component of this is that the two boxes of the workshop, of the worksheet. And that final exercise is the, the last two boxes, which is why you do it and what makes you different. And the reason I have this at the very end is because I, from my experience working with entrepreneurs and business owners, I know that the why you exist for a purpose for business and what sets you apart can actually be very challenging. And I know brand strategies that I've worked with personally. They kind of tend to stick some exercise like this at the very beginning to kind of dig around. What is your beak? Why? The Simon Sinek, Why kinda statement? And the kind of dig deeper. And this can be very, very taxing exercise, especially if the participants coming in into the workshop expecting to get clarity, but you kind of jumping the mean and throwing them into this why statement at the beginning. They really have a hard time to come up with that. And that's the reason why I do this exercise at the beginning or at the end rather, is because they've gone through all of that other exercises like understanding the customer persona's and the brand values and the brand personality. And learned all of this extra perspectives and insights. And that gives them, those breadcrumbs, this clues as to why they exist, why that might exist, and what makes them different than what sets them apart. So this is a, a good time at the, at the end to complete this sort of exercise. And you'll notice that it's not a big major path within my workshops. Just because I don't believe that every business has this big purpose for existing. Sometimes it's just good to find the purpose within the other exercises and really get some clarity around why and how you should shop for the customers or how the business that I'm working with, how they should shop for the customers. And essentially this is the very last exercise that we're doing that's maybe 30 minutes long and 50 minutes long depending on the amount of participants that you have. And then once we've completed this exercise, I everyone on the back and basically wrap up the workshop. And in the next set of videos, I'll go through through some additional thoughts as to how to wrap up the workshop and some key takeaways and initial things that he can do. 9. Exercise Two: Audiences: Welcome back. Okay, so the next exercise is to do with the customer, persona's or audiences. Essentially customers of the business and potential customers that we can connect to and communicate with. And this is maybe not a unique approach to what other brand strategies or the brand builders might take. But I do feel like it's probably not something that's used very often in our industry at all at lodge. Certainly it's one of those things that's picking up speed at the moment, but it's probably something that can be talked about more. And so this particular exercise that we will focus on at the moment is looking at the customer needs specifically. So I say that customer centricity isn't something that's always been done. And lately there is that element of trying to humanize brands more and more. And in order for us to connect to those brains, we need to actually understand the deeper desires and needs of the customers. And I know there's a bit of backlash in brand strategy world around the kind of Carl Jung's theories and in the Maslow's hierarchy of needs. However, I still think it's something that can be considered, even though there might be slightly outdated concepts. I think it's something that we can consider it as brand builders and tried to appeal to some of those customer needs. So in the worksheet I always talk about, in this part of this exercise, I tell my clients that there's this kind of a pyramid, but it's my own version, if you like, of it. I just say that we have some functional needs at the bottom and financial needs. But then as we go higher up the pyramid that we have some more meaningful needs that we may experience as humans, like connecting with others and belonging and meaningfulness to alive and so on. And these are the things I think we can all agree on that we do have some high aspirations other than just going through to the shopping center to buy some ice cream. Let's talk about some of the examples of customer needs and my worksheet I have like Amazon for example, where they have more choice, the big customers more choices than ever. And of course that's comes into the need of choice and autonomy for the customer. The Netflix really knows the customers inside and out by collecting the information as to what they're watching and what they don't watch today, they can tap into that need of discovery and pleasure and Airbnb stepping into the needs of belonging and community. And they even have that belong anywhere kind of concept and brand idea. So then, then I described to my customers that we have this basically various sections that are grouped under four quadrants for freedom, control, connection, and meaning. And again, these are different examples and meant to be as prompts for my customers that I might not be familiar with terms like this, then what I do is actually print out free of all customer persona worksheets like this minus the things that I've already written on that. And essentially it's, it's what I do as part of my initial research phase. So I might get slightly kind of broad understanding what the customers for my, for my clients might be on a very kind of broad spectrum. So I have kind of place pictures of them and I make assumptions as to who they might be, misfires, who, what kind of age group they might be. So basically all the demographics, occupation, whether they're married, what their primary concern is with my particular the service of my clients. And then I create have other additional worksheets like this. We've blank information essentially. So I say to my clients, look, these are the kind of generic persona's that I think might be relevant to your business. However, I've only done in a very limited amount of research, so please help me out here is to maybe create other additional persona's that I'm missing here. Sometimes they go along with some of my or combination or like a Frankenstein of some persona's. And sometimes they tell me We are missing such and such persona, which we can do with the blank worksheets. But essentially what we do is as part of my other kind of brief surface level research, I actually go through some testimonials for adopts competitors for within that industry. And if my client has some testimonials already existing business, sometimes I got for them as well. And I tried to pick some triggering testimonials, let's say so sometimes negative, sometimes very positive, whether they are for competitors or for my client's business. And essentially I print them out sometimes that information out of time and just to try and essentially rephrased the testimonial into short statement. Sometimes I make them up to try and purposefully triggered some reaction from my customer just to see what they can stimulate as far as then trying to really think and put themselves in the customer's shoes because this is what this exercise is all about. So for instance, for this lady over here, who's Stacy? She's a female and she's a business owner, CEO, director for my customer. Ends. We fill out this poll quadrants based on what she says thinks feels in the US. And so we pick up one of the statements randomly that I've written and prepared beforehand and printed out. And I might say, okay, so this statement here, I don't care about the history of the business so long as they can do the job well. And I'll say, who do you think out of the customer persona's? Who do you think it's suits the most? And so I have other customer persona's here. For example, Jarrett, he's male and he's a solopreneur. So we have several of these persona's kinda laying out on the table or on the whiteboard. And I'll say, so this statement here, who, what does it do? Does it sound like this? It's unlike any of them. Would any of them say something like this or is this a relevant if it's irrelevant, I check it in the bin. It's something that they think. Okay. I think Stacy this feels like Stacy. I say, Okay, well, is it something that she thinks? Is it something that she feels or is it something says, or something that she actually does in for a kind of a deep dive into how to use this customer persona's in more detail. Have a look at my other class for using the customer persona's worksheet. That might give you a bit more information. But basically we fill out these quadrants. And sometimes if there's some statements that are missing, sometimes that my customer, my client is familiar with something that the customers are this particular persona might say or feel or do or think. Then we put that on a sticky note and stick that over here as well. From all of that, we get a snapshot and we start to see what are the main pain points that might be for Stacy and what the customer needs she might experience. So in this case, her customer needs or clarity of peace of mind, stability, and control because her challenges and pain points are lack of time, lack of clarity, no support in finding being able to find reliable partners. So with that in mind, then we obviously we fill out all of the worksheets, all of the customer persona's that we have. And we'll go through Jarrett who go for Stacy would go through any of the other blank ones that they have created. And if they have obviously additional ones that they've created themselves. And we'll go through and fill out as much as possible about each persona. This really gives us an ability to try and think like our customers. We tried to put ourselves in the customer's shoes. And that's basically the whole point of this exercise to try and see if we can essentially solve those needs as a brand, as a business is, if we can find some way to pivot, change our products or service offerings may slightly change the pricing structure. Maybe it's just about the way that we communicate with them and how we talk to them on social media platforms. So, so in the next exercise we're going to have a look at brand values. So here we've looked at the audiences and customers now have a look at more of the brand focus. 10. Exercise Three: Brand Values: All right, so once we've gone over kind of the customer audiences in the customer persona's and we feel like we have a better understanding of what the needs are. Then we'll move on to the more kind of brand related exercise, which is the brand values. So I have conducted the, this part of the exercise in various, numerous way. So I'll give you a breakdown of a few different exercises I have used in the past. But to give you an idea, I kind of set up the scene to explain to them that your brand valleys, your personal traits or values for your business that are kind of your unique pillars that you should be aiming to differentiate your brand through from your competitors. And this is the thing is that show the world what you stand for and give you a customer something to relate to something beyond just your logo, your website, or information on the website. And I say that the brand dallies have to be something that you have to leave through as a brand, you can just assign some random values like professionalism or uniqueness. You actually have to leave in brief for these values through actions and behaviors of your brand. And to make sure that they are unique, relevant, meaningful, clear, defined, and actionable. There's no point of having values that you can't actually implement some kind of form of action. So one of the exercise that I do and the way that I do it, typically if there are a few participants involved, is, first of all, I have this kind of worksheet displaying different various values that I could pick from. So these are more like prompts. They don't have to be just selecting from this list. They can always come up with their own. But it's an easy task for them to vote based on whichever value. So I think the most relevant to them. So I provide each person with the unique color as a voting mechanism. And usually as I tell him, you can't pick more than five. And then they would place their kind of stickers colors based on the value that they feel they can represent with the brain. And then once they've kind of all voted through to the different values, then we have a look at obviously there any areas where they aligned. So I say to them, look too, people have voted for customer. Who was that? And why did you vote for this particular value? How do you think you can actually project yourself, your brand through for that value? Then for something like this compassionate, It's something that's obviously free people voted for. So let's say there's three participants to say all of you voted for this. So this is a very clear indication that you are aligned. And then if there's like other areas where they may have voted for valleys which may be maybe contradictory to each other. So the black and the white, I kind of created them as almost like bipolar versions of different values are always positive, but I guess it's a different side of the coin. If any of them voted for the same value, for instance, That's that has a flip side and another person voted for the flip side of that value. I ask them who's voted for these values in, I get them to talk about that outlawed. And that makes it kind of an interesting conversation because they can uncover sometimes misalignment on things that they think they should do as a brand, as a unit. And it gives us a chance to, of course, have discussed that. Another way that I do this is by using this set of cards is usually 30 cards that I bring to move to the workshop. And it's basically a set of cards similar to this framework here. But it's each card has a value on one side, hence also a kind of reverse value on the other side. So again, as I mentioned, it's more like a poll of versions of the different values. So like for instance, I have standardized on one side and customized or not a buffer can be great virtues and can be positive. But it's more about which one does the business that I worked with aligned to more. And for instance, here I have practical or imaginative, for example. So with this kind of exercise is a similar thing. Like over here. Only in this instance they are voting on a particular brand valley that they associate themselves with. With this exercise, actually get everyone to stand around the desk and the layout, all of this value cards. And they've kind of flip them to, to which one they think is the most relevant to them and discuss as a group, once they've kind of flipped all of the 30 cards in total, that they think that this something that can represent us. We then start taking away the cards that I guess a more generic. Or maybe they had to make a choice just because they had to make a choice. And so we kind of tried to get them to shortlisted down to about five or six key values. And then once we have whether using this exercise or this sort of exercise, I get them then to pick those 55 to six key values to shortlist and down to that number. And then we place them in this circle over here, which is, again, another way I do an exercise like this. You can do a combination of any of these things or come up with some other approach that you like. But basically, in the circle over here we have the brand values. And circle on the right over here is customer needs. So in the previous exercise, we understood some of the customer needs from those customer persona's. So then what we do is with shortlisted down the values. Then, because we have understood the customer needs from the customer persona's exercise, we start placing some of the customer needs. A sticky notes over here. So I might put things like clarity and control, stability. So these are the things that our customers care about and this is the kind of needs that they may experience based on our understanding of what we expect of our customers to be an empathy. So once we kind of have this box circles filled up sudden what next exercise? Part of this exercise is to actually start to find what is the middle ground between the two of us. So in the middle section here is I say, what benefits do you bring to those customers and what needs we can align to based on our values. So then you can start to seek some correlation between them. So for example, if the customer need is innovation, for example, we have a valley here called customised. That could be something that could be used as a value to, to answer that innovation needs. So we might place that in the middle. And for instance, if they, if they're looking for empathy, which is one of the customer needs, then we can have a look at perhaps the value for familia being familiar and have a sense of familiarity about the products or services that might actually serve as a way for us to answer the customer needs of empathy. So we might place that there. And then as we kinda go for this exercise, I tried to get them to see if there's any other correlations. And we'll place the, those values in the middle. And essentially that becomes part of our unique values that we can discuss as a group. And sometimes we place other valleys that we still feel pretty strong role for us as a brand. Maybe don't reflect any of the needs. Sometimes it's the opposite. Sometimes we will look at these kind of snapshot of the values and needs. And sometimes we place an additional needs that we've come up with based on that exercise. So this is a kind of a few different exercise approaches that you can use to come up with brand values. So in the next exercise, let's have a look at the brand personality. 11. Exercise Four: Brand Personality: Okay, We're almost at the end here. Now. We've gone through the customer needs, the customer persona's and also started having a look more at the brand and the brand values. And in the next exercise, initially, I take my clients through some exercises to do with the brand personality. So I had that in the worksheet, but also often printed out as exercises we can do as a group together. And I'll explain how I can usually run this different, different approaches that I take. But basically I explained to my customers that brand personality is something that helps you to have a set way to talk and shop to your customers through understanding and having the clarity of voice and tone of voice. And also the clarity of messaging and the kind of words that you use and what you're trying to, how you're trying to shop as a brand for your customers. And there is a connection to the customer needs again. And I basically say that your customers have those particular needs that we have gone through and the brand valleys that we've gone through as an exercise. And when the stand where there's a kind of a middle ground. So with all of that in mind, how can we show up as a brand and what kind of personality can have? So first of all, we have the exercises such as the brand spectrum, the brand personality spectrum. And some of you may already be familiar with this. It's a pretty common exercise. Essentially what I do this through different methods I take depending on how I feel on the day and how I kind of feel the room is too. If there's kind of a group with some dominant people, then what I might do is have everyone complete this worksheet individually first and Volt. Which of the scales they are more like as a brand. So for instance, on the scale of the more mass appeal and accessible or the more exclusive and elite. And have them place essentially a dot or a circle around where on the spectrum they think they see it as a brand and the same for all of these different kind of attributes. If I feel like the group is very collaborative and the kind of work well as a group and they can take in each other's perspectives without having massive arguments. Then I have that as a group activity where they can, similar to the brand values exercise, they essentially vote based on what kind of the same kind of structure, but they vote as a group in real-time. And so once they've all voted, what I do is then I kind of discuss this as a group. So I might say, well, look, two of you had bought it here more towards that being RON, up unapologetic. And one of you voted more towards the refined and kind of reserved. So what is the disconnect there? Can you talk to that and who's who's place that marker here? And can you talk to that a little bit? And so they have a conversation, we have an open conversation about them actually trying to understand better about where they might misalignment, whether might think, well, how the business should come out into the world. And so that gives us an opportunity to refine that. Sometimes they agree that yes, Actually we made it somewhere in the middle. Maybe no, actually, this person says, Okay, I understand your point of view. And we were actually more run-up unapologetic for what we're trying to do. If they're obviously agree on something, I still get them to discuss it, but it's less of a discussion point if they all agree. And I think, okay, well, that shows me that there's really strong alignment with that particular exercise. All right, so the next part of the brand personality exercise is once we've gone through the brand personality spectrum, I have them do an exercise, runs brand archetypes. So brand archetypes is something that might be familiar with if you've been following any of my content or just in general, the brand archetypes that kind of more familiar to people. The 12th Okta is based on what Carl Jung has proposed this place clear, a theory that's been popular areas by him. And it says that 12 kind of intrinsic persona's, if you like, that we can all associate ourselves with or we can all understand the intrinsic motivations for those characters. So if I say that there's a hero or a wizard or sage, we can automatically conjure up some kind of an image of what that brand, what the character would, sort of character traits with that carry the have, and also how they act and what might be their motivations. And that can actually be a pretty powerful technique for creating a brand personality. The reason I do that brand personality spectrum first is that I want my client to start thinking about these characteristics. I start thinking about the brain as if you were a human being with traits and personality traits and characteristics. And then, then we can dive in more into the archetypes. So for me it used to be a big part of my work working with brand archetypes. However, I do recognize that there is obviously something missing. There's a bit of a nuance missing when working with brand archetypes. And you shouldn't base all of your strategic work just based on the framework such as this. I feel like it can certainly add to giving you as a designer the ability to have clear direction as to what kind of messaging skull the brand could have and kind of tone of voice that it could have, as well as the visuals. It can certainly help you to, to, to give you a clear directions what visuals you should create. But it shouldn't be the only framework. C should be a kind of used alongside other frameworks and other exercises. But basically the same concept applies here. I briefly talked to them about what each archetype can represents and give them some example. Archetypes, famous and well-known brands that leave in brief certain archetypes and it kinda give them examples. And again, get them to vote. So again, either as part of a group such as this, they can vote, would act up they think they are most associated with. Or I have them complete the worksheet individually. Again, as I mentioned, similar to the brand personality spectrum, if I feel there are some dominant people that might take over the group discussion. And then essentially once the old voted, We have a conversation around it. Same deal with the personality spectrum. And say, well, look, three of you have voted create that. Can you talk to that a little bit? Why do you think you might be the creator? If I see that there's some misunderstandings of the archetype, I kinda tried to clear that up in and see if they want to change their vote. Sometimes I might say, Well, this person has voted Jessica and rebel. None of you other people, none of your other participants have voted on this. Why do you think that is? That person has a chance to voice their opinions about this? And then we can kind of generally see the general direction and the general focus for what we think is one of the archetypes that can be used by the brand. So the fact that they voted free, boats, like say, out of the three participants, everyone voted for the creator, but to only word for the ruler. And so on. Doesn't mean that automatically I will give them the Create a archetype when I provide the recommendations. Because essentially I'll still have that opportunity when I go away and create my strategic grant document to take everything that I've learned about the customer needs and the brand values in the definitions of the brand and all of the other validating research that I will do in subsequent steps. I will then be able to see actually is the creator the best archetype plane, the breast personality for, for their brand going forward to how we want to shop in the world. But again, this is a snapshot of how you can use print personalities. There's other frameworks, such as the Jennifer Acker's brand personality dimensions that you can use. But I tend to use this very light archetype approach. Again, some agencies go from really, really extensive workshops just to work out the brand archetype. That might be like three or four hour workshop just to go through the archetypal personality. For me, it's just more of a 100 additional exercise that I like to do with my clients just to give them a sense of start picturing the brand as a person. 12. Exercise Five: Competitors: All right, so we're getting down to the last couple of exercises. And one of the last exercise like to do is the competitors. And I don't really do any of the research ahead of time for this section, other than that surface level, testimonials fall for the competitors of my client. Bruce section for the customer needs customer persona's section because I like to kinda my clients to unload what they think and give me a bit of a snapshot. And I can then later validate some of these assumptions later with some additional desktop research. So it's basically a four-quadrant diagram like this, which is typically you might have seen a diagram like this where they've got challenges and the lead us and all that kind of stuff. What I do is there are two axes, x and y axis, which we feel with the relevant things that might be relevant for the customers, for my client. So, for example, price might be something that's really a big factor when considering the service within that industry. And maybe the speed of delivery is another key crucial component for making the customers choose warm compared to the Oba another. And then once we've defined those x's, when then we start, the customer like Climb starts to tell me barriers competitors that I know off. And they start placing, we start placing the sticky notes based on the quadrant where they think they are at. So for instance, we've got price and speed of delivery. So this Zynga made up customer, competitor that might be really cheap. And they speed up delivery might not be that great. And then we have this competitor, why? There might be really expensive, but the speed of delivery somewhere in the middle. So we kind of place all of these different signals and we discussed as a group. And then this can be a fun exercise to do towards the end of this workshop because sometimes the clients and participants of the workshop can have quite strong feelings about some of the competitors. So you can really uncover some golden nuggets and how they feel about competitors. Like if there's a particular image that a particular competitor has, is it's a great insight information that usually can only be found out through these conversations with your participants in the workshop. Which might not be able to, something that you might not be able to uncover in this top research. So then we tried to split the gap. So we've got client, there's a gap here. This is my client. We see that there's maybe a gap fall. Maybe not being so speedy delivery because we are actually providing a really customized solution. But we can really keep our prices really low because of that reason. But we also provide super customization and detailed service. And so I'll point of difference and opportunities we can identify as we don't actually have affiliation with any other providers, just like majority of our competitors do. And therefore, because of that, we actually can provide a really customized and tailored solution. And another thing we might have our own warehouse for products. Again, maybe some of these competitors long have access to this. Again, and that might be increasing delivery speeds, even though it might be unnoticed video some of the others. But basically we tried to uncover some opportunities of where we can see within the market. We can't really compete with speed and price of delivery alone if they are already competitors that are doing the same kind of thing, we really have to find out key point of difference. So there might not be all to do with speed of delivery in price. We might actually come up with something different and unique to us and find out key points of difference. But the point of this exercise is that once we've done this conversation and this exercise in the workshop, then I will definitely go through and kind of get a better sense for an analytics and analyzing the competitive landscape. And actually tried to see how they're positioning in the market, what kind of products they have and services that they have. And see if our assumptions of how we can position ourselves are correct. And maybe there's some other opportunities I can spot during that research and based on assumptions, based on maybe some recommendations of what I think my customer, my client maybe should try and spot that they should try to fill a gap in or a particular opportunity that they can utilize. So in the next exercise, we're going to have a look at kind of tying some of these things together. 13. Putting It All Together: Positioning: Nice work. What you've just accomplished these massive undertaking. After you've completed the brand workshop, you should be feeling proud because that is quite an immersive experience and takes quite a lot of work. So you should feel proud and congratulations. Now when you have finished the workshop, what you should do is remind everyone in all of the participants as to what are the kind of exercises that you have gone through. Give them a bit of an overview and recap what you have done. And perhaps ask for feedback from the participants around what they had thought about the workshop. Perhaps, what kind of key takeaways that have taken if there were any mindset shifts up, new perspectives that I've seen that they haven't thought about before. And also ask them might be what were the least favorite exercises or the most challenging or the favorite top of exercises and y. And at this stage, if, if I have asked for their permission to audio or video record the session at the beginning of the workshop, then typically I'll keep the recording going for, for this moment because this is actually a critical step. You can actually uncover some really nice juicy golden insights into when the participant starts sharing their kind of realization. So what mindset shifts that they might have had as part of the brand workshops. So, so keep, keep that going and make sure to record that for future reference because you might get some extra, additional insights from the participants. Then once you've done all of that, make sure to provide some next steps for your client as to what can be expected from the deliverable point of view and timeframes. As I mentioned, depending on the kind of research in a level of research you're doing and also what the deliverable is. If there's like a full extended brand identity or just some kind of a logo options. The timeframes might vary, but I would at least provide some ballpark figures. Your clients. Maybe it's 23 weeks, maybe it's five weeks depending on your process. But make sure to let them know what, what to expect as a result of this brand workshop. For me, the next deliverable is the Strategic Brand document. So for me that can take anywhere between two to five weeks depending on, again, the level of research that I'm doing and within that strategic brand document. And of course, this is a separate cost. As I mentioned before, if they have kind of gone ahead with that face and they beyond the workshop. So what I do deliver within that strategic plan document is essentially distilling all of those key insights that we've learned from the research, from the workshop and also do additional research, as I mentioned, to validate any kind of key assumptions in the workshop, things that we've discussed and insights that we've uncovered. So I go through that additional research to validate those ideas and then try to encapsulate every key aspect of those key exercises that I've gone through into kind of some short form. Some actionable insights, observations, commentary on how to make sense of those observations into insights. And most importantly. I'm providing some actionable ways for for my client to implement that. And essentially, what can they do with that information and how they can put that to use. Now, the denture with any brand strategic documents is always trying to come up with very moving and insightful slide decks and PDF. A 100 pages long sometimes. But then the danger of that is just sitting in a box somewhere collecting dust. So the key to any strategic document like this is actually to provide actionable ways to implement it. So for instance, one of the exercises that will go always the customer persona's sunny the customer needs. So for something like that, for example, as an actionable step, what you can do is provide some ways for understanding the customer and waste to potentially communicate and some copy examples of how you can communicate with those particular customer persona's. Maybe how to engage them and how not to engage them. Way to potentially find them as fires the platforms that there might be hanging out with Anthem based on the customer journey and kind of understanding about the customer needs. Of course, these are kind of recommendations. And we can't base those recommendations on any just any kind of assumptions. We have to have some sort of structure and some foundation. So for that, I use what I call a positioning statement, a brand positioning statement. So if you have previously enrolled in my intro, the brand positioning class on this platform, you can get more information as to how you can actually craft that statement. But in a nutshell, it's a short, simple statement that's clear and actionable. That encapsulates all of the things that we've learned from those key areas like the customer persona's, the brand values, the brand personality, essentially who we help, how and why? How should we shop? That can be a statement that can be understood by anyone. So it's not about trying to sound expensive, It's about being clear. And so anyone who might pick up this positioning statement and read that, they should get an idea of how they can kind of implement that into any brand activity. And also that positioning statement is something that I use for creating the recommends, recommendations for each of those components. So as this class is primarily focused on conducting and preparing for brand workshop, I won't be going through, indeed Alice, to preparing the actual strategic brand document. Perhaps one of those 10 K courses can help you out with that. And also you can maybe find a mentor or a coach who can help you to get the grapes as to how you can translate the insights and findings from the workshop into strategic brand document with recommendations. Of course, every expert in branding strategies will have their own particular approach, but you can't have too many, too much information, I guess, in the sense of different approaches can help you craft your own process. This is how largely AF crafted mild process for conducting brand workshop, but also creating the strategic brand documents. Now, I will leave you with one final thought though, is that whenever you creating any of those sections and stealing those key findings and insights from your brand workshop for all of those key areas. Make sure to think about each section and think about how can I come up with some kind of actionable and intangible recommendation for my clients for this particular section, based on what I know about the brand, that the business market and the customers. And what can I give them as a way to actually implement those recommendations? Because without that, again, as I mentioned, the PDF is just at the danger of sitting in someone's inbox collecting dust. 14. BONUS: Additional Exercises, and Class Project: Great work, my friend, you've just made it till the end of this class. I trust that this information and knowledge will help you feel more empowered with the understanding that you can go beyond just the logger questionnaire and hopefully implement some of these brand workshop ideas and the strategic kind of thinking into your logo design projects and surely will give you more confidence and also more value for your clients. Now, in this last video, I want to give you some bonus exercises that you can run in the workshop and as well as your class project. So the thing about brand workshops is that you don't want this to be kind of this robotic interview back and forth. You want to add a balance between seriousness and play. We are there to explore ideas and it should be about a sense of curiosity rather than just this kind of back-and-forth interaction with no emotion. So in order to add the sense of that curiosity and play, I add a different exercises that sometimes have nothing to do with the actual workshop in terms of the business, but do help to break up and get some of that renewed energy into the participants. Especially between those really more demanding kind of business exercises that we have covered. So before I even begin the workshop, the very first thing that I like to do is to get the participants to feel largest thirty-seconds exercise. And it's basically a piece of paper with 30-second blank circles on it. And the task is within the 45 minute timer that the participants have to essentially draw and fill up as many of the circles as they possibly can with whatever. And I essentially tell on this exercise has nothing to do with your brand workshop, with the actual business activities, but it does help you to start thinking more creatively and to help you open up those kind of creative thinking bits of your brain. And that will essentially help us enable us to think more outside of the box when we are doing those workshop exercise. Now, another exercise that I like to do is I like to do one of the sets of my studio costs, have various cards. I have this script idea cards which have 60 prompts for different business ideas. So like for instance, one of the business prompts might be, how can you make an MVP version of your business? So within some of the breaks between some of the exercises, I might add this one in brief, but 10 to 15 minutes, where we can randomly pick up a few different cards and kind of discuss how that might apply to their business. So with that MVP version, that might give us additional thoughts around the business in some additional insights and realizations that we wouldn't have normally got from other interactions for our exercises. Then I do have other brand strategies, specific cards as well, that you can go through similar types of prompts, but they can be used malls. Actual brand workshop related exercises that has a set of 30 questions where you can go through and randomly pick up different cards and business owners or participants of the workshop have to answer in a kind of a group activity. Sometimes I assign them to randomly pick up, let's say free cards. Each, they have to write them down on their worksheets. And then after they've completed that exercises that they can all read out the answers to the group. And then we can discuss, and again, something that helps to get more insights from actual participants. And for, for us as brand builders, There's one more exercise that I like to do as well. At the very end is called the obituary, the brand obituaries, I tell them, imagine that you are a generalist. Writing for your brand has just ceased to exist. Now, how would that journalists write about and what kind of things put your, your, your brand have achieved, had achieved in the past. What is the most important thing that it will be remembered for? Who will miss it the most and why? And what lessons can be learned from your brand existing and what will take its place. Again, these are more business-related questions that kind of a little bit out of the box. But again, it can uncover some really interesting insights that you wouldn't have normally got for those small set structured exercises. For that, we have gone through. Another kind of icebreaker kind of exercise can be to just ask people to find something red in the room. This can also work in, in, in the online workshop scenario where everyone can bring something from where they are located remotely. And they can spend two to three minutes just talking about what it is. And so something like this can again, being like an icebreaker to help people get more relaxed and to hopefully be more kind of relax for the additional exercises and the actual important exercise of the brand workshop. So for your class project, I'd love for you to actually lists some of the exercise maybe haven't been mentioned in this workshop. Whether that's going to be for the business exercises at hand or whether they're going to be some kind of icebreaker, creativity kind of exercise they can use in the breaks. Anything that I haven't mentioned, please submit that as part of your class project and I'd love to comment on them and we can all collaborate them. Hopefully build up a larger library, fall upon brand workshops. So I hope you have enjoyed this class as, as always, my name is Leah Levin off from studio. And see if you have, please leave me a cluster of view that helps me to continue on keeping this class is going. And just remember that the world doesn't need your creativity and you do have the power and economic.