Best Practices

Four types of workshops to jumpstart ideas.

 2021/10/putting-sticky-notes-on-window-8ZGH7D6-245.jpg Brainstorm Concept. Pensive hispanic businesswoman putting sticky notes on window at office, empty space
Brainstorm Concept. Pensive hispanic businesswoman putting sticky notes on window at office, empty space

Successful brands put a priority on uncovering consumer insights through immersive and real-time techniques.  Through consumer observation, storytelling and other implicit methods, brand teams can identify growth and innovation opportunities with target audiences.

Workshops are one immersive technique that can guide a brand team to truly relevant and breakthrough ideas for consumers because of their unique participatory, face-to-face nature whether in-person or virtual. Unlike purely observational techniques, the interaction and energy among different stakeholder groups in workshop sessions can result in quicker alignment on the most promising opportunities.

Here are four types of workshops that brand teams can use depending on their project objectives and strategic goals:

1. Segmentation workshop

Whether kicking off or wrapping up Segmentation work, understanding your target segments is one of the most important strategic tasks for a brand team. Bringing together the internal brand team (marketing, research, product development, sales, etc.) with external agency partners is an effective way to plan and/or democratize your consumer segment learning, discuss other consumer trends and brainstorm implications around segmenting the marketplace and/or aligning on what types of consumers to target in order to drive growth.

2. Co-creation workshop

These type of workshops engage the brand team along with consumers – together in the same session. These sessions often serve as deep learning journeys for the brand team, as they are speaking and working directly with consumers to co-create brand positioning and messaging, new products or services and more. These face-to-face conversations build empathy between the team members and consumers, and are highly memorable and effective when the brand team is solving for the problem later.

3. Consumer brainstorm workshop

Think of these as a type of “Shark Tank” activity where consumers are in sessions with the brand team privately listening in to a moderated discussion to assess/critique ideas. By giving consumers the freedom to create without being biased by brand team input, more honest input can be gathered.

4. Team activation workshop

Once the most promising ideas or directions are gathered from any or all of the workshops mentioned above, having the brand team come together to carefully plan the activation of these ideas in the development process is critical. Too many good ideas are often lost because of poor follow-through and inertia.

Here are some tips for running a successful workshop based on our expertise as facilitators:

  • Develop pre-reads and homework so the workshop can hit the ground running without wasting time on background information
  • Clearly define the challenge and desired outcome of the workshop to all participants
  • Keep the invitation list to 12 to 14 key players, and those that really understand all the dynamics of the brand situation
  • Ensure the activities are a combination of diverging (breaking into smaller teams) and then converging back to share and build on the ideas
  • Build in an element of fun and creativity into each workshop activity
  • Keep activities to 20 to 30 minutes

Want to learn more about using a workshop to further your strategic planning and growth?

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