journal posts

Creative brand workshops

How to improve your branding, website and marketing with ‘Discovery Workshops’

By
Branding
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Insights
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Strategy
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Web Design
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Oct 17, 2021

We’ve worked with a lot of disparate teams - large boards of creative big hitters with entirely different swings, partnerships with opposing personalities and conflicting ideas about what happens next, family-run companies steeped in tradition, with pre-set ideas of how things should be. But we’ve never curled up in a ball and cried (yet).

We see it as our job to act as creative eye (and quasi therapist), to really listen and set the parameters so that everyone feels safe and listened to. Sound painful? It’s really not.

When it comes to brand identity design, building a new website, or creating a marketing plan, we understand that it’s hard working out what you really want your business to look and sound like. You may worry about your brand being weak, because there are conflicting messages or visuals. Perhaps it feels a bit like you’re all working for two different companies, as your services feel divided? This is where it’s helpful to seek outside support to reflect your views (and those of your audience) right back at you, to look in the mirror and have someone mediate those tricky brand development ideas…

Usually, this is where we come in, as outside support to help navigate this difficult terrain. However, the purpose of this blog is to outline some of our most successful processes, so that you can do this yourselves or if you prefer, get in touch with us to find out more.


Forage Creative Discovery Workshops

A Discovery Workshop can come in many shapes and forms, but essentially it’s a set of explorative processes and creative guidelines to help develop your brand strategy. It’s how we discover your' true brand values, that you can all get behind because they reflect your combined talent and personality.

A few enquiries to get the wheels in motion:

Here are some of our favourite and most effective tools to explore. They’re a set of enquiries that we highly recommend being creative and messy with. Once finished, the fun job of tidying up can begin.

  • Understanding the pain points - What are the functional problems you have, how can we help solve them?
  • Your brand story - How is the brand story currently portrayed and will this change with growth? What’s your mission? What sets you apart from your competitors?
  • Competitor analysis - who they are, what they do, why they are your competitors, what works, what doesn’t
  • Customer profiling - who’s your audience, what do they like about your brand, how could you improve the relationship  
  • Red route - establishing your brand priorities and key call to actions
  • Brand values - Establishing what elements are important to you, important to your audience. Then grading them in order of significance.


Essentially even 1 or 2 of the enquiries above can be a whole workshop in itself! So take your time, listen carefully and try to toe the line throughout by following some creative guidelines. We’ll list some of ours below...


A few rules to stick to:

- No idea is a bad idea

Ideas lead to more ideas. Create an environment where every concept, inkling and niggle is welcome. We encourage the stamina to thrash out ideas that may seem silly and keep going with them until you get to their conclusion. That may mean the bin. Or the sticky-note wall. Either way, all ideas are good ideas in the workshop.

- Audience, audience, audience

However many conflicting ideas your team has, you have one thing in common - your audience. Let the creative free-thinking ideas flow, but ensure to keep being reminded of who this is all for. What your customers need and what they are looking for is at the centre of this process. We try not to be annoying, but will often answer your questions with our own - is that what your audience wants? Or - How does that help your audience?

- Negative is positive

It may sound negative to talk about problems. But identifying points of pain and what doesn’t work is key to fixing things. You may spot some patterns. You may need to act decisively to change things. It feels good to whinge, as long as it’s constructive.

- Trust is everything

Ultimately the Forage Discovery Workshop process comes down to trust: we create an environment where everyone gets a say and it’s safe to flex and concede as part of the process.

If you need help unifying your approach and creating a robust brand strategy, get in touch.