How to Run a Brand Workshop
Brand Workshops help clients construct and build a strong emotional relationship, and nurture qualities in the brand that can lead to more profitable results, and loyal customers.
Why do I need a Brand Workshop?
Consumers buy products but they have emotional connection to brands. Markets are also changing rapidly due to technological disruption but also due to socio-biological forces, as the current Covid-19 Pandemic is showing us. When consumer needs or market forces bring change, brands need to flex. If brands do not move with changing dynamics, they lose relevance, trust, interest and, sales.
The goal of a brand workshop is to sharpen a brand that may be losing relevance or facing rising competition; or alternatively create new brands to fit emerging markets. The workshop should also ensure the brand reflects the vision and values of the business and help clients build a set of strategic brand tools, and a marketing plan.
How long does it take to run a Brand Workshop?
A brand sharpening workshop may only require half a day, whereas a brand building workshop may require up to 2 full days depending on the scale.
We strongly suggest building in market research. If you do not have market research available, we strongly suggest you allocate some budget and time prior to the workshop. This may add another 4-5 weeks to the timings, but the outputs will benefit enormously. It may take you that long to align diaries!
What do I need to run Brand Workshop?
Offsite is the best where there are no distractions from the office, and you can focus on your brand. Hiring a large workshop space or function room at a hotel can provide the space you need.
Make sure you have plenty of breakout spaces, flipcharts, marker pens, post it notes and sweets for afternoon energy bursts. It is critical to build an agenda with enough breaks for coffee, lunch and personal time and providing catering is essential to keeping everyone focused
Ideally you need an experienced brand workshop facilitator, who can guide the brand objectively and allow the marketing team to contribute to, rather than drive the conversation. This is important because it allows the team to be more creative and focus on building a brand, they feel proud and excited to market. It can also help the marketer manage key stakeholders who can derail your good thinking and help keep everything on track.
It is also important to have creative energy in the workshop. We would always suggest having someone attend from a creative agency that you are using or want to use. This could be an ad agency or a design agency for instance, but they must understand the total composition of the brand, and that its not just about communication.
Someone future focused, with an eye on innovation and NPD pipeline, R&D is also very helpful, and we have also found great energy from the more creative types in HR, Finance, Ops and elsewhere.
What is required will depend on the scope. To build a well-crafted brand that is differentiated and meaningful in the market, you will need the following tools before you launch into workshopping:
- Brand Audit – where is the brand today? Brand assets, history, NPD, any current tools, guidelines, architecture or portfolio documents, vision, and mission statements.
- Competitive Context and Positioning Map – what does the market look like and where is the energy flowing? Pestles and SWOTs can be done as a homework exercise.
- Brand Health Metrics for your Brand (including brand awareness measures, image and perception drivers and performance measures today)
Ideally Brand Positioning Research (although this can happen after the workshop to test the new positioning).
You should expect a range of outputs from your workshop depending on the scope:
- A Brand Strategy Tool or Brand on a Page– for example a brand pyramid, onion, house, orchestra – they take many different formats but choose one prior to the workshop or use an existing tool if you already have one that everyone understands
- Target Personas and pain points your brand will help them solve
- Brand Positioning Statement – drafted ready for crafting
- A Brand Story – drafted aspects
- A Marketing Plan or Roadmap – this might outline key elements of your brand’s marketing needs such as vision, mission, purpose, key growth metrics, problems to solve, strategic thrusts etc.,
- Other outputs can be agreed, depending on needs such as NPD roadmaps or brand/portfolio architectures
- Running brand workshops are like taking your car to the mechanics. Fine tuning key elements or deciding to invest in a new brand are important decisions that take time, investment, and preparation.
- Invest in market research to understand your brand today – strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities to help you put together a clear minded strategy.
- Know your competitors and the energy and flow of the market so you can differentiate your brand accordingly
- Align your brand to the vision and mission and ensure the brand has a story that is meaningful to your target audience and has a clear brand purpose
- Your brand strategy needs to articulate who your target is, how they feel and bring them to life and research can help your brand target them with better offers, communication, and purpose
To ensure the smooth running of your brand workshop, from managing stakeholders to creating a cracking brand future it is wise to invest in research and an objective facilitator who has experience across a wide range of brands. Ruby Cha Cha is experienced in brand workshop facilitation and brand health, brand positioning research and much more.
Want to know more? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 80946801.
A brand workshop is simply a gathering of your company’s leadership or marketing team to define what your company stands for and who you are. By creating a brand and clarifying the identity of your organisation, you can create a solid front to present to your customers and audience. This allows everyone in your company to share the same message when talking with leads and customers.
A brand workshop sets out to define who you are as a company, what you say to those outside your brand and how you say it. It can sharpen your brand and make it relevant again in your marketplace or, for new companies, it can position them to succeed as they break into a market.
When you leave a brand workshop, you should understand the vision and values of your business and have a marketing plan to present your company to the market.
Brand workshops can last anywhere from a few hours to 2 or 3 days, depending on when your last branding session was done, and how well your company is currently positioned. For new companies, it will take a few days to nail down all the details.
Brand workshops should include several key items, including:
- Market research — Do your analysis on the industry as a whole and what your competitors are doing.
- Brand experience — Take time to understand the experience you want your customers to have, then finalise how to get them to that point.
- Creativity — You are planning during this time, so be creative and have fun. Some of the ideas you talk about may not get used, but they could be beneficial in solidifying concepts.
- Facilitator — There is often much back and forth and plenty of disagreements in these sessions, but it’s important to work through those to strengthen your brand. Consultants can facilitate these meetings and help your company get to the end result they desire.