What’s in a Question?
From the onset of training, salespeople are taught to ask questions to understand the needs of the client. The typical ones revolve around budget, in-hands date, the event’s theme, products used in the past, and the target audience. To be clear, these are all fantastic, if not necessary, questions.
Yet, after the initial meeting, far too many are conditioned to head back to the office and try to come up with a branded product so creative that you – the client – won’t have a choice other than to sign the purchase order. However, there isn’t enough information to get wildly creative because a golden opportunity was missed during the discovery meeting. In other words, the right questions weren’t asked.
In any initial meeting – which we at Payden & Company call a discovery meeting – the first goal is to get you talking and for us to listen actively. It’s the whole “two ears and one mouth” philosophy. Beyond that, we aim to get as much information as possible about your brand voice and philosophy to fuel our creativity. Some of the right questions we ask to guide the client are:
- How would you describe your brand to someone unfamiliar with it? The answer to this will provide all manner of insights as to how you desire your target audience to view your brand. However, the real power is in the follow-up question:
- What emotions do you want someone to feel when they see your logo as an extension of your brand? Brands elicit emotions – they make you feel something. For example, when you see the “Golden Arches” of the McDonald’s logo, you’re going to immediately have an opinion, a memory, or a reaction that will fall into one of three categories:
- Positive(grabbing a quick bite to eat on the way to a favorite family destination).
- Neutral(speedy service and consistent, if not average, food).
- Negative(is that even considered food?)
For every brand, there is a feeling associated with it – whether it is Starbucks, Comcast, American Airlines, or Microsoft. Our job at Payden & Company is to match the end-user merchandise experience to the desired feeling of you, the client. That begins with asking the right questions that help you verbalize how you want your audience to feel.
Once we understand this, creativity will flow.