Brand – Jan, 2024

What is brand discovery?

With every brand development project it is necessary for designers and creatives to truly understand what resides at the core of an organisation – almost always through some sort of a ‘brand discovery’ exercise. This involves researching and uncovering essential / universal truths about the organisation and its brand through desk research, conversations and workshops.

An organisations values, purpose, audience(s), competitive landscape, overall positioning and critically, what things mean the most to it’s leaders and owners are at the heart of this, also its appetites and outlook. Towing the line or breaking the mould? Profits above all or a balance between the bottom line and social, civic and environmental good.

Brand discovery programmes aims to gain a deep understanding of the brand’s essence and how it behaves and how it is perceived.

Here are some key elements of brand discovery and reasons why it is important:

  1. Understanding the Brand’s Identity: Brand discovery helps to define and articulate the core elements of a brand, including its mission, vision, values, and personality. This understanding lays the foundation for creating a consistent and authentic brand identity.
  2. Connecting with the Target Audience: Through research and analysis, brand discovery helps identify the target audience and understand their needs, preferences and behaviours. This information is crucial for crafting messages and visuals that resonate with the intended audience.
  3. Competitive Analysis: Analysing competitors is an integral part of brand discovery. It helps identify market gaps, unique selling points, and areas where the brand can differentiate itself. This knowledge is essential for developing a strategy that positions the brand effectively in the market.
  4. Defining Brand Positioning: Brand discovery helps in defining a unique value proposition of a brand and how it wants to be perceived in the market. This positioning guides all future brand communications and actions.
  5. Setting Strategic Goals: The insights gained during brand discovery contribute to the development of strategic goals for the brand. These goals align with the brand’s vision and mission, providing a roadmap for future initiatives.
  6. Consistency and Authenticity: Understanding the brand at its core ensures consistency in messaging, visual elements and overall brand representation. Consistency builds trust and authenticity. It is crucial for creating meaningful connections with the audience.
  7. Differentiation / Risk : From a brand perspective, standing out from others is almost always an advantage. Easier identification fosters loyalty and builds closer associations. Perception is of leaders not followers. However, not all businesses are keen to put their head above the parapet, some for very good reasons. Understanding a clients appetite for risk is critical. If it’s not embraced wholly, it can fall flat. Though conversely, if a client has the characteristics to sustain maverick positioning, the effect will be tangible, strong and all conquering.

Brand discovery is an essential part of phase I of the branding process and provides essential insights for creating a strong, differentiated and authentic brand. It forms the basis for strategic decision-making and ensures that the brand communicates effectively with its target audience.

To read more about how Ice House Design approach brand development programmes and develop purpose and mission go to.


Posted by Jack Owen