Client Discovery: The Questionnaire

We all love to see the awesome end result when a branding project is completed. We see the beautiful Instagram posts with sketches, refinement, and the mock-up. But many don’t see where it all started. So, where does it start? - It starts with discovering who and what your client is and all about.

Enter the brand questionnaire. This is an extremely valuable bundle of information for both your client and you as the designer. It is essential that your client be able to articulate the what’s, the why’s, and the who’s about their business and for you to understand them so that everyone is on the same page moving forward.

So lets dive into areas that help with our branding work.

01. The Client + Their Business
This is where we get to know the client better and gain insight into what their business is. We ask basic questions such as business name and contact info, but we also ask more involved questions such an overview of the business, why the business was started, and what is the business’ vision and goals. 

02. Audience
Who are your client’s audience? This is where we start getting into the nitty gritty of who your client’s people are. Gender, age, income, location, and values are a great starting point to start. We also ask that our clients be super descriptive about who they are, where they live, their problem, needs, wants, and what will draw them to our client. These are essential pieces of information for developing the brand strategy and as you start designing. 

03. Competition
It’s always good to get a pulse on what’s going on in your client’s industry. We like for our clients to provide their thoughts on the space they’re in or entering on both on a larger scale as well as on their direct competition. It’s super valuable to understand what the competition with doing well, not well, and how your client can set themselves apart so they can do their thing their way with confidence.

04. Brand Personality
If your business was a person, how you describe them? We love getting to know our client’s perspective on “who” their business is. We’ve started going the “either/or” route in discovering the personality - either mature or young, either formal or casual, either serious or playful, either classic or modern, and so on. If they circle both, then its our job as problem solvers to get figure out a solution. 

05. Yays + Nays
This is the area in which you give your client the opportunity to list out some logos and type they believe are inline with their company and why as well as those they believe are not inline and why. The why part of each explanation to try to keep it a objective as possible. This serves as a great benchmark and the reasons behind them to get started with.

Getting to know your client’s business and their perspective is the same as getting to know anyone new. It’s about asking the right questions and actively listening (or in this case reading). The questionnaire is the crucial first step in getting to know your client and creating a connection with them so you can connect them with their audience, and these are the essential areas that we believe need to be covered and will provide you with great starting point as you move along to the next steps in the branding process.