I want you to try a little exercise I have done in the past with great success. I want you to consider having a focus group discussion with some of your clients, both past and present—maybe even friends. Offer them a free photo session to participate. Have dinner or pizza brought in and make it fun. Shouldn’t take more than an hour of their time. To get them excited, thank them for being great clients and let them know you’re going through a branding reboot and wanted to pick their brains for an hour for some honest feedback.
Before the meeting, list the five key words you would like your brand to be known for. Creative. Stylish. Award-Winning. Luxurious. Rich. Come up with whatever matches your brand as you’d like it to be perceived. Take that piece of paper. Fold it. And put it away for now.
At the meeting, once everyone gets there, keep it relaxed—eat, drink, and just chat away. After about 30 minutes, kick off the meeting. Explain to everyone that you’re looking for honest feedback because you’re trying to take your company and your brand to the next level. Then, project your logo on the screen at your studio or print it on a single sheet of paper. Have everyone write down three adjectives that describe their thoughts about your logo. No need for them to write their name down. Remember, the goal is to keep it stress-free and get honest feedback.
Do the same thing for your website, for your packaging, and anything else you want honest feedback on. Then compare the feedback with that folded piece of paper you created. The feedback might really shock you and open your eyes to one major issue: Your perception of your brand might be skewed compared to that of your clients. And that’s a huge problem that needs to be rectified immediately.