How to conduct a Brand Sprint


Written by

Luke Medlock

What is a Brand Sprint?

Traditionally, a brand sprint is a 3-hour workshopping session that pulls together a multidisciplinary team to hash out the core what, how and why of the company. The goal of a brand sprint is twofold; firstly to draw out the answers we need to be able to complete the design task of creating a brand, and secondly to get all stakeholders, including The Bang, onto the same page - you'd be amazed at how many established companies we've taken through Brand Sprints who all have a completely different perception of what the company does and what it stands for.

At The Bang, our Brand Sprints are 6 tasks covered in 1 hour. We conduct these sessions right at the start of our journey with a new client regardless of whether they are creating a brand or developing a new product before any 'design' is done.

How much does a Brand Sprint Cost?

With the Bang, free. That's not because it has no value, quite the opposite. We're extremely picky about the projects we take on, so we use the Brand Sprint as a means of deciding if the proposed project and company matches our ethos, values and overall what The Bang is about. Therefore, we offer it to prospective clients for free. So even if we aren't a fit, you gain some value that hasn't affected your budgets - we still wish you well somewhere else.

It also gives our potential clients the ability to see The Bang in action. A quick 1 hour glimpse at the calibre of what this incredible team bring to our clients' projects.

Who is needed to run a Brand Sprint?

Our brand sprint sessions are hosted by a well seasoned senior designer, with as a couple of other designers from The Bang in attendance to help pull out key bits of information. From the clients side we always ask for the CEO, and as many top level decision makers as possible (Head of Marketing, Product or Design for example). We ask if possible to bring an odd number of people to the Brand Sprint, This ensures that in any split-decision moments there is always a majority. However, we always say bring anyone you feel is relevant. At The Bang we know full well that good leaders hire better people. So don't be shy, there's not a cap on how many people we allow in the room.

How to conduct a brand sprint?

Our take on a Brand Sprint involves 6 core tasks: 1: What, How & Why, 2: Your Values, 3: Who Sees You, 4: Personality, 5: Market Gap, 6: Timeline.

As the host, our job is to keep the conversation flowing, ask the difficult questions, and make notes of all the information we get out. The stakeholders goal is to collectively agree on a brand direction, and all sing from the same hymn sheet for all work going forward.

As a fully remote design studio, we conduct the vast majority of our brand sprints using Around. However we love to get together and conduct these in person where possible. From our side, we get a better feel of you as a client but also you get a better sense of who we are and how we work.

Remain positive. Sometimes there's a clash of opinion between stakeholders, but everyone in the room is working to the same goal.

Keep focussed, these tasks only take an hour. We find that any longer than that, especially remote sessions, drains the energy and minds begin to wander or compromise to move things along without adequate challenge.

1: What, How & Why.


Sounds easy, but this is often the part we revisit the most. The aim is to produce a phrase or sentence describing your primary business / product. The catch, you can't use the word 'and'. We're looking to make a statement that is a clear and punchy as possible. If the key stakeholders of a brand can't produce a simple and digestible statement, it is unlikely a user will remember it.


What’s your secret sauce? What technology or approach sets you apart from the competition? Again, keeping this as clear as possible is crucial for your target audience to understand the benefit of you over others in the market. Without a clear unique selling point, your customer acquisition cost will be higher.


Why does your product exist? Why is this product or brand needed in your target market? What pain point does it solve? The answers to these questions form the base of all design work going forward. They act as the goal posts for products to hit and set the tone for brands to exude.

2. Your Values

Lots of companies list their values, but many fail to prioritise them so get the client to list them out and then rank them in order of priority. We find that the latter half of this task is where the gold lies. Understanding what founders and teams as whole feel is important will set the overall direction of the product but also give a good understanding of their internal culture. By listing 3, we get a more rounded understanding of what the companies priorities are to then translate into design for the end users.

We're looking for simple answers here, not full sentences. For example, the team at Tembo - a mortgage fintech startup we designed - had written and ordered their 3 values as 'People first', 'Find a way', 'If you don’t like it, change it'.

3. Who sees you?

Who qualifies as the primary audience for your product? Think broadly, whose opinion do you care about? Your brand or product doesn’t only matter to end customers. What about other businesses, reporters, advertisers, government regulators? In the world of Fintech, you have to design certain aspects of your brand, website and apps to appease financial regulators - but that's a good thing - it's to protect users from more sinister players.

The end goal of this step is to ensure all the work going forward is aligned to target these key audiences. This level of clarity will keep your team aligned and focussed.

4. Personality sliders

This stage is all about getting across how your brand looks, feels to interact with, and behaves in the market. Out of the hundreds of Brand Sprints we've conducted over our 5 years, we're yet to have 2 sets of personality sliders match.

We let the client lead this task to not put in our own bias on the matter. We guide and remind them of what's been discussed already to ensure they align. The slider gets moved to the left or right of dead centre - we always encourage clients to pick a side and not sit on the fence to stop trying to appease too many demographics in one go. The labels are sometimes updated if we're working with an established brand to make it hyper-focussed on their market, but for new brands or products, we run with Friend vs Authority, Flex vs Rigid, Young & innovative vs Mature & Classic, Playful vs Serious, Mass Appeal vs Niche.

5. Competition

Branding can only be as good as the understanding of your market. Not only understanding your users needs and wants, but also what others in the space are offering. In this task, we focus on the latter.

Firstly, list as many competitors you know of. Often the companies that jump out in your mind straight away are the companies you are influenced by in the space. However, we want a wider variety than just the closest ones so pull out companies who also indirectly are looking to attract your target audiences.

Then, we draw out a cross matrix. Again, for some established products and brands we often use custom labels for the axis, but for new comers and those looking to disrupt markets we often start with Friend vs Authority, and Mass appeal Vs Niche. Together, these opposing labels tend spread out competition across a market really well.

Finally, we place the companies listed onto the grid. The goal of this task is to find your own lane. An Area in the market without heavy competition that still allows you portray your values and reach your target audiences.

6. Timeline

The original timeline task set out by Google Ventures was to get everyone in the room to predict where the company will be at at a series of dates. We often found this approach didn't drive much new intel to work with, nor give our clients much value. Instead, we start big and work our way backwards, setting goals and targets at each of the key dates. This way, the near future goals and targets work towards the long term goal. You'll also find it helps pave the way for when you're ready to create an in depth product roadmap by setting the end goals and getting everyone onboard with them early doors.

An example of this would be our good friends over at Mojo Mortgages. When we conducted their brand sprint before undertaking all their product design and rebrand, they listed their 5 year goals as 'help 1 million people find their mortgage joy when buying or remortgaging their homes', 'get acquired to further our mission and reach more people in need', 'partner with other fintech companies to become their customers' solution for mortgages'.

To achieve their 5 year goals we then listed out targets and goals we would need to hit in the 3 year, then the same for 1 year, and finally what we could do right now. Sometimes, these timelines need to be taken with a pinch of salt because markets and user needs can change rapidly and without warning - a certain pandemic showed us that. Companies must be able to pivot and adapt to stay competitive when those moments arise. However, in the case of Mojo and many of our other clients who undertake a task like this they often achieve their goals. It took Mojo just 3 years after bringing in The Bang to achieve their 5 year goal of being acquired by RVU, whilst also hitting their goal of partnering with other fintech companies by linking up with the likes of Monzo, Zoopla, GoCompare and Snoop.

Like we mentioned, we don't charge for an initial brand sprint. Its a tool we use to learn about the project before committing to it, and a chance for you to see us in action. We're winning awards for the calibre of work we produce, so message Bert to get one booked in, we can't wait to see what you've got going on.