d1: discovery

We’ve got to have a firm understanding of your organization before we can start designing a solution that hits your objectives, so we start here, with discovery. Your organization’s mission, vision, target market, corporate culture, competitive advantages, strengths and weaknesses, and marketing strategies are all vital pieces of information we analyze during our introductory phase that helps us understand where you have been, and where you want to go.

There are several activities in our discovery phase we might recommend to your organization to assist us in our brand strategy process. These most often include: interviews with key stakeholders, interviews with your customers, a competitive audit, and an internal audit.

We start with one-on-one interviews with the decision makers to kick off the creative process. People in these positions have contributed to the voice, cadence and personality of the organization and know better than anyone what direction it is headed in. The questions we ask are not typical problems. They are high level, thought provoking, and can be difficult to answer. We ask questions like “Who are you”? “What do you do?” and “Why does it matter?”. We like to not only conduct these interviews with key stakeholders, but with individuals with varying roles and responsibilities within the company. Perspectives vary from different individuals to different levels within the organization- all points of view that help us gain a better understanding of your brand without one person’s opinion reigning supreme.

We also like to conduct one-on-one phone conversations with customers or potential customers in a conversational approach about their perception of the organization’s brand. We recommend choosing clients and prospects in different buying stages, focusing on goals, attitudes and behaviors with a series of points to cover for comparison.

In between interviews with stakeholders and customers, we conduct an internal audit of your brand. We like to gather all relevant communications used by your company as marketing tools. We analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the current identity—logo, color, typography, the website-messaging and design, consistency of the brands touch points, or imagery, all of which are depicted in our d3 stage of the perception branding process.

“Why would a potential customer choose our goods and services over our competition?” is an important question to answer. Because differentiating your brand is vital, we need to intimately understand your competition so that we can design your marketing and design strategies in a way that allows your brand to look and feel different. The competitive audit includes analyzing your competitors positioning, key messaging, visual identity, naming, brand consistency, and brand hierarchy.

After concluding the discovery phase and learning in-depth about your organization and it’s competition, we use this information to help guide the activities and brainstorm sessions in d2: Distill.

If you want to learn more about why you should consider our perception branding process, click here.