Brand workshop (briefing)

The most difficult part of the first collaboration with your clients is properly understanding their needs. Learn how a brand workshop helps eliminate common pitfalls!

Brand workshop (briefing)

One of the important roles of the brand workshop is to create the right relationship between the company and its clients. This is especially important when you apply for services for the first time. A briefing gives the most complete information about the client and their desires, which guarantees a high-quality completed project! Want to know how to use the briefing process to better communicate with your clients or partners? Keep reading!

What is the Brand Workshop?

A brand workshop or a briefing is the very first meeting between branding agency and cannabis business representatives before officially starting the project. At the first meeting, the priority of all participants should be building relationships based on trust; this is vital for mutually beneficial brand research or development work. Everyone comes to the briefing prepared: the client receives a list of questions in advance, and the branding agency has information about the market, competitors, the client’s USP, etc. The result of the briefing is a separate document that also serves as a record of all the main points of the manner in which both parties will interact in the future, customers’ wishes, and other key aspects of your cannabis business.  All people are different, and this holds true for branding approaches. This is why a branding workshop is so useful.

The Main Benefits of a Brand Workshop

A brand workshop allows branding agencies to better understand the ultimate needs of their cannabis-related clients and avoid wasting time on something that has already been discussed several times. The most important benefits of the briefing are:

  1. Nothing gets lost

Many companies communicate with clients online — usually through emails. While emails are convenient, the information within them can be easily misunderstood or lost. If an email itself is lost, it can take a lot of time to find it. For example, while working on a project, you suddenly remember that the client sent his competitor's site, but you do not remember the URL. Now, you will have to look through dozens of emails to find the one you need. So, a briefing is a real piggy bank of the necessary information that will allow you to create a project that meets your customer’s requirements. And most importantly, nothing will ever be lost. You simply open the protocol of the meeting at the right time and find the necessary information.

  1. Preventing situations that can cause conflict

You often hear this phrase from managers: "This client is inadequate; I can’t work with him anymore." And from clients, you often hear: "Your employee is not at all competent when it comes to answering my question, so I do not want to work with your company anymore." Does that sound familiar to you?

So, a brief can minimize or even eliminate the possibility of a conflict, because all the requirements and expectations are recorded in the document.

  1. Saving time

Each customer will ask additional questions in the course of a project and constantly distract the service provider from what needs to be done. The best solution is to use the briefing processes to learn all the nuances of a project from the beginning, rather than bothering the service provider for no reason and wasting valuable time.

  1. Demonstration of professionalism

In the eyes of a customer, a brief is an attribute of status and professionalism, which suggests that the service provider really is interested in the end result — to provide the customer with a quality product.

  1. Inspiration

During the preparation of a brief, new ideas often come to customers and providers. It’s like one of the principles of growth hacking when a brilliant idea suddenly lights up. This is how creative chips in website design, masterpiece content, or a completely new promotional concept are born. Sometimes it’s enough just to look at the problem from a different angle and the solution will come by itself.

  1. Saving money

A correctly prepared brief is a guarantee that the project will end successfully and will not require numerous changes or even a refund to the client.

The advantages of compiling the brief are obvious, so keep them in mind the next time you want to start a fruitful collaboration with your business partners or clients.

How to Run a Brand Workshop

Seabedee representatives highlight that the most important here is: the more details a client can give when describing the problems, goals, objectives, and expectations regarding the project, the better the solution that the company can offer. Therefore, a briefing should be based on a pre-determined structure. Such approach helped Seabedee dozens of times when they dealt with tough clients.

While everything is very individual and depends on many parameters, let's analyze the most popular and frequently encountered questions at a brand workshop:

  1. Getting the basics

It is necessary to determine the name of the company, its scope of activity (niche of the cannabis market), services/products, corporate website, registered domain name, contacts, responsible persons, and technical specialists. It is also necessary to clearly understand the goals and objectives of the project as well as what results the client expects to see.

  1. The target audience

It is important to understand what place the company already occupies in the market, how it positions itself in the market, how it differs from competitors, and its USP (if any). The portrait of the buyer should be created by basic characteristics: gender, age, geography, income, and professional affiliation. In addition to this information, information about the habits and hobbies of customers can be useful.

  1. Product features

Here you need to describe in detail what pains the product or service of the company can solve and what emotions the buyer experiences after a purchase. It is also important to learn the pricing policy to which the company adheres and whether there are promotions or bonuses. All this information is necessary to create the right picture of the future brand (or rebrand, if the company wants to improve its reputation in the cannabis market).

  1. Competitors

This is an equally important section of the brief, and one best filled by the client. The business owner knows the market environment better than anyone and can easily identify the strengths and weaknesses of his rivals. If he does not know this information, then market research is necessary. The main methods of market research include:

  • Surveys

Perhaps the most popular type of market research, which allows you to identify respondents’ opinions on a specific topic under study by looking for personal contacts or talking on the phone or on the Internet.

  • Monitoring

This is when an analysis of competitors as well as an analysis of prices, assortments, and other indicators are considered for the best cannabis brand promotion.

  1. Counter brief

A proper briefing is to take place in several meetings. With accurate preparation for the first time, your prospective client is guaranteed to get you a ton of useful information that sometimes cannot be quickly got to grips with and analyzed. Most likely after the meeting, you will need to discuss it within your company to get additional ideas and questions. Then, you can visit the client once again to better understand the issues that have arisen.

In fact, for each client, it is better for them to generate their own brief form with questions, rather than clinging to one template. Every cannabis business has many different nuances; it’s very difficult to fit everything into one template. Therefore, the more carefully you work out the questions for the brief, the better the result will be for the client, and the more positive feedback you will receive.

What to Do Next

Within two days after the brand workshop, the brand agency manager draws up a meeting report and sends it to all participants for approval.

A rally report is a Google Doc with a summary of the meeting. It is needed in order to synchronize expectations and make sure that nothing is forgotten.

In the rally report, you must indicate:

  • The date of the meeting (or the date of preparation of the document)
  • All participants (by name, including their professional titles)
  • The aim of the meeting
  • The problems that were voiced
  • All the information that the client gave about the project and his business (abstract)
  • Reached agreements

Each participant in the meeting can add something to the document or comment in the margin. After the joint work is completed and the client is satisfied with the rally report, you can proceed to the information architecture of the project.

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