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Brand Design: Branding Brief

Before starting a brand project, it’s important to gather as much information as possible from your client in the form of a branding brief. In my practice, I gather this information through both an initial questionnaire and also through a discovery meeting with my clients. After reviewing this information, I schedule a follow-up meeting in order to seek clarification on items or ask any additional questions.

The purpose of the advertising brief is to understand the client and their needs thoroughly in order to properly plan the design project. Below are the key questions you should ask a client during the discovery process.

Details & Philosophy

What’s your business name?

What’s the history of your business?

Who are the team members and decision-makers in your business?

Who is your target audience?

How do you feel your brand is perceived by the public?

What’s your price point?

What’s your business’s unique selling point?

What are five words that come to mind when you think of your business?

Is there an established logo for your business?

Does your business have a brand color palette?

Does your business have a design pattern?

If your business were a person, how would you describe them?

What colors, shapes, images come to mind when you think of your business?


What characteristics should the brand project? (sensations, actions, emotions)

What key aspects prompt clients/customers to use your projects/services?

Why would they choose you over your competitors?

What key benefits does your brand communicate today?

What key benefits should the brand communicate tomorrow?

Are there attributes that support your brand message?

What are the modes of communication for your brand? (social media, digital campaigns, print ads, events, etc)

Market Objectives

How does your brand want to be perceived by your audience?

Who’s your target audience?

What’s your brand culture in comparison to your audience?

In looking at your target audience, what do they typically like?

What are your target audience’s habits?

What other brands do your target audience favor?

Brand Positioning

Where’s your brand currently in the mind of the consumer?

Where would you like your brand to be in the mind of the consumer?

What word(s) should your brand be associated with? (trust, happiness, security, adventure, etc.)

What is the perception your audience has about you in comparison to your competitors?

Does your internal culture reflect your external message?

Brand Competition

Who are your direct competitors?

Who are your indirect competitors?

What are the brands you admire? (industry doesn’t matter)

What brands do you not admire?

Who do you draw inspiration from? Who are your influences?

Additional Information

Would you like to keep any elements of your current brand?

Is there a project deadline?

What’s the budget for this project?

What collateral will need to be designed?

Is there any other relevant information you wish to share?

Even though these are key questions to ask in an advertising brief, not every client and situation is the same. Other relevant questions specific to the company you are providing the brief to may need to be added. You may have additional questions based on conversations you’ve had with the client.

FREE Advertising Brief Guide!

All the information above is also available as a downloadable pdf.

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