Understanding the nuances of your brand’s perception and identity is essential to success. But how do you uncover the hidden parts of your brand’s essence? This is where a branding questionnaire come into play, offering invaluable insights into your business’s core values, preferences, ideal clients and brand direction. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the world of branding questionnaires, exploring what they reveal about your business, how they greatly impact the result of your branding and/or website design, and why they are essential tools for crafting a compelling and resonant brand in today’s marketplace. Let’s dive into the world of brand strategy!
What’s a branding questionnaire?
If you’ve ever worked with us on any type of custom design project, you already know what this is. However, the purpose of this post is to explain what a branding questionnaire is from the viewpoint of someone who may not know what it is and/or just wants a deeper understanding of designers’ process in general. So, that’s the perspective we’ll go with.
A branding questionnaire is usually delivered digitally in a form format by your branding or website designer. Normally, our clients are virtual and thus, we don’t get to meet them in person or get to know them on a deeper level with in-person connection. Thus, insert the branding questionnaire.
What’s the purpose of a branding questionnaire?
The purpose of this questionnaire is to answer questions about your business from YOUR perspective as the business owner. Often times we hop on a discovery call to get the inside-scoop on who you are, what services you provide and the type of project you are looking for. However, this call is normally around 30 minutes, and we can only gain so much insight in so little time.
Once you decide you’d like to move forward in working together, one of the first things in your official onboarding is your branding questionnaire. This questionnaire’s purpose is to uncover:
- Brand values and missions: We like to first ask you what sort of things you value personally and professionally. Oftentimes we don’t take the time to sit down and actually outline these for our own sake. In our questionnaire, this is a must!
- Target audience: One of the very first things that you’ll be asked is to give us a deep-dive into your ideal audience. Note: normally one of the only criteria of working with us is having a general understanding of your ideal audience. If you are unsure about who you want to target, who you are currently targeting or if your ideal audience is for you, it might be best to clarify this before working with a designer. If you’re on the verge but have a general grasp, this questionnaire will definitely help you identify those pieces better!
- Competitor analysis: While we do not do an in-depth SWOT analysis of multiple competitors (unless you book us for a marketing branding), we will ask you to identify 3 competitors and express 3 things you like about them and 3 things you dislike about them. Now, this is NOT a time to bash other business owner, but to really identify things you feel are important or not in regards to businesses.
- Brand personality: Brand personality is essentially how your brand is perceived by others. Does it feel trustworthy and authoritative or understanding and simple? This section also helps you to identify your voice and craft copywriting that serves your ideal client.
- Visual identity: This is what most individuals associate the word “branding” with –– the actual design piece! In our branding questionnaire, we require you to do a Pinterest Board that uncovers your design preferences and nail down a consistent style theme. This is how we also establish your moodboard!
- Areas of improvement: We will ask you goal-oriented questions such as ‘where do you see your business in 3-5 years?’ or ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses?’. These help us to uncover growth points and how we can build a branding and/or website around those areas of growth.
How our branding intake questionnaire is structured for success
We have been in business since 2018 and our branding questionnaire has went through several iterations to serve ourselves and our clients as best as possible. While we can’t share our intake form publicly to keep our process completely unique to clients who invest in custom branding or website design with us, we will share the different sections we have and what each section serves as identifying for our clients.
Part One of Our Branding Questionnaire:
Part one of our branding questionnaire is all focused on YOU. Because most of our clients are virtual, we often only get to speak on a discovery and kickoff call. With that in mind, we have to understand your likes and dislikes as a person, so we ask questions like:
- What’s your coffee order? (Yes, your coffee order says a lot about you!)
- Why did you start your business?
- What are your personal strengths? Weaknesses?
- What are some things that you value?
It’s important to get accurate answers on these questions because who you are, and the experiences you’ve had, shape the decisions you make. Basically, we want to get into your brain.
Part Two of Our Branding Questionnaire:
Part two is all about the second most important thing: your business. We’ll cover some “no brainer” questions that may seem unimportant to ask, but we promise, they are all important! This part also covers goal setting so that we can ensure to set your branding or website to hit those goals. Some questions in this section:
- Are you experiencing any difficulties in business? If so, what?
- Where do you see your business in one year? 3 years?
Part Three of Our Branding Questionnaire:
This is the most challenging part of our branding questionnaire and the longest. This is because this is where the serious work goes down: all about your ideal client. In order to craft a meaningful brand, you HAVE to know your ideal audience. One of the most popular questions I get asked on discovery calls is, “Do I need to have all my ducks in a row before I hire you?” and the answer isn’t that simple.. yes and no.
You DO need to have a general idea of your ideal client like what general group they are in, gender and age. If you’re stuck between a few, that’s okay too! We don’t want clients coming to us saying, “I have zero clue who I’m targeting but need a brand!” because that just won’t work.
That said, this part will push you to your limits on understanding your ideal client, so it benefits someone who knows their audience really well or only a little bit – either way, it will require you to get clear. Here’s some questions we ask:
- What does your ideal client struggle with?
- What does your ideal client want?
- Why will your ideal client be drawn to your business over competitors?
- Why might your ideal client struggle to buy your offer?
A common misconception about branding is that it’s just pretty. However, it’s actually way more about your ideal client than it is your preferences. That’s what differentiates a good brand from a strategic one. Work with us to book yours 🙂
Part Four of Our Branding Questionnaire:
Part four can make some individuals feel uncomfy – but that’s okay! This section is all about your competitors. For our standard branding project, we’ll search around the competitors you list for things you like and dislike to get a good idea of what you deem important. We’ll visit their social media and websites to ensure your branding looks better than theirs 😉
Some questions we may ask in this part:
- List 3-4 competitors and outline things they do well.
Part Five and Six of Our Branding Questionnaire:
This is usually the fun part: design style! Of course, we have to dedicate a section for you to tell us all of your desired styles and formats in one but first, we usually ask that you describe your style in adjectives. Design is something very difficult to nail as there are a lot of terms that are subjective: i.e. what I think looks modern may not look modern to you!
We’ve found that having a “this or that” style in adjective selection is super helpful to convey an overall direction. From there, we take that and make connections to the Pinterest Board you’re required to create.
All clients are required to create a Pinterest board of visual direction so that we can accurately depict your style in your new brand.
How long does a branding intake questionnaire take to complete?
This is the golden question! And the answer is vague: as long as you need to take! We do find that most of our clients tend to do their best work all in one sitting. Here are some tips when completing your branding questionnaire:
- Try not to ask your friends what they think: Although we love our dear friends, they are not your ideal clients. Filling out this questionnaire as accurately as possible about yourself will only come from you – that said, your ideal client portion also has to come from you!
- There’s never too much detail: Some clients of ours always apologize for being too detailed – this isn’t even possible! We appreciate as much detail as possible. That truthfully makes our job easier, too!
- Come with visual references if possible: If you find yourself needing to attach imagery or supplemental information with answering the questions, please do so! If you are describing your 3 year goals and feel that photos would better depict than words, do it!
Is it possible to complete a branding without an intake questionnaire?
Designers are magicians, so the technical answer is yes. We can design without branding questionnaire’s but it might not be as profitable as a brand with an intake questionnaire.
If you are working with a brand designer who does not have a branding questionnaire– and I say this in the nicest way possible– I would highly reconsider. When you invest in your business, you want your return on that investment to be large. With an efficient brand questionnaire, this allows your designer to target your ideal client with your visual direction to effectively craft your branding suite.
Want a Free Branding Questionnaire?
I’ve crafted a 13 question guide to help identify some key questions that make up a very effective branding questionnaire. Use this link to download your free guide and have it delivered right in your inbox! This would be immensely helpful if you are looking to DIY your branding!
Looking for a custom brand designer with an effective branding questionnaire?
Look no further! Chloe Creative offers custom design services with a top-tier process to ensure your branding and/or website works to return your investment!
By applying to be a client, you’ll be directed to schedule a discovery call with Chloe directly to discuss your specific needs. From there, sign your contract, pay your deposit and your timeline is on the way!