Branding · Graphic design

How to assess my branding specifications?

Mohammad Abu Musa

September 28th, 2016

I want to hire a content copywriter and a graphic designer to build a brand for a new startup I am building, I already done customers persona and analyzed the competition.

I wrote this specifications document, my questions are 

  • Does it contain so many information? 
  • Do they need all these or information? 
  • Am  I too involved in the process?
  • How can I measure the impact of their outputs?

Esther Schindler I'm good with words.

September 28th, 2016

You don't have too much information. It's always better to have too much than too little, anyway.

You've left out an important piece, though: What the workflow will be between you and the writer/designers. For instance, when I work with a client I ask a lot of questions (you can see some of them here: ) ...and many of them are about the business relationship rather than the content. That is: Who approves the text? What are the success criteria? How many people review this? 

Tom Cunniff Founder at Cunniff Consulting, B2B Brand Consultancy

September 28th, 2016

While I can clearly see the effort you have expended, I think you are indeed too involved in the process, and it is too prescriptive. As a result, it is likely to hurt your results.

At this stage, the communications task is not to win Wimbledon but to simply get the ball over the net.

Your team needs to figure out how to explain simply:
  • What your company does
  • Who you compete against (think broadly about this -- often a major competitor is "do nothing at all")
  • Why you are different and better
  • Why a buyer should take a risk on your new and unproven brand

Each of these should be expressed in the fewest, simplest words possible. A reasonably intelligent 6 year old should be able to understand it.

At this stage of your brand development, complexity is the enemy of success. I encourage you to be ruthlessly simple.

Good luck!

P.S. Make the briefing simple, and provide the rest as background materials. I would suggest that you share the raw interviews with buyers, and NOT your conclusions. Your team may see things you missed, and if they come back with the same conclusions you will have validated that your instincts were correct.

P.P.S. You can't measure the impact of their outputs. Instead, ask yourself: "has this been communicated as simply as possible?" When you're convinced that it is right, go ask someone who is NOT in your business whether they understand what the copy says. If they don't, it needs to be simpler.

Merwin Rodrigues Marketing Consultant at confidential - South Asia & Africa

September 28th, 2016

Dear Musa, its relevant information which needs to be encapsulated in a structured manner : ( most agencies have a brief template ) A. Background : market trends/insight leading to identifying the issue /opportunity. B: Objective C. Brand Foundation : Relevance : ( this could be similar for any other product in the same category ) 1. Core Target Audience ( demogs, psychographics, lifestyles, ....etc) 2. Core Needs & insights 3. Competitive Frame of Reference ( primary , secondary ) Differentiation : ( what differentiates your product/ brand ) 4. Brand Positioning 5. Brand delivery 6. Brand Character D.Deliverables many thanks, merwin

Stanislav Dovidenko Freelance Senior Art Director; Expert in Corporate Design Presentations, Creative Thinker

September 28th, 2016

Presentation Design Services


Dear, Mohammad.

1This is Stas from Dovidenko design studio, LLC.

We are one of presentationmaker in Russia.

OUR CAPABILITIES&SERVICES: produces bespoke presentation and packaging, designs and prepares printing layouts, and develops corporate identities.

OUR PRODUCT SCOPE: Printing for exhibitions. Presentations for investors, HR, sales.

 Please send your presentation to me, let me give you free quote with superior quality and competitive price. Hope to establish business relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit with you !


Best Regards
Stas Dovidenko
Design-Studio Dovidenko, LLC


Cellphone: 8-922-104-68-78


Skype: stasdodesign


Mohammad Abu Musa

September 28th, 2016

@Tom Cunniff Thank you for the answers, I think your feedback is extremely valuable. I think I will make things simpler. I liked the fact that I can share raw interviews with the agency.  

@Esther Schindler Thanks, The article you shared is extremely valuable, It helped put things in perspective and answer the correct questions to lead the process to the correct result. I am definitely following your articles  

@Merwin Rodrigues Thanks, I looked up on briefing examples. thanks for pointing this out. 

Now I have a better picture of how this process happens. I will adjust the requirements