A brand strategy workshop aims not to gather some deeper insight into who your client is and what their purpose is. We want to reverse engineer the questions by starting with "what," "how," & finally, "why" are they doing what they're doing.
Why do we need to ask good questions?
Good questions let your clients reflect and think deeply, allowing them to discover something, come up with new ideas, and establish what their brand is all about.
When meeting new clients, the best way to get a clear idea of their business goals is to have them come in for a workshop. It's an excellent way to understand what they are trying to achieve and how their business operates. This can help you develop a brand that is aligned with their needs.
Working this way prevents disappointment later in the design stage when making changes is much more costly.
Open-ended questions would also work best to achieve this objective. These questions allow opportunities to get deeper insights as it leaves space for follow-up and double-takes. This is unlike yes or no questions that are closed and definite.
So what are these good questions to ask during a brand strategy workshop?
Q1. What is currently working well?
It is essential to establish the brand's current status and where it is in the market. If they have been around for quite some time, we can determine and acknowledge what works for them best before moving forward. When this is identified, it can serve as a baseline in formulating new strategies that are similar in nature or align with its goals. You can then charge this to the brand's strengths and maximize its potential in coming up with a strategy.
Q2. What are the problems or challenges you're facing?
After determining their strengths, it is essential to address their constraints. It can be helpful to understand what is not working and the possible reason behind it so you can avoid making the same mistakes as it may prevent you from pursuing a strategy that will make matters worse.
Think about a boat floating in the ocean. What's above the surface in the sky. This is where the captain is looking forward to: go from point A to B. Under the surface are the problems & challenges that can constrain our boat moving forward.
Asking these questions in a non-critical tone will encourage respondents to open up and tell you exactly what they think without feeling hesitant or threatened. Keeping your questions open-ended will also give you a better chance of getting a wide range of responses giving you a more extensive understanding of the situation.
Q3. What are you doing or plan on doing to solve them?
Ask clients what they are doing to solve the problems that you have identified during the research. It is essential to listen to your clients and actively involve them in building a brand strategy. It is also helpful to gather insights from them and ask if they are doing something about it or have something in mind that they want to do.
From here, we can then combine the information gained from the clients and our analysis of the challenges they face.
Q4. What would you like the ideal outcome to be?
As you might have noticed, these questions progress in a step-by-step process. After determining the challenges and the possible steps to solve them, it is vital to have specific and clear expectations of the ideal outcome your clients want. After all, it would be achieving their goals for their brand.
They should look beyond key performance indicators and consider how the strategy aligns and works for their short-term and long-term goals.
Q5. Why are you where you are?
Another critical thing to unpack is what took them to where they currently are. This would entail a long series of trial and error, their big and small wins, their brand milestones, and the more profound meaning of what they could contribute to the world. This is their history beyond just stories and anecdotes, which is essential to consider in building a client's brand strategy. This includes what worked and didn't, what kept them going, and what they have been doing. The sum of all these brings us to where their brand is currently and where to go from there.
Again, let us think about the client's brand as a boat on the ocean. Below it is the waves that are the challenges and constraints they encounter. The surface above is our destination, their future brand, where they will be in three to five years. Our role then, as strategists, would be the sailors that help them navigate through the vast ocean of challenges and competitors and help them reach their destinations.