How I use a discovery workbook to create a brand that hits the mark every time

Here’s the bare truth of it: being honest and unafraid to share or show all of your cards early in the branding process makes for a smoother ride and a much more aligned-to-what-you-need-and-want visual brand identity.

But how do you get to the place where you can be honest  in your dreams, hopes and reservations? How do you get to share about what you know and, more importantly, what you don’t really know too well?

My branding process has 4 phases: Research, discovery and strategy; Design; Strategy Manual; Handover.

It’s during the first phase, Research, discovery and strategy, that I work with my beautiful clients to get bare, honest, intimate and real about their dreams, desires and reservations about their brand and business.

I hold space for them to really go on a journey of discovery and develop clarity about their brand (and as a delicious by-product, themselves) and I equip them with the tools to do this well. Through years of working in brand design and then strategy, and having taken many wonderful business owners through this process, I’ve created a comprehensive (but also entirely fun) discovery workbook called Your Brand Story Workbook.

Through exercises and questions, I help them figure out exactly what they do and who they do it for, why it’s so important to them and what they really want to be known for — their big dreams and vision for their lives and businesses. I

I may be biased, but being given the grace, space and tools to get intimate with your own brand is magical! In all honesty, clients have said that working through the workbook was difficult, because self reflection and inflection and dreaming big is actually almost never easy. But when presented with the strategy proposal and then Strategy Manual, each one has said how incredible it is to see their words refined, their thoughts unjumbled and a clearer, more distinct picture of their brand drawn up for them.

But, I suppose that shows that the real magic lies in what we do with all of that raw information together.  

So what do we do to it?

In a word (or two), we strategise it.

But what does that actually mean, for you, as you’re about to embark on an investment- (time, emotion and sometimes, financial) heavy journey into the success of your business? 

It means I use my carefully crafted questions and exercises to extract the exact information I need to see the big picture of your brand, piece the puzzle together, refine it, and present it back to you as:

  • Mission statement (or what you do)

  • Why it’s important to you

  • How you do it differently

  • Your values and how they manifest in your business, communications and offerings

  • Your people and their keywords

  • Your brand voice and personality attributes

  • Your communication goals

  • Your brand keywords and copywriting keywords

  • Your brand goal (the goal for how you want your people to feel)

That’s comprehensive in itself and incredibly powerful when building, growing and developing a business because it keeps you on track, in line and working towards your goals (and your poeple).

Here’s the thing — the brand hits the mark pretty much every time because we use this, all this magnificent strategy, to create a solid foundation on which to build a visual brand. This means we’re establishing a creative direction specifically based on who your people are and what they value (and we get to know them very well 🤩), what you value and how you want your brand to make your people feel.

Words, I know, can count for little. So I wanted to share how this translates into the real-life, tangible design elements.

Maika Endo

Mission

I help freelancers, aspiring and newly established entrepreneurs and business owners in the therapeutic industries build a business bigger than themselves by helping them holistically streamline their work habits and systems and implement a simplified and easy-to-action marketing strategy so that they feel confident, empowered and calm in their business and life. 

Brand Goal

To design a branding experience that makes female entrepreneurs and business owners in the therapeutic industries feel empowered, calm and supported as they search for holistic strategy and system solutions that are focused on developing clarity, streamlined processes and elevating their mindset.

To develop a brand identity that is calm, supportive and resourceful, with a focus on simplicity, clarity and taking action.

Visual Branding

Maika Endo branding and strategy by Freckled Design Studio

Heting Artelier

Mission

Heting Artelier provides niche products and unique experiences with a holistic approach to curious souls, so that they feel nourished, inspired and confident to live and breathe their dreams. 

Brand Goal

To design a branding experience that makes women feel relaxed, nourished and curious as they search for jewellery and lifestyle products that are holistic and beautiful, with a focus on craftsmanship, slow and conscious living as well as mindful consumption.

To develop a brand identity that is elegant, soothing, and calm with a focus on a harmonious and mindful way of living, and nourishing the body, mind and soul.

Visual Branding

Heting Artelier branding and strategy by Freckled Design Studio

Oasis Design

Mission

Oasis Design works with home-owners who value intentional and quality time with their family and friends by creating beautiful and functional outdoor spaces where great things happen and memories are made. 

Brand Goal

To design a branding experience that makes home-owners feel important and understood as they search for landscaping solutions that are tailor-made, timeless and unique in design and led by a team of referred and trusted professionals who can help them create a beautiful and functional outdoor space where memories with their families and friends can be made, their relationships can be nurtured and they can move their bodies in nature.

To develop a brand identity that is dynamic, bold and modern, with a focus on celebrating our relationship with nature and our loved ones.

Visual Branding

Oasis Design branding and strategy by Freckled Design Studio

SMAC Studio

Mission

SMAC Studio provides social media solutions to creative entrepreneurs operating in an online space so they feel understood and presence converts to meaningful engagement and sales through tailor-made strategy and content specific to their individual needs and goals. 

Brand Goal

To design a branding experience that makes female business-owners feel understood and secure as they search for social media and marketing strategy solutions that are results-driven, current and effective and will help them establish the work/life balance they’ve been dreaming about. 

To develop a brand identity that is sophisticated, modern and supportive, with a focus on creating lasting connections and relationships above metrics.

Visual Branding

SMAC Studio branding and strategy by Freckled Design Studio

In each case, the brand is designed to achieve the goal: to appeal to their people, to make their people feel certain feelings, and the vibe or energy their visual branding should hold. This is best experienced in the roll-out or implementation of the brand, through their website, emails, marketing, social media, stationery, client or customer experience, packaging, after-sales service, and such. Because brands are far more than a logo! And when you lay a solid foundation that sets you up for to create an excellent brand experience for your people (through an intimate understanding of you and them!) you’re ready to delight, compel and engage and allow your brand to hit the mark, every time!

Book your free 30-minute call with Lorin of Freckled Design Studio!

P.S.

If you’re looking for extra support so you can get to the heart of your struggles connecting with your people, and get an action step you can implement immediately to start turning your passion into profit, then you’re absolutely going to want to join me for my complimentary 30-minute Brand Basics call. I only do three of these each week so get over there and grab yours before they’re gone! Book yours here.


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