Are you about to run a brand strategy workshop? If you’re looking for ways to prepare for it, check out our previous article where we discussed the best practices for running a successful brand strategy workshop.
Now let’s explore the tools you can use to generate fruitful and productive outcomes after your brand strategy workshop.
A room full of people offering ideas can feel expansive at first, but too much brainstorming without any structure can become unwieldy and even frustrating. The right brand strategy tools will not only structure your workshop and maximize everyone’s time and input, but will also make it a fun, positive, and organized experience.
We recommend orchestrating the brand strategy workshop around the key topics that need to be unfolded and clarified in order to weave a successful brand strategy together. They are:
- Now + next
- The product or service
- The ideal client
- The positioning statement
- The core message
- The brand personality
👉 If you need more clarity on this, dive deeper into how to run a brand strategy workshop.
Each topic can be explored through a set of exercises that bring everyone together to generate ideas. To keep the event manageable without curtailing the creative flow of ideas, it’s helpful to use a brand strategy workshop tool for each of these topics. Not only will a tool provide a structure for an exercise and a common “language” so participants feel heard and understood, but it will also corral the vast quantity of information generated into usable formats.
So let’s explore the exercises and tools that can be used to uncover the needed information for each topic.
Now + Next
The purpose of this exercise is to make sure the client is clear about why they are undertaking this branding or rebranding project and how they will measure its success. It’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page about where they are, what they’re doing and, most importantly, why they’re doing it. If you need more clarity, refer to our previous article on Brand Strategy.
👉 Discover What is a brand strategy and why do you need it.
An overall exploration of what “success” looks like and what the next level is will help to guide the branding strategy process. It’s also useful to look at obstacles, strengths, and opportunities for change.
It’s essential to explore all these questions and topics in an order that builds upon itself, instead of just throwing out a random jumble of questions. A brand strategy workshop tool like the Brand Strategy Workbook will guide this journey in a useful and productive way.
This Workbook gives structure to the workshop process by asking the right questions so you can home in on what’s truly important. You can use it to guide participants so they can feel free to brainstorm creatively and build on their ideas in a logical way.
The Brand Strategy Workbook explores the company’s strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, hopes for future growth/success, and what might be preventing those next steps. It also delves into the product, providing opportunities to see it and think about it in fresh ways, ones that are helpful in the overall branding process.
Product or Service
This is what’s at stake, so it’s important to take a fresh look at both the product or service and the ideal customer. Looking at this vital relationship, along with a sober glance at the competition, can provide new insights that affect the brand strategy.
The Brand Strategy Workbook and Brand Canvas probe into all of this. As you move through the process outlined in the Workbook, there will be certain pinnacle points that become the foundation of creating a successful brand strategy. The Brand Canvas will make it easy to capture them.
This template captures all of the vital information generated throughout the workshop and provides a clear plan for moving forward.
Use the Brand Canvas to paint the picture of a brand as it develops. You’ll use it to coalesce all of the answers generated by the Workbook process into one visual representation – clear and concise – so you can click into the “a-ha” of the brand.
Ideal Customer Profile
A company can have the best product on the market, but if they’re unclear who they’re selling it to, it might never reach the right buyer. Although it’s tempting to think that everyone is a potential customer, it’s essential to connect with the most likely customers so you can build real relationships and show them why they need this specific product.
The Brand Strategy Workbook includes a template for creating the ideal client profile. Using it during a brand workshop will help the group visualize and define the target customer.
By identifying the demographics and values of the target customer, this brand strategy workshop tool keeps the company focused in the right direction: meeting customer expectations. It’s also a solid base that will help marketing departments zero in on where to put their ad dollars.
As you can see, we start by understanding the current state of our client’s business and projecting a bit into the future of where s/he would like to be next.
Your job, as a brand strategist, is to prime our clients for this next level success by putting the right pillars in place to serve as a springboard for this transformation. It’s quite a forward-moving, clarity-igniting and impact-making mission!
A brand connects to its customers through the unique story it tells. If a person identifies with a brand’s values and purpose, then they feel understood and hopeful; they want to be part of the story.
The Brand Strategy Workbook includes a template that fleshes out the brand’s story and its reasons for doing what they do, or selling what they sell. This exercise uncovers the larger “why” – this is the purpose that drives the business, and it’s also what gives customers a feeling of connection.
A crucial element to creating an effective positioning statement is taking a look at the competition. This brand strategy workshop tool is a simple and effective way to declare what’s different and valuable about this particular brand.
Coming up with a product or company tagline is possibly the most daunting exercise. This little phrase or sentence carries so much importance. It needs to capture the vision, purpose, and personality of a brand in one tight and clever line, and convey all of that effectively.
The beauty of the Brand Strategy Workbook and the Brand Canvas is that they naturally bring you to this point – creating a winning core message. Everything you need is there on the Canvas, just waiting to be molded into the essence of the brand.
The brand personality establishes the emotional connection to the consumer. This is key for turning prospects to consumers and for creating loyalty. It also paves the way for successful collaborations and employee retention. This emotional connection is established through the tagline, the brand story, the brand style, and the brand content.
There are four exercises for uncovering the brand personality: uncovering the brand tone of voice, the brand archetype, the brand values, and its style. Here are several brand strategy workshop tools that you can use in these exercises to accurately reveal a brand’s personality.
👉 Discover our complete Guide to Uncovering a Brand’s Tone of Voice.
Brand Personality Cards
These cards help pinpoint the personality of the brand. Is it soft and sweet, or loud and commanding? It can be hard to get this exactly right – often it’s a combination of very specific traits.
We’ve identified 40 common personality types and created a Brand Personality Card deck that makes it fun and easy for workshop participants to choose the ones that represent the brand. Is it Traditional or Visionary? Witty or Rebellious?
This is a useful branding workshop tool because it brings the brand to life in a new way. By exploring who it is and why it exists, your group can flesh out the brand’s story and develop a strategy based on its core principles.
Brand Tone of Voice Cards
The way a business speaks to its audience is crucial. (“Hey, howya doin’?” won’t fly when you’re selling a $10,000 watch.)
A brand’s tone of voice needs to be consistent with its style and personality. This is one of the hardest things to master, especially when developing a brand strategy that will be used by various team members, like social media staff, copywriters, and graphic designers.
The Tone of Voice Cards are a useful tool to help you identify communication style. Each card features several specific words on the front. Participants can choose the ones that seem to match the produce/service, then flip it over to find further explanation and real life examples.
With these 20 cards, there’s a comprehensive overview of common tones of voice. Is the brand creative, but also practical? Or is it energetic and playful? Being precise matters – your audience is listening closely (or, if the tone is off, not at all).
When discussing style, it’s important to establish a common language. One person’s idea of what “timeless classic chic” looks like is not necessarily what another’s might be.
To avoid going around in circles trying to figure out what everyone is envisioning, use a workshop tool such as the Brand Style Cards. This 200-card deck will help you lay it all out on the table – literally! – and let the images speak for themselves.
The cards are grouped into 10 main styles that represent today’s cutting edge in the design world. Participants can play with the cards to create a moodboard that accurately reflects the brand. These powerful visuals will guide the design direction and ensure that everyone is on the same page moving forward.
You can certainly DIY a brand strategy workshop, but if you want a tried and tested tools package that hits all the essential marks and minimizes chaos, consider the Brand Strategy Kit. It includes all of the tools mentioned above. The inspiring visuals and well-thought out processes will ensure your workshop is both enjoyable and productive.
Most important: have fun! Branding is a major step forward and you want it to carry a bright energy of new and positive beginnings.
If you get stuck or want a more personalized approach, don’t hesitate to reach out – we love making the brand strategy process successful for everyone involved.