What to expect in the first step of building your brand.
There are three phases in the brand-building process: Define who you are, what you say, and how you say it. The process always starts by defining who you are and identifying the characteristics that make you unique. This way, the remaining phases–where you craft your messaging and logo–are based on those unique characteristics. This is how to create an authentic brand that supports your goals.
The best way to tackle phase one is with a brand workshop. A workshop allows your team to visualize and discuss what your aspirational brand will look and feel like. Typically led by a marketing agency, brand workshops are designed to peel back the layers of your organization to reveal your brand’s essence.
Every workshop is a little different, but here’s what you can expect during one led by Moonlight:
1. Analyze the Industry
Before we begin any brainstorming, we want to ground our discussions with clear strategy. We begin with the strategic part of the workshop to help us get a better understanding of the marketplace in which your brand will exist. Using your industry information as the framework, we can craft a winning brand strategy.
This part of the workshop might include:
- Internal and external opportunities and threats
- Competitive landscape
- Target audiences
- Business goals
- Future business expansions
2. Visualize the Brand Experience
With the help of creative brand exercises and colored sticky notes, the brainstorming portion of the workshop will uncover the building blocks of your brand identity. Our goal is to define your aspirational brand experience by also defining what it looks, sounds, and feels like, as well as its motivations and values. That’s why each workshop is customized for a specific client.
This part of the workshop might include:
- What motivates or drives your organization
- What your organization hopes to achieve in 10 years
- How you plan to achieve that vision
- Distinctive or unique qualities, services, or products
- The values that guide your decisions and actions
- The ways you’d describe your brand personality
- The aesthetic that best matches your brand
4. Engage in Conversation
Workshops are interactive and collaborative so that all stakeholders are heard. Every attendee will share his or her thoughts about the aspirational brand and engage in dialog that will shape it. Our job is to help spark conversation and steer it forward so it’s productive.
5. Get (a Little Bit) Creative
Workshops are designed to be a neutral space where it’s safe to explore new ideas about your aspirational brand. To help spark those ideas, we utilize prompts.
In the beginning, prompts are a bit more creative to help participants loosen up and think freely. As the workshop continues, prompts encourage participants to jot down their ideas and thoughts about elements of the brand so they can be shared and discussed.
You do not have to be a creative person to participate or find values in the experience! You simply have to be willing to participate.
6. Make Key Decisions
During a brand workshop, participants will make key brand and business decisions. Therefore, attendees typically include senior leadership and senior marketing staff in charge of rolling out the brand. Sometimes it’s also helpful to have subject matter experts present who can speak in detail about customers’ needs and wants.
When there are too many voices present, it’s difficult to make decisions quickly to move on to the next exercise. Therefore, we recommend attendance is capped at 10, but smaller groups are encouraged.
7. Align Top Leaders
Workshops give top leaders an opportunity to come together and agree on a brand strategy—something not every executive schedule allows for often. When leaders are on the same page about their brand, their business decisions and management style will also be in alignment.
As one of our clients put it:
“In my opinion, the most valuable aspect of the branding workshop was that it brought together our senior leadership to really think about—and align on—who we are as a firm today and who we want to be in the future.”
When you take all the workshop findings, including details about your marketplace, business goals, and aspirational personality, you have the foundation for your brand identity. When the workshop is complete, our agency will have everything it needs to develop your brand.
We begin by documenting key brand essentials like mission, vision, voice, and personality, as well as designing your visual identity. The brand that we start to assemble will be a reflection of the goals, needs, and wants expressed during the workshop.
Want to continue the conversation? Give us a shout.