An agency can’t dictate the structure and needs of a brand - it’s as simple as that.
To establish a strong foundation, a collaborative approach must be taken; a relationship that is built on strong foundations, giving both client and agency a space to be honest with each other. These conversations can be insightful, hilarious and, on the odd occasion, uncomfortable.
I can’t stress enough the importance of a kick-off meeting before any substantial piece of work - it’s an essential part of building a strong relationship with the client and the creative process.
The aim is to create a space where there are no wrong answers. Every comment is a useful insight into what the client wants their brand to be.
It’s also a place to challenge each other. A client could see a gap that we initially do not, which could open up something unexpected. A well structured kick-off/workshop should maximise your time and get the most out of everyone.
We always start with a small warmup task - a small piece of homework that should be completed before the meeting. The intention behind this is to get everyone talking, sharing views and getting into the brand mindset.
Once everyone has “limbered-up” with a light discussion, we move on to the structure of a brand, covering the core elements and things we will discuss in the workshop. These include values, story, identity and persona.
This can be overwhelming and some initially find it irrelevant (or too touchy-feely), but all of these pieces form the strong foundation needed for a brand to not only survive, but to thrive.
By the end of the meeting, we should have an agreed outline for what the brand needs to be. This isn’t set in stone, however - it needs to be seen as an evolving document, which will flex and change over the course of the project.
If things start to shift dramatically, a discussion should be had with everyone involved to talk about the changes and if they are what everyone wants. Once again, communication is key to establishing strong foundations for any project, and if it can be face-to-face then even better.
Following the kick-off meeting, a brand report is generated from all notes and insights. Having this document is crucial, as both the client and ourselves have a rough guideline document for what we want the project to be.
The report will be referenced throughout the remainder of the project, from initial concepts to final deliverables and wash down meeting. It’s the perfect barometer to measure the success of a project.
Kick-off the right way and enjoy the process.
6B is a full service digital agency, offering web design, brand design and development, digital and traditional marketing packages, software and app development.