man putting sticky notes on a board

Start with better questions

We often start right away with collecting thoughts. A great way of working if you ask the right questions. But with great enthusiasm, we start with countless soft brand questions. Things like:

  • “What is the fundamental purpose behind the brand?”
  • “Are you a rebellious or introverted brand?”
  • “If your brand were a famous person, who would it be?”

And so on. If you ask us, these are not relevant questions at the moment. They are questions that are a distraction from your task of successfully completing the rebranding.

Whether you do the project internally and/or use an external agency. You have to start with better questions. Okay, moving forward. The questions above will undoubtedly provide useful insights, but do they really solve the problem of why a rebrand is needed? Solving user problems? No.

So what questions should I be asking? That was the question we received. Here are four simple questions that will help you in the first internal phase of a rebranding project. They are always open questions and intended to stimulate discussion. They work best in groups of about four to six people.

1. Which words describe the current brand?

A question to get you in the mood. But the answers give a clear picture of what people think. And if people can’t answer this question, then you as a moderator have to put a lot of energy into it.

Pro Tip - always make sure you are not looking for negative and/or positive answers. It’s about getting honest feedback on where the brand stands now.

2. Name one thing that everyone should know / remember about your brand / product or service?

Sometimes you get short answers, sometimes whole stories. Regardless of how people respond, go deeper. Ask them for examples or anecdotes of interactions with users. See if they have thoughts on what a better, simpler and more efficient experience for users would look like.

3. What is life like for users without the use of products and/or services from us?

What problems do they encounter? And perhaps more importantly, are they aware of the problem. Have they ever done anything to solve the problem?

Companies can easily assume that potential customers yearn for products to solve every problem, but this is not the case. Your ideal user may not even realise they have a problem, let alone one that you can solve.

4. What is life like for users after they have embraced our product?

Score. They use it. Time to make it a success story. At least if you have really solved the problem. If not, this is a good opportunity to talk through what is (still) missing and make a plan to solve the problem.

What’s next?

Doing these simple questions, with even just a few small groups, will yield a lot of information. As you filter the raw data, look for recurring patterns and you will need to organise information around several pillars: words that come up often, problems of the existing brand and the overall sentiment of the brand. A good start of your rebranding. For yourself, but also for external parties who will be working with you.

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