Dive into the information gathered from the client through a creative brief, follow-up questions, and insights to discover a creative strategy.
- [Instructor] Once I've initially audited a business, I need to continue to collect as much information as I can about their company, their audience, how they perceive themselves, and how their clients respond to them, et cetera. You can never have too much information at this stage of development, but you can definitely have too little to work from. The creative process on any project is rarely trouble-free, so hiccups, redos, and failure along the way should be expected.
You never reach the best idea without first discovering what won't work, so I encourage you to embrace the struggle. In this movie I'll share the creative brief and questions I use with small business clients, how I follow up the clients answers with additional questions to reveal new directions, and finish up with simple name exploration tactics that can pay off big time down the road. So let's dive into that. Now when I send a creative brief to a client it has these 15 questions on it and we're going to go over a couple of the key questions in this, because it solicits a response from the client that helps to reveal attributes that are going to help with the design direction.
So question number one, and this is an obvious one, your business identity, what is your business, product, or service? What is the business, product, or service name? Do you have or want a slogan or tagline? So their type of business is electrical, heating, cooling, and plumbing. The name of their business is DFC Mechanical. Now we addressed this previously, but I'm going to really jump on it now. DFC Mechanical, the name itself is meaningless. Nobody's going to know that DFC stands for Dan Foss and Company.
Even if they did, it's still meaningless, it doesn't mean anything. Well, who cares? That's not helping me or informing me on what you can do on my behalf. So the name overall is meaningless and I think we can really improve that moving forward. Here's another question from the brief, question number two, who are you? Someone approaches you and asks, what do you do? Or what is your business? How would you explain in laymen's terms your mission statement? And his response, the client's response to this was, we aim to cultivate a company culture that delivers services in the most friendly, efficient, and professional manner possible.
That's no surprise based off of their customer service reporting. Now provide our clients a seamless experience from start to finish. But that's only half the battle. A thoroughly satisfied and impressed customer is our best salesman. Now what this informed to me is that this is why the company is such highly rated. Thus, once again, bad logo, very good company, because they put the importance and focus on their clients.
And so that's a key, because we're going to capitalize on that moving forward. Question number eight from my brief, project voice. What do you want your identity to say about you? How would you like to see people react to it? What personality should your brand have? And this was the client's response, I believe the logo should represent friendliness and helpfulness when reflecting high-end service and repair. That's key. I think we can capitalize on those attributes. I would like people to react with surprise at how well the brand identity is designed.
Well, I want that too, so that's a good thing, we're in alignment there, obviously. I'd like the name and logo to stick in people's head, so they remember it when they need our services. And if you do branding successfully that's exactly what you're going to achieve and I think we're going to be able to get him there. So let's dive to another question, question number 11, gaging your perception. Name a brand logo you like and explain why. What is something most people like that you don't like or care in respect to it's look and feel? Now the reason why I ask this question isn't because I want the client to become the designer, this just gives me an aesthetic tolerance for them.
What do they tend to gravitate towards? I don't always design with this in mind, because sometimes I'll come up with an idea and I know it's going to push the comfort zone of the client, but I still present it anyway. So this isn't to restrict my creative exploration, this is just to inform my creative exploration. So he responded that he likes logos with a character, they grab his attention, they seem to stand out in the world of mediocre brands.
He said a brand that he likes that has a character is the Panda Express logo. And I agree, I think that's a good brand mark, so he has good taste in logo at some point. He didn't really like what he got from 99designs, that is. And then a logo he wasn't so hot about was the Macy's logo. He thinks it's too plain. And I agree, for the type of business he's doing this wouldn't be a good direction to go aesthetic wise. So I think we can use these insights to create a brand that's going to work well for him. But getting back to the biggest problem in my opinion of his business is his name itself.
Yes, the logo is bad, but the name, in my opinion, is even worse. And this is where brand naming comes in, because I told him that we need to change the name of your company, we need to improve it, we need to brand it, we need to lock it in, so that builds value moving forward. Right now it's meaningless, DFC Mechanical. Now the original name that he had, as you see circled here, it's not a name, it's a paragraph, it's hard to read due to its length. It doesn't communicate quickly, the name isn't memorable, and it add unneeded complexity to the overall brand vernacular, and that's a big one right there.
Now even though they changed the name and simplified it to DFC Mechanical, once again, the name doesn't mean anything, it's meaningless, it confuses communication, it doesn't clarify anything. The name isn't memorable. People aren't going to remember this. And the name is redundant, the logo has DFC, the name has DFC, it's redundant, not to mention, redundant. So we want to improve this. And it's inconsistent type styles. That's more of a visual thing than it is a naming thing, but it's still present in the logo.
So, once again, we keep hammering you with this, but it's true, bad logo, good company. So we're going to move forward with a brand rename. We're going to work out a great name for this company. Now when I work on brand namings and specifically when I send out a creative brief, I read through it and I give myself time to think about the responses, and then I shoot questions back, follow-up questions. And one of the follow-up questions I asked him was what have clients said about your company? I was just curious if he could give me any information regarding that.
And this was the response he gave me, they appreciate how friendly we are and how thorough we are. That's obvious based off of the ratings. This next one gave me some insight and that is they've said we're like a one stop shop they can trust to do whatever they need. I like that. And then the last part was because of our high service ratings they trust us to do a good job the first time. I like that and that's going to play a part later in a tagline we come up for him. But the part I want to focus on is this one stop shop.
I saw that and I go, you know what, there might be a brand name in there that we can exploit and use that's going to work great. And so we're going to focus on utilizing one stop shop and seeing what we can derive or create with that in mind. Now when I work on brand naming this is literally how I do it, I open up the browse, I go to GoDaddy, that's where I have all my domains registered for myself. I never register client domains, by the way, I just find them and then I tell them to secure it, so it's all on their end.
But in this respect I decided to start doing brand name exploration and I use domain names to do that, because it does no good to come up with a great brand name and then not have a URL that's going to work with it well. It's counterproductive to marketing and promotion, so this is why I do it this way. And so here's one of the brand names that were available, your one stop shop. Well, that's good, and I keep trying different brand name explorations. So the inspiration was one stop shop and the name explorations that I created or pitched to him was your one stop shop, go1stopshop.com, your1stop.shop, and youronestop.services.
Now the more I was thinking about this I started thinking about his profession, what he did, why are they successful? Well, they're successful because they're professionals and they do a great job. And this is another thing I do on name exploration is I'll open up a dictionary and start reading through definitions of words that are associated with what they do. In this case, professional, and I'm just reading that. And another aspect that I do when I'm doing name exploration is I use a thesaurus to get more conceptual and find synonyms for those names.
So with professional you can start building a conceptual idea or name by understanding the context of the words being used to describe the attributes related to a given company. So competent, efficient, experienced, licensed. But then they have things like ace, which is kind of cool, slick, which is kind of cool, sharp, adept. And this is how you can discover naming possibilities to come up with. Now as I was thinking about pro, none of these names were hitting me, but I notice pro up here and I go pro, and that made me start thinking well, what if I just type in go one stop pro, and that name's available.
And that sent me on a different path of using pro instead of shop, because they're really not a shop, they're pros, and they're one stop pros. I didn't use the go one stop pro, because I notice if you read right it also says goone stop pro and that's no good. So that one I kind of ruled out, we're not doing that. But 1stoppros.com was great, one stop pro, and then as I typed in this domain in GoDaddy, and I was going, there's no way this domain is available, onestoppro.com.
Unbelievable, the domain was available, I immediately called the client, and I said, this is your brand name. I didn't even bother to run by any of these other ones with them, I just said, this is it, this is what you need, this is franchise worthy brand name. Onestoppro.com, that's your new name, that's what you have to go with. And that's what he did, he secured domains and variations of this domain and this became his new brand name, which is far better than DFC Mechanical, and it's going to work really well for a brand moving forward.
The process of name exploration shouldn't be rushed. Think through the name and ask yourself if it's timeless. Don't pigeonhole your name. Many brands have done that and they ended up having to change their name later as they grew into new areas, which can disrupt a brand name's equity. Now that we have established a strong franchise worthy name like one stop pro, we have created a brand name that will build value over time. And for more on this topic watch my Learning Logo Design course.
Join Von Glitschka, illustrative design guru, for this hands-on project that demonstrates what successful rebranding involves from the designer and the client. He takes the existing brand for a small plumbing and electrical company and asks questions to get a deeper understanding of their goals. He maps the answers to a new name and develops a logo that better represents the brand values. He solicits and incorporates feedback from the client, and then presents the final brand assets. Last, he reviews the uniforms, vehicle wraps, asset library, and advertising campaigns that were developed to complement the new direction.