Blog . Know Your Client
There really isn’t a right or wrong creative angle in terms of implementing a brand. But there’s a wrong way to portray a brand and its identity. Oftentimes, “the wrong way” happens in the beginning, when the designer has a tough time deciding on how to reach his client’s target audience. Trust me, it takes a while to stop taking “the wrong way”. I’ll give a few tips on what might steer you in the right direction using one of my favorite terms, Brand Target.
Recently, I worked with a client who needed branding for a restaurant. One of the first things I looked to find was the Brand Target. This one sounds a little simpler than it really is, because it takes a lot of research to really determine who your client is trying to appeal to. For this particular project, I had about three weeks to come up with a logo, color scheme, style and packaging mockups all in one whop.
In order to do this, initially I had a meeting with my client, and thankfully he eased into a detailed conversation about his products and services right away. As he explained these items, I very naturally asked, “Who else has similar products/services to your company? Do you consider them a competitor?”
Remember, this question always opens the door for you to make comparisons without it sounding negative or unfavorable. Secondly, if you are familiar with the competitor your client has mentioned, you can now talk about the kinds of people that frequent or seek that company’s products or services.
Hopefully, the conversation allows you to see similarities in the people who shop with this competitor, and how their characteristics might match your client’s ideal consumer.
Moreover, understanding these inherent qualities are important, because they state both demographic and habit for your client’s target audience. Using these details to your advantage is where it gets challenging. Think about it this way. Can you easily pinpoint the demographic Mcdonald’s fast food restaurant is marketing to? Though initially Mcdonald’s aimed its brand at families and children, their menus and food items have grown significantly compared to where they used to be years ago. I’ll assume you answered no, and that’s because the restaurant currently practices seasonal marketing campaigns that change with the way consumers eat. They no longer focus primarily on families and children.
For a startup company like my client’s, his initial thoughts are what he’ll aim for. This means, if my boards and branding style doesn’t match his vision to the tee, I’ve just wasted three weeks to hear the word, no. In conclusion, if you make the mistake of misreading your client’s brand, don’t be afraid to justify your decisions. Your idea could be a potential eye opener. If all else fails, pray for an extension.
QUICK TIP: Raise your awareness for industry genres. Clients come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t want to have the ability, but second guess yourself due to your inexperience.