At New Socks, we’ve refined our approach and have found that our greatest successes have stemmed from using our tried and tested brand workshops, they allow us to help our clients communicate their wants, needs, desires, & vision. Our workshops are suitable for clients who wish to create a new identity, as well as those discovering their own. The workshop involves a variety of creative and thought-provoking activities, where we help the client to figure out the ‘What’, ‘How’, ‘Who’ and ‘Why’ of their brand.
When we run brand workshops, we ensure that they are well-structured so that the group remains focussed and on track. We break up the more intense tasks with relaxed, fun activities, encouraging team creativity, and make sure we include plenty of bathroom and snack breaks - these make sure that everyone is as happy and productive as possible throughout the day.
At the beginning of the workshop, icebreakers help to get everybody in the right frame of mind for the day ahead. We like to lighten the mood with a fun competition, for example; seeing who can build the tallest tower out of spaghetti in five minutes. It may seem silly, but it gets the group thinking creatively, and encourages them to work as a team, which comes in handy for the rest of the day.
Once everyone is warmed up, it’s time to dive into the heart of the matter: the brand. In order for the team, and for us, to better understand the brand as a whole, we ask the group a series of questions. This gets them thinking about multiple aspects of their brand’s image, as well as planning ahead as to how they want it to look going forward.
First, we ask the group what they want their brand to look and feel like using visual words i.e. earthy, handmade etc. which starts to build up a visual interpretation. We then ask them how the brand sounds; what’s the company voice and attitude? Often, these questions will reveal some internal differences and contradictions within the group. Internal debates may seem counterintuitive but healthy discussions help the team to get to the root of what they collectively want the brand’s voice and image to be.
With a good idea of the brand identity in mind, we start thinking about how we can tailor it to the company’s target audience. Who do they want to champion as a brand? To fully understand their current and target audiences, we build out customer personas. Giving a name and image to your target audience can bring them to life, making it easier to modify your brand accordingly.
We start off with a persona for an existing customer, we give them a name and age, create their backstory, deep dive into their interests, and more. We then go through the same process for a desired customer, which helps the group find a new direction for their brand as they move forwards.
With a more specific target audience in mind, we encourage the group to ask themselves why their brand might appeal to these personas. They should think about why the existing customer is attracted to their company, examining what they’ve done right in the past as there may be some elements they want to rework into the new brand.
We then encourage the client to look at the wants and needs of their desired customer, figuring out what they can change to appeal to the new demographic. The exercise is a great opportunity for the group to question their brand’s benefits and values, and what they can offer their customers going forwards.
By now, the brand workshop should have produced a series of ideas and descriptors that capture the brand’s new identity. All that’s left to do is unite the elements. The group is tasked with working their ideas into a series of statements, and subsequently into an elevator pitch. This forces the team to narrow down the descriptors for their brand, focussing only on the most relevant and important aspects.
Finally, the team creates their new brand anthem. Inspired by Apple’s Think Different campaign, the anthem allows the group to address the ‘What’, ‘How’, ‘Who’ and ‘Why’ of their brand in a single message, painting a clearer picture of their brand’s identity.
By the end of the brand workshop, the group should all be on the same page, if this is a refresher it may be all that is required for us to deliver, but if we're working on a re-brand or new brand it gives us an initial understanding of who we are working with and why they are doing what they are. The next steps depend on the project but whatever size project we are undertaking we keep in touch with the client, seeing how they move forwards, and provide them with ongoing support as they evolve.
These brand workshops are an extremely effective tool for companies looking to build a new identity for their brand. They encourage the group to think differently about their image, and come together to build a refreshed, customer-oriented brand.