We’re passionate about helping businesses that are passionate about their businesses. In a sea of companies vying for customers, the mission behind your brand may be the only thing differentiating you from your competition.
Why end up looking like someone else?
Many agencies will approach your brand from their own perspective and their aesthetic. Instead, we choose to revolve the process around you. A brand sprint lets us quickly distill your company’s mission, or as we call the “Why.”
With our approach the ultimate design of your company develops out of your core Why, not only forming a unified brand but also inspiring other people who believe in your mission. We extract your unique identity and then build a beautiful brand around it. Not only do we get it done in lightning speed – but we guarantee a beautiful end result that drives engagement because it’s meaningful to your target audience.
When would you benefit from a brand sprint?
A brand sprint isn’t something you should just wake up and decide to do one Tuesday morning. Avoid it if it isn’t necessary, because it actually involves all of your executive decision makers for a good part of a morning. However, a brand sprint also has the potential to save you tons of money and re-designing in the long run. We approach our design strategy with a brand sprint to streamline your goals, image and mission into a winning, design that speaks to your unique audience.
You would also benefit from a brand sprint if you are:
- Undergoing a rebranding
- Updating a logo
- Redesigning a website
- Changing or starting work with a new digital marketing agency
- Trying to reach new markets
- Designing a new product
You can use a brand sprint in all of these crucial moments in your business journey. So by starting with a brand sprint, we ensure your design will promote and support your growth at every step of your brand’s development. A brand design that’s based around your core mission will never go out of style and is bound to hold up through many seasonal fads.
So What is a Brand Sprint?
We’re glad you asked! It’s a process of boiling down your core values, identity your mission as well as you target audience. This will help shape the design, marketing strategy and just about every business move and decision going forward. It’s the DNA of your brand, so to speak. We use a sprint process that’s applicable to any business and quick enough to make it easy for decision makers to fit into their busy schedule.
Here’s how we help you nail it down:
A note to those with an aversion to “group exercises,” these are techniques used by the best of the very best in the business world, including the iconic Steve Jobs. Get past the initial “ick” and you’ll find them extremely insightful and straightforward. After all, it’s a few hours out of your day to help shape the future success of your business. We’ve listed these exercises in no particular order – and they can be used interchangeably by people with no previous experience in these matters. In other words – don’t worry the process is foolproof.
First, We assemble a team of key decision makers. This usually means the CEO, marketing lead, design lead, and any other cofounders. These days, this can be a bit like herding cats, but you’ll be able to iron it out within a three-hour process. Full disclosure: we do ask you to leave your electronics at the door, BUT there is a snack break in the middle. Also, to make sure we check any attitudes at the door, we use the “Note-and-Vote” system to minimize any unnecessary friction.
1. 20 Year Roadmap (15 mins)
We’ll ask you to draw a roadmap marking 5-year increments to 20. Then we’ll have you to note what your company will be doing at each of these time markers. We’ll guide you through a process of noting down each person’s vote and a short discussion, followed by the final decision from the decision maker. Then we take a photo of the whiteboard and use it as the first slide to our brand guide.
Sound cheesy? Squirming yet? Don’t worry – this exercise gets you thinking about what the lifetime of your brand looks like, which is an important measure of your success and direction.
2. What, How, Why (30 mins)
Based on Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” concept, we draw thee circles around one another to signify the “Why” at the core, “How” in the middle, and “What” on the outside. Then we ask each person to write down the answers to what, how and why your company does business. After a brief discussion, the decision maker will again select the main answer to each of these questions. Again, this goes into the brand guide.
Coming up with a good “why” might sound like a silly and simple task, but it’s actually a profound process.
3. Top Three Values (30 mins)
This step is coming up with top three values for your company, but it’s essentially expanding on your “Why” from the step above. Each person writes down their top three values. After a respectful discussion, the decision maker picks their top three answers. Straightforward, yes. Cheesy? Maybe. But these values should dictate nearly every decision making within the business.
SNACK BREAK (15 mins) – Passions run high when our blood sugar levels are low. To avoid hangry participants we’ll break for about 15.
4. Top Three Audiences (30 mins)
Top three audiences are derived from the same exact process as the top three values. The question we ask here is “Who are you talking to?” and also, “Who is listening?” and “Seriously, Tom, are you listening or did you sneak your iPhone back into the meeting?” Remember, no devices. As with each step, the top decision maker (who’s starting to feel very powerful throughout this process) will choose the final three answers, which go into the brand guide.
5. Personality Sliders (30 mins)
With personality sliders we basically draw “sliders” to mark where your company falls on scales of business extremes. For example, are more of the “friend” or the “authority” for your audience? Is your style “serious” or “playful? “ This exercise lets us envision your sweet spot and adopt a design and a tone to match it.
6. Competitive Landscape (30 mins)
We start out by drawing a 2 x 2 matrix with “Classic” and “Modern” on the ends of the x-axis, and “Expressive” and “Reserved” marked on the y-axis. We then ask you to place your top competitor brands along the graph and vote on the final position of each. You’ll also place your brand on this diagram according to all of the work we’ve just gone through. So this shouldn’t really be that difficult. Seriously, Tom, pull it together – we’re nearly finished! Once the decision maker picks the final positions, we take a picture and stick it in the brand guide.
What we are left with is a blueprint for a beautiful brand that’s built and designed around your core principles and mission. It looks and feels uniquely like itself. This identity not only sets you apart from the rest of the competition, but also inspires your audience to forge a relationship with your brand. By distilling your message as well as the target audience, we are able to design a brand that’s specifically tailored to your customers, ensuring that they’re delighted at every step.