Design Portfolio – Strategy, workshop & design
Friday, July 29, 2011

Over the last couple of months I've been helping another corporate reporting firm with specialist brand consulting services.

Initially I advised The Design Portfolio to work with a dedicated brand strategist to handle a workshop and, more importantly, the reason for the workshop, the brand strategy, and then to potentially work with me to develop a new brand identity for one of their clients.

In the past I've been comfortable delivering brand strategy advice to start-ups on limited budgets but for large organisations I usually expect to work with dedicated strategists as part of larger creative teams. However, last year I did some brand strategy for an investment bank in Vietnam at Allen International. There I worked closely with a brand strategist and, in part, as a result my confidence as a brand strategist has been increasing steadily.

Expecting to hear no further from The Design Portfolio a week later I was invited to handle the brand strategy and workshop as it was felt that the scope of my experience as a brand strategist, in combination with my creative brand design skills, would meet the requirements of the project.

Since then I compiled a single strategy document from various other sources supplied by the client, structured the document and added strategic insights of the sort I normally expect from brand strategy documents. This document was well received by the client and served as a precursor to the brand workshop, which I also structured and ran. The Design Portfolio's client is an AIM listed company and a well-established provider of health and community property solutions in England and Wales with a track record going back 20 years.

After a nervous and shaky start the day went much better than I expected. The client group was more than half a dozen strong and comprised of senior managers across the company, and all clearly highly skilled and motivated. By the end of the day we were all palpably excited about the outcome of the workshop in anticipation of the creative brand design work.

Last Friday I delivered my ideas for the new identity. This was another milestone on both a personal and professional level. As a freelancer I very rarely have direct client contact on large projects. I'm always confident of the creative work but I've never had to present it myself in a high level boardroom situation. This meeting went exceedingly well and I found myself enjoying the experience thoroughly.

Perhaps the time has come for me to play more of a direct role in brand consulting to large organisations.