A good branding questionnaire solves a fundamental problem: getting customers to share all the information you need to do a great job.
It's not an easy task!
So, I've compiled 35 possible questions to ask clients for a branding project.
Quick note: You probably don't want to send all 35 to a customer… It'll get overwhelming quickly for them. Pick the ones you like the best for your project and reduce the list down to around 10 - 12.
Here is the complete list of 35 branding questions to ask clients.
Use the descriptions below as a reference for each question.
1. Brand Identity and Story
Anyone can relate to a compelling story, and all businesses have one—some simpler, others truly astonishing.
Unearth this brand value with the following questions.
Tell us about your business. What products or services do you provide?
When you understand the core of what your customer offers, you lay the foundation for all branding efforts. It's not just about listing products or services; it's about capturing the essence of what they deliver.
Think about what makes their offerings unique and how they add value to your customers. This understanding is crucial in shaping a brand that reflects what they stand for and facilitate sales.
Why did you start your business? How did it evolve to its current state?
Your customer's brand origin story is a powerful tool in connecting with their audience. Try to find out why they embarked on this journey and how their brand has evolved over time.
This evolution often contains gems of insight that can strengthen their brand identity. Use the challenges they share and the milestones they've achieved to add depth and relatability to their branding.
What mission statement and core values drive your brand?
Your customer's mission statement and core values are a fundamental part of their brand identity. They guide business decisions, interactions with prospects, social responsibility, and more.
Ask the customer what drives them, what they stand for.
Use that set of values to drive every aspect of the branding process.
In one sentence, how would you characterize your brand's personality?
Describing a brand's personality in one sentence is a challenging but powerful exercise. It forces your customer to distill their brand essence into its most compact form.
What are 5 standalone words that capture your brand's essence?
Give your customer the option to share a number of adjectives to describe their brand. This will help you create a comprehensive image of their brand's entire look-and-feel.
What emotions should your audience experience as they engage with your brand?
Emotional engagement is a crucial aspect of branding.
Help your customer think through the emotional journey they want their customers to embark upon when they interact with their brand.
From the initial encounter to the post-purchase experience, every touchpoint should evoke the desired emotions that align with their brand personality. Whether it's a sense of trust, excitement, satisfaction, or belonging, these emotions play a key role in building customer loyalty and advocacy.
2. Target Audience and Market Position
Learn from your client who they're looking to target with their product (e.g. "Design and Creative Agencies" above) with some of these questions.
Describe your ideal customer in detail, covering their personality and behavior.
When developing a brand for your client, it’s crucial to have a detailed understanding of their ideal customer.
Encourage your client to think beyond basic demographics and delve into the personality traits, interests, and lifestyles of their target audience.
This deep understanding enables you to tailor the branding efforts to resonate specifically with these individuals, creating a brand that truly speaks to those it aims to reach.
What does a day in your ideal customer's life typically entail?
Help your client visualize a typical day in the life of their ideal customer.
This exercise offers insights into the customer’s daily challenges and preferences, and where the brand fits into their daily routine.
Understanding these aspects allows you to craft branding strategies that not only engage with the customer but also become a meaningful part of their everyday life.
What regular struggles does your ideal customer encounter that you solve?
Uncover the struggles and pain points of the client's target audience. Knowing these challenges is key to creating a brand that resonates and brings people to buy.
Identify your main competitors and explain how your brand stands out from them?
It's important to identify and understand the client's competitors, but more crucial is to establish how their brand stands out.
Analyze the competition and discover areas where your client's brand can excel.
How do you position your brand in the market?
Working with your client, determine the market positioning of their brand:
- Is it a luxury or budget-friendly option?
- Does it own any patented technology or invention?
- Do they operate in a highly-competitive market?
The brand’s market positioning should mirror its values and should appeal to its ideal customer. Emphasis on ideal because a good branding strategy shouldn't try to speak to everyone, only customers who will get the most value from the product behind the brand.
3. Brand Messaging and Communication
Brand messaging is the most powerful way to drive sales and awareness for a product, make sure to ask some of these questions!
What essential messages must your brand convey to your audience?
In your role as a designer, it's important to determine the key messages your client's brand needs to communicate.
Think about the core ideas or themes that are integral to their business, such as a commitment to quality, innovation, or exceptional customer service.
These messages should resonate with the target audience and reflect the brand's values and mission. Consistency in these messages reinforces the brand identity and helps build trust with the audience.
How does your brand speak and interact with your audience?
The tone of voice is a critical aspect of a brand's personality.
As a designer, you need to define a tone that reflects the brand's character and is consistent across all communication channels.
How does your brand motivate customers to make a purchase?
Understanding what motivates a customer to choose a product or service is essential for effective branding.
Consider what drives their decisions – quality, price, brand prestige, etc.
Your task is to tailor the branding and messaging to highlight these motivating factors, to "stress" the pain points, enhancing marketing effectiveness and driving conversions.
What results should your ideal customer expect after buying from you?
Clarify with your client the outcomes and benefits that their customers can expect from their product or service. Focus on the value and transformation that the customers will experience, not the features.
4. Visual Identity and Design Preferences
One of the biggest tasks to carry out as a designer is creating a visual identity for your customer. Ask these questions to get started quicker.
Provide 2-3 logo designs that inspire you and explain your preferences.
When discussing logo designs with your client, ask them to identify 2-3 designs that they find inspiring. This helps you gain insights into their aesthetic preferences and the visual direction they envision.
Understanding which elements of these designs appeal to them—be it simplicity, color scheme, modernity, or symbolism—will guide you in creating a logo that connects with the target audience visually.
What color palette do you prefer for your brand, and are there any colors to avoid?
Colors play a significant role in branding, influencing emotions and perceptions. Engage your client in a discussion about the colors that best represent their brand's personality and values.
Are they drawn to bold and vibrant hues, or more subdued and soft tones? Also, consider any colors that might be inappropriate due to cultural associations or industry norms.
Do you have any specific typography or font styles in mind?
Typography is a key element of visual branding.
Ask your client if they have preferences regarding font styles, such as traditional serif, modern sans-serif, or elegant script.
The choice of typography should align with the overall brand identity and communicate a specific message about the brand: professionalism, creativity, reliability, approachability, etc..
How would you describe your brand's visual style (e.g., minimalist, sophisticated)?
Whether your customer aims for a minimalist and sleek look, a sophisticated and luxurious feel, or a playful and vibrant aesthetic, it's important that this style aligns with the brand's overall character.
This ensures the brand is easily recognizable and memorable.
Are there specific design assets that you've already produced or want to use?
Encourage your client to identify specific elements such as logos, fonts, or design styles that they feel embody their brand's identity.
By pinpointing these elements, you can start from where they left off either physically (e.g. they worked with another agency but weren't happy perhaps) or mentally (e.g. they know specific assets on Dribbble and are really into them).
You don't necessarily need to use these elements directly into the new branding strategy, but you can iterate on them or improve them significantly for an upgraded, cohesive look.
5. Marketing and Promotional Strategy
Branding influences marketing performance in a big way, perhaps more than any other activity. Be sure to include a few questions in this realm.
What marketing materials do you anticipate needing (e.g. brochures, website)?
Identify the range of marketing materials your customer will need.
This includes both physical items like business cards and brochures and digital assets like websites and social media graphics.
Each piece should be a consistent reflection of the brand identity.
It's also a practical question to know how much work needs to be done!
Describe your current or desired presence on social media.
Is your customer aware of where their target audience spends their time?
The branding effort should focus particularly on social media channels that represent the brand's values well, like LinkedIn for a professional training company or X / Threads for a technology company.
How do you intend to reach your ideal customer?
Early businesses usually have to do a lot of heavy lifting before being able to leverage larger marketing efforts like a fully-structured website.
Get to know your customer and understand if they already have a network of potential customers, if they will be reaching out to strangers, etc.
Think about how the brand can support the sales process in that context.
What makes your brand’s offering unique against competitors?
Identifying with your client what makes their product or service stand out in the marketplace helps a great deal to create effective branding.
Discuss the reasons why customers should trust their brand in a competitive context and what your client can do to provide a superior experience.
6. Operational and Strategic Insights
These are long-term operational questions which you can ask for larger projects (except deadlines and feedback preferences which are necessary either way).
What are your brand's short and long-term objectives?
Discuss your customer's immediate goals such as increasing brand awareness or launching a new product, as well as long-term aspirations like category leadership or niche "domination."
Where do you envision your brand in 1, 3, and 5 years?
Understanding how the client wants their products and company to evolve helps in creating a brand that is not only successful today but continues to thrive in the future, with the same yet evolved message.
What are your deadlines and timelines for this branding project?
Clarify with your client the deadlines and timelines for the branding project.
This includes considering the timing of product launches, marketing campaigns, and other key business events.
It's a practical thing, not related to branding attributes.
How do you plan to implement the branding strategy in your business operations?
From customer service to product development, a brand isn't just for the end-user. It could be for internal employees too, or external business partners.
This holistic approach ensures a brand that appeals to everyone revolving around the company, leading to healthy word of mouth.
How do you prefer to share feedback / what revision turnaround do you expect?
Discuss how customers will communicate feedback, whether through meetings, written reports, or digital tools, and also consider realistic timelines for implementing changes.
This clarity in communication helps maintain a productive relationship and ensures the branding project progresses efficiently.
You can also use client portals like ManyRequests to streamline the process.
7. Additional Insights / Bonus Questions
Use these questions as extras in specific situations, like if a client already has a logo or if they've failed to launch previous branding efforts.
How have previous solutions not met your ideal customer's needs?
Has the customer already tried other brands or projects in the past?
Learning from a customer's failures is a huge asset as it will help exclude a lot of potential pitfalls, especially wrong brand positioning.
If you already have one, what inspired your current logo?
Discuss the inspiration behind the client's current logo and whether it still accurately represents their brand. Understanding the rationale behind the existing logo can offer insights into the brand's evolution and its current identity.
If the logo no longer aligns with the brand's identity or fails to resonate with the target audience, it might be time to consider a redesign that better reflects the brand’s current vision.
How does your brand balance contrasting characteristics (e.g., Modern / Classic, Technical / Simple)? Where do you sit in the spectrum?
Some brands purposely talk in a very technical way because they targeted software developers for example. Think about a brand like Vercel: "Dynamic at the speed of static." That will mean absolutely nothing to casual consumers.
But it gets every web developer out there riled up and screaming.
What other brands, competitor or not, do you admire, and why?
Understanding what elements of these brands resonate with your customers can provide inspiration and insight for your branding strategy.
Analyze these admired brands to determine the qualities your client values and wants to emulate or differentiate from in their own brand.
What type of imagery do you envision (e.g., illustrations, photos, abstract graphics).
These visual elements should complement the brand's personality and messaging. Consider the emotions and ideas these images should convey and how they align with the overall brand identity. Effective imagery enhances the brand's appeal and helps to communicate its story visually.
How do you want customers to experience your brand?
Customer engagement involves more than transactions.
It's about fostering relationships. Discuss with your client their vision for how customers should experience their brand.
This conversation should focus on the journey the customer goes through, from initial awareness to post-purchase interactions.
Leave this as an open-ended question only for special cases.
Use Branding Questionnaires To Your Advantage
Questionnaires aren't just a list of questions to get the job done, they're gold mines of information that your customer wouldn't otherwise share if you didn't set things up properly beforehand.
But questionnaires are also hard to set up and update.
They require a lot of thoughtful design and tradeoffs:
- How many questions to ask
- Whether open-ended or closed
- Which order to use based on priority
- More qualitative or quantitative?
… and so on.
ManyRequests helps you create engaging customer questionnaires without bogging you down in the process.
It's a much smoother process than your typical PDF or Google Form.
You can create standardized forms that deliver customers' feedback directly into your work environment, and you can choose from a variety of fields like checkboxes, open text, number input, etc.
For example, you could choose 10 - 12 of the questions in this blog post, create a "Brand identity" service in ManyRequests, set up the request form to cover those questions, and you're good to go!
Less than 5 minutes of work for a repeatable process that will last you years.
Try it out, it's entirely free for 14 days.