It’s well known that having a strong brand identity can make a massive difference to any business.
Having the right brand identity helps you:
- Get more of the customers you want
- Keep your best customers for longer
- Charge the right price for what you sell
- Stand apart from your competitors
But before we start work on any brand identity project, we need to establish a clear brand design brief with the client.
This guide will help you prepare the ideal brief for your own brand design project.
Read through the post below, then
Download our free brand identity design brief template.
What is a brand design brief?
We use a design brief to understand our client’s goals, the scope of the project and what issues might crop up or need to be taken into consideration during the design process.
You can use it as a tool to clarify the direction of your project and how its success will be measured.
Most importantly of all, a design brief makes sure all parties involved fully understand the objectives, target audience and expected results of the project, right from the start.
Creating a brief for a website project? Read our post How to create a website design brief and download our template
What do you need to do?
Design briefs can take many forms. We’ve developed a free brand identity design brief template you can download, to help you provide the information that we would need.
By answering the 10 questions, you’ll provide us with all the information we’d need to start on your project.
What’s in the brand design brief?
We’ve broken the template down into headings to make it easier to work through:
Mainly for reference purposes, this simply confirms the Client name or the name of the project.
Here’s where we find out more about your business and what makes you tick.
1. Who are you?
Provide us with your business name in full.
2. What do you do?
Give us a brief explanation of what your business does. Try to be specific. Can you frame what you do using this statement?
We do ____ (the thing you do) for ____ (your target customer).
3. Where are your customers based?
Where are you based? Where are your customers based? Do you have areas or regions or countries you don’t operate in at the moment, but you’d like to in the future?
4. How are you seen in the market place?
Use bullet points, and be as objective as possible.
- How are you seen at present?
- If you ranked your competitors in order from best to worst, where would you put yourselves?
- Where do you think your customers would put you, based on your current brand and reputation?
- Is your brand in line with where you want to be on that list?
5. Where do you want to go?
What are the mid- and long-term goals for the business, and how will you achieve them? For example:
- What are your growth targets for the next three years? (turnover and profit)
- What will the business look like when you get there? How many staff will there be, how much business will you be doing?
- Will this be achieved by attracting new customers?
- Maybe you want to do it by attracting a different type of customer
- Or by selling something new
- Or simply selling more to existing clients
- Do you need to improve efficiency to help you get there?
6. What’s the personality of your company?
Again, use bullet points if you want to, and try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
- What image do you have at the moment, do you think?
- What’s the image you want the business to portray?
- Are you friendly and approachable? Professional and efficient? Big or small?
- What sets you apart from your competitors?
7. Who are your competitors?
Give us a list of maybe 3-6 competitors.
The name of the competitor company and their website address would be useful. Tell us in a couple of sentences what they’re like, and how you compare to them. For instance:
ABC Consultants Website: www.abc-consultants.co.uk Well-established local company, quite good knowledge but poor customer service. Invest quite a lot in their brand and marketing, but we think we offer a better service than they do, and we have more knowledge and experience in X.
In this part of the brief, we want to establish the objectives of the project itself – what specifically are we trying to achieve?
8. What do you want to achieve with this project?
Refer back to question 5; “Where do you want to go?”
How does this project help that happen? Where do you want to be at the end of the project to set you up to achieve those big goals?
9. Who’s the target audience and what do we need to focus on?
We want to establish who your perfect customer is.
There may be a few types, but the more specific we can be, the better, so try and be as detailed as possible. Your description could include typical age, sex, background etc.
For more ideas, read our post on how to create Personas.
10. What does the brand need to be used on, and what other issues do we need to consider that relate to this project?
Tell us what you need the brand to be used on, so we can keep this in mind during the creative process. If the brand needs to be used on something very large (like a billboard or signage) or something very small (like a pen), this needs to be taken into account.
If you have any existing brand materials, do these need to be replaced? If you plan to keep some of your existing assets or collateral, how will the new brand work alongside them?
What other plans for the business might need to be considered when creating your new brand? Are you planning to move to new premises, or to start showing at exhibitions in the future?
What next for your brand design brief?
Your completed brand design brief is a vital document to have at the start of your project.
So the first thing you need to do is download the free design brief template and get it completed.
You might have already engaged your chosen agency, in which case once you’ve completed it, you need to share it with them as soon as possible.
If you’re still choosing, share the document with the agencies you’re talking to – it’ll help them understand the project better and be able to talk to you more clearly about budgets.