The other day I had a new client approach me with the enquiry to design a new company profile. The company itself was big and the project seemed to have some good potential. The initial phone conversation was interesting as well, so we set a date to meet face to face.

The person I met was one of the Co-Founders who also acted as Managing Director of the company. It was a simple meeting for me, as the client was very talkative and keen to tell me every tiny detail about the company. I had a hard time keeping up with taking notes.

Some time into the meeting it became evident that the challenge this client had was not the company profile but the actual message they were trying to convey to their customers. Because there was no message!
False
Expectations
This client thought that having a new fancy company profile would somehow magically improve their positioning on the market, get them more customers and boost their brand image. This fact opened up a completely different discussion and I started digging further to find out what the existing brand structure is and what needs to be done in order to effectively tackle the challenges the client was facing.

If your work doesn’t meet the client's expectations - you have failed!

What we did instead
We decided to conduct a brand strategy workshop with the most essential stakeholders and lay all cards on the table. We gathered as much information as possible and tried to deconstruct each brand element that currently existed. That enabled us to properly understand the brand, decide what the main message to customers should be, and what the actual next steps are. Now, we had a plan that we could follow.
Actual output
In the end, we designed elements for different touchpoints (e.g. events, marketing collaterals, web etc.), refined the existing branding, improved the brand messaging as well as copy, and gave employees a clear idea about what the brand is about.
Conclusion

My takeaway from this was to always dig deeper to the core of the problem or challenge. While a client thinks that they know exactly what they need, an open discussion with the right questions might suggest otherwise. Eventually, all that matters is not a beautiful design but what this design actually does for the client. Results matter! If your work doesn’t deliver what it’s supposed to (or what the client thinks it should), you have failed!

Alexander Danelia

Author Alexander Danelia

Alexander is the Founder and Creative Director at Titans Design.

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