Successful brand building begins with a deep dive into an organization. Our goal is to understand the culture of an organization, as well as its future goals and vision. We use a workshop format to get to the core of these elements.

Here’s how it works.


Preparing the Workshop

Where are the opportunities?

It’s in prepping for your workshop that we do all of our discovery for your re-brand. Gathering all the information we can — by interviewing key internal and external stakeholders, throughly reviewing your marketing collateral, looking at your competitors, and more — helps identify any gaps in our knowledge (or yours!) about your organization. This could include gaps in your mission, your communications, or maybe your audiences… all the relevant details that go into brand building. We recognize that these gaps could be symptomatic of the information you aren’t communicating about your org in general, so we pay special attention to them.

Armed with this information, we design the workshop specifically for your brand, building upon the knowledge you’ve shared with us and working to bridge those gaps. The objective of the workshop is to gain the deepest understanding possible of your organization and all its uniqueness. This is how we’ll be able to successfully translate your mission into crisp, clear communications.

Scheduling the Workshop

Who’s around the table?

Scheduling the workshop is the easy part. Let’s try to get them all into a room IRL. A workshop in person is far more efficient than a virtual one. A working group of five typically brings enough diversity and knowledge into the room, but is still a manageable number of voices. These five should be dedicated stakeholders who can bring insight and expertise about your organization. A diverse perspective is very important here, as is choosing team mates who get your core business, brand and culture, along with a shared vision for the mission. Participants can come from beyond the communications team to include fundraising staff, board members, established volunteers, or other consultants.



The Workshop Agenda

What does it look like?

Workshop agendas are all different, as each Workshop is designed specifically for the client. The focus of the Workshop is typically on those items that are still not clear after our research — the elements of brand that the company needs the most help defining.

A presentation deck will outline the Workshop; it is distributed to the working group several days beforehand so that folks can consider things before we all meet up to discuss. Typically designed for three hours or less, we try to keep the agenda chunked in a way that is not overwhelming.

Example Agenda…

Keeping the agenda to 5 items max lets us dive deep.
Discovering your big audacious goal.
Discussing who exactly you want to reach.
Setting yourself apart in the grand scheme of things.
Getting to the core of “what you are all about.”
Discussing the visual and tonal qualities of the brand, which inform the creative direction.


Workshop Outputs

What do you get?

After the Workshop, we send out our notes from the event, along with an analytical summary. Our clients find that the Workshop helps participants gain a deeper understanding of the organization and can help shift perspective. It also enables teams get on the same page about the direction the brand should take and can build momentum to achieve the next great thing.

Our next task is to utilize this information to develop your Brand Frame, which outlines the company definition and the brand DNA. We will spend a several weeks carefully iterating on this fundamental piece. It’s the key document that pulls together all of the ideas from the Workshop and lays the foundation upon which we’ll build our brand. The ultimate goal of the Workshop is to develop really great, relevant Brand Frame.


The Takeaway

Three things to remember.

There are a few key things to keep in mind about the workshop:

1. The prep pays off, in spades. While it may be a hassle to get the right people together to put their thinking caps on, it’s critical to building a successful brand. Use your leadership skills to get them excited about the process, and be sure your team is on the same page when it comes to the goals and the direction the company or organization is taking. There’s nothing worse for a Workshop than when the internal team starts arguing about where the company should be going.

2. 5 people, 3 hours. The majority of the work is in the preparation. Once the structure of the workshop has been defined by the prep, your team is free to be creative and think “outside the box” about the potential of the brand. You’ll be surprised at the awesome ideas that will come out of these three hours of interaction. And your team will find itself energized by the process.

3. Keep your team focused. It’s easy to get distracted by other business initiatives. Brand building may be lower on the priority list, but it will get done faster, and better, if your internal team stays focused and responsive through the duration of the project. Do whatever you can to keep them motivated and psyched about the project. Scheduling regular meetings will help move things along. And keep it fun!