July 13, 2021

The 3-hour branding sprint

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One step back – one giant leap forward.

Feeling lost? Unsure of what your next step is? Tired of relentless testing and trying without any tangible results? It might be time to pause and gain some perspective about your goals, your brand, and your journey going forward. A branding sprint allows us to do just that in just 3 hours.

branding sprint

The importance of a strong brand

In an ideal world, everyone who starts a business will begin by building a solid brand business strategy. Defined goals, solid plans, and a clear path ahead. But that is not always the case.

Many novel entrepreneurs, and particularly Passion Entrepreneurs, take a very different route. They tend to start their journey out of a gut feeling or a strong desire, and this makes them want to jump straight to the action. No research, analysis, or planning.

Unfortunately, this technique oftentimes leads to misplaced efforts and “wasted” resources. Whether you are thinking about starting a business and feel unsure of your next step, or you have a business up and running but still feel like something is not quite right, this could be for you.

What is the goal of a branding sprint?

With a branding sprint what we try to do is to get as much clarity as possible about your brand’s purpose and identity in only 3 hours. We do this by asking the hard questions and confronting the self-limiting beliefs you might have.

The imposter syndrome or even a fear of success can keep us from taking the defining steps required to build a strong brand. It can lead us to “keep our options open” and play the “trial-and-error” game. But this is not a sustainable strategy. The sooner you define your goals and your strategy, the sooner you will start seeing some real results.

For companies who have already been working for some time, a branding sprint can also help get everyone on the same page. If you don’t have a clear and defined brand identity and way forward, I can almost guarantee that every person in your company has a slightly different idea of the brand. If your own team is confused, how can the customer be convinced?

what is a branding sprint adela alonso alonso

How Does a Branding Sprint work?

There are different versions of a Brand or Branding Sprint. But they all have a very similar structure and dynamic. The key ingredients of any successful branding sprint are :

It has a clear objective in mind.

You should walk into the sprint with a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Whether is to figure out the direction your business should take, strengthen the brand identity, or strategize a rebranding based on performance. The deliverables should be aligned with that ultimate goal. This will help you walk out of the exercise with the most relevant information possible.

It’s fast-paced :

Well, that’s probably a no-brainer. After all, it’s called a sprint. These sprints are an antidote for overthinking. The premise is that, actually, you already have all the answers. You are just scared to choose a lane. Keeping the branding sprint fast-paced and to the point leaves no room to hesitate.

It has a very clear structure :

3 hours is not a lot of time to define the identity and purpose of a brand. We need to account for all the points we want to cover, and the time we need for each of them. The most popular brand sprint is the one developed by Google Ventures. This one covers a 20-year roadmap, Your brand’s What, How, and Why, Top 3 values, Top 3 audiences, personality sliders, and competitive landscape.

It’s collaboration-based :

Nobody accomplishes anything alone. And your brand has to make sense outside your own head. This is why in a brand sprint we bring together everyone directly involved with your brand. Don’t have a team yet? Try to bring in someone who has directly help build the brand: it can be anyone from the website designer to your first customer. Worst-case scenario, you can ask your partner or best friend to join since they have already heard you talk about your business endlessly.

It’s a decision-making tool :

The branding sprint helps you to streamline your efforts and making long-term decisions and plans. It helps identify the weak spots on your brand strategy, and what you need to do in order to fix them. You should walk out of this exercise with precise actionable steps. It will also provide you with a guide you can always use going forward, whenever you need to make decisions for your brand.

branding sprint

When to do a branding sprint?

Short answer? Whenever you feel like your brand needs definition. Depending on the scope and the stage of your business the specific focus points might vary.

As we mentioned, the most popular format of branding sprint is the one ceated by Google Ventures. This branding sprint is generic enough to be useful both for both definition and confirmation. You need Brand definition when you are starting your journey as a business. When you have a product and business strategy in mind, but not yet a solidly defined brand. We work on Brand confirmation when we have been operating for a bit, yet our brand message is not to the level we would like it to be.

However, this format of branding sprint does require you to have a defined product and business direction. Passion Entrepreneurs, however, often struggle to go from the initial spark of inspiration to the point where they are ready to define their business. Their product, even!

For this reason, besides offering the traditional GV branding sprint, we created the Compass brand sprint.

The Compass brand sprint : Find your inner North.

The Compass Brand Sprint is designed for the Passion Entrepreneurs to be. Those who already know they want to build something of their own, yet are not sure where to start.

Our Compass Sprint is a self-centering mindset and motivation exercise. The focus is to help you understand your ultimate goals, the road in front of you, as well as the tools you already have to help you get there. This will allow you to take the first steps in your business with clear confidence, intention, and motivation.

The only thing you need for this exercise is the desire to build something. The compass sprint allows us to take that desire and turn it into a plan. Are you up to the challenge?

the compass brand sprint branding sprint

Do I need a branding sprint?

Well, that is a tricky question. I don’t know you! If you are reading this article, there is a good chance you do. But before we move any further – let’s have a chat. I will ask you a few questions about your brand (or your ideas) and will advise you what is, in my opinion, the best next move for you.

I only work with people I think I can help, and I would never recommend or sell a product or exercise I don’t think can serve you. Not the chatty type? Feel free to shoot me an email at adela@alonso-alonso.com. I should reply within 72 hours.

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