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Your Branding Project: Questions to Ask Before Starting

by Erica Manning

Planning ahead is smart – it can help creative projects just as much as any other kind of project. Here are tips to help get your branding project off right:

Define your audience

Instead of just jumping in without clear direction, be sure you understand your audience. Research their common traits to understand their challenges and motivations. Contact people you may know who share these characteristics. Invest in quality market research when it makes sense. Taking these steps will help you develop messaging that relates to your intended audience. It also properly challenges your team’s preconceptions, helping you avoid a messaging misstep.

Define your purpose and revisit it often

Clearly define the main result your team would like to achieve. Do you want to inform or motivate your intended audience? What exactly do you want your audience to do with the information? If your goal is to motivate your audience to buy a particular product, would you like them to specifically buy an increased volume or buy more often? Consider different messaging for different objectives. Also, refer to your original objective frequently. Many teams begin with a straightforward objective, but it can devolve after a few rounds of discussion. Be sure to visit your main objective frequently to keep on track.

Determine what is already out there

Document any existing messaging. Your team will need to know if you can build on ideas already circulating or if you need to compete with other branding. Understanding the potential strength and weaknesses of your initial ideas can help you weed out the weak ones early on.

Identify your limitations  

Make sure your team lists out any limitations you may have from different stakeholders. Is your client tied to a particular ideology or style? Are there internal compliance groups your client must get approvals from? Are there regulatory or statutory requirements you need to consider? Are there potential social criticisms you need to avoid? Knowing these in advance can keep you from investing time and resources in ideas that are sure to be rejected down the line.

Get ahead of potential issues

Think about the impact your branding/messaging will have on subsequent projects. Will the branding your team creates be used in print materials or only in digital media? How do you plan to keep colors consistent across mediums? Who will need access in the future? What file formats will be needed? Will the branding be used internationally? Should you anticipate adapting by language or region? You do not have to limit your ideas to branding that will work in every country and medium.

Planning ahead is good business sense, and it will allow you to avoid unexpected costs and delays as your program matures.

Check out the other blog posts in our branding series, Clinical Trial Branding: 5 Mistakes to AvoidBranding vs. Marketing and Content Meets Design: Bringing Your Project to Life

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