What are some best practices for leading a brainstorm around branding or rebranding?

As branding isn't our (Yummygum's) main service/product we've asked ourselves this question too. We searched around the web and found this amazing article by Jake Knapp (ex Google and Google Ventures) called The Three-Hour Brand Sprint. It's a short yet thorough technique for getting everyone one the same page while respecting and not being (sub)consciously influenced by each others opinion. Below are the steps as seen in Jake Knapp's incredible article (link to article: https://library.gv.com/the-three-hour-brand-sprint-3ccabf4b768a).

9 action items

  • 1. Put together a team

    Make sure shot callers are included (for example the head of marketing and other relevant teams/branches in a company).

  • 2. Assign a decider & facilitator

    The decider will have the final say in things whereas the facilitator ensures a smooth session and switch gears between participants allowing streamlined and controlled discussions. For us it helps to assign the role of the decider to a CEO of the company.

  • 3. Schedule a block of time & set the rules

    Set a no-device policy so everyone is focused on the same thing; results. In our team we do bring one iPad for the sole purpose of having a countdown timer visible to all people (make sure you stick to the time like Knapp mentions in his article). Also make sure everyone becomes acquainted with the principle of 'note and vote' a fantastic methodology of allowing everyone to overthink their own and other opinions; more on that in Knapp's article.

  • 4. Exercise 1 — 20 year roadmap

    Using the note-and-vote method, have everyone paint their picture of where the company is now and where it will be in 5, 10, 15 and 20 years. We've noticed this is one of the most important exercises of the three hours brand sprint as it gives everyone great insights in what everyone else is thinking.

  • 5. Exercise 2 — What, how & why

    Based on the well know TED talk by Simon Sinek, this excise focuses on what your brand/company is, how you do what you do, and what why you do what you do.

  • 6. Exercise 3 — Top three values

    Another great exercise that forces you into separating your brand's/company's core values from the less important values. We have found that we usually get very inspired by each others answers.

  • 7. Exercise 4 — Top three audiences

    Especially for design, the results of this particular exercise are extremely valuable. The results will allow you to have something to hold onto when making certain (UX/UI/Brand Asset) design decisions as they will tell you who you brand/product aims at and cares about.

  • 8. Exercise 5 — Personality sliders

    This one is my teams favourite exercises of all six exercises. Basically you decide on where your brand/company is located on four personality sliders (axes on which two opposing brands are located on each side to show you the extremes of each axis). Although Jake Knapp has put together a nice template that shows existing brands, we tend to personalise this so that it shows

  • 9. Exercise 6 — Competitive Landscape

    We usually don't do this exercise as it's also a part of our regular process. But nonetheless it's a cool and fun exercise.

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