If your business wants to refresh its brand and you’ve been given the exciting/a bit daunting/terrifying task of leading the project, delivering it on time and making every stakeholder happy – it can feel like wading through a thick fog.
Discovery sessions exist to clear that fog and get your branding project off to the best start possible. Here’s what they’re all about and they ways in which they can help to assist in reimagining your business…
What is a Discovery Session?
A Discovery session forms part of the first stage of branding projects for most agencies (the first of five for Idenna*). They’re designed to define the goals of your project, pinpoint any challenges, identify/re-identify your customers and define/redefine your brand attributes. These goals are achieved through asking questions, challenging assumptions and surfacing meaningful insights, before packaging them up into a strategy to launch or reinvigorate your brand.
Discovery sessions can take a few hours, or a few days depending on the scope of the project. It’s a good idea to work with an external agency to lead your workshop from start to finish, but if you’re feeling brave and have a knack for stakeholder-herding, you can run the prep-steps of a Discovery Session in-house.
What can you do to prepare?
1 – Decide who your stakeholders are
We would define a stakeholder as anyone who will have a say in the approval of the final outcome. Really nailing down who these people are will get your project off to the very best start, so put pen to paper and make a list of every key player.
2 – Talk to your stakeholders
Levels of engagement from your team can make or break a branding project. Not only will reaching out to your stakeholders early in the process assure them that you have their best interests in mind, but it will give you the opportunity to find out what they think is working and what’s not working. Many of these people will have personal attachments to your brand. Learning about these attachments will prove very important in getting everyone on board with new ideas down the line.
These conversations can be conducted through surveys, small groups or one-on-one interviews; we would recommend the latter as nothing beats a focused meeting for gathering information.
3 – Define your objectives
What do you want to achieve by refreshing your existing brand or launching a new one? Feeding this information back to your stakeholders will get everyone on the same page from the offset.
If you’ve engaged an agency at this point, it’s also worth asking for a clear agenda for the Discovery Session so everyone knows what to expect and how much of their time you need. This will also be your chance to let the agency know who will be attending the session. Provide as much information on the attendees as possible, so your agency can adjust the amount of creative lingo they use accordingly.
Following these prep-steps and uniting your stakeholders with shared goals will not only see that fog we mentioned earlier begin to clear, but you’ll also be well on your way to becoming a dream client for any full-service creative agency. They’ll think you’re great.
*Idenna’s Five Ds – How we make great things happen
1 – Discover
This is where we immerse ourselves in your world and discover what makes you unique. We’ll uncover valuable insights by asking the right questions through a Discovery Session, competitor analysis and market research.
2 – Define
Next, we’ll translate our findings into a creative brief and define a clear direction for your brand. This important step of the project helps us ensure we’re heading in the right direction.
Now the fun really begins! It’s time to transform the ideas we discovered and defined into creative that delights, excites and really resonates with your audience and stakeholders. You’ll also see examples of how your new identity could look in real life.
4 – Develop
It’s time for you to sign-off on the strongest concept following a presentation, so we can work towards final versions and your shiny new assets.
Finally, we’ll deliver your new designs, artwork, documents and assets in optimised formats for you to show off to your audience! We can also create a style guide or brand guidelines to help you ensure your brand continues to be presented correctly.
The next time you feel your brand needs a bit of a boost to reconnect to your audience, a change of tact to focus on a brand new consumer group or a total re-imagination into Business X 2.0, just remember the 5 D’s of Discovery Sessions (not to be confused with the 5 D’s of dodgeball!)