Brand Research & Analysis

Why We Love To Kick Off Projects with Decision Maker Interviews

Ben Regan

Creative Strategist & Designer, étude Digital

At Étude we love to kick off brand strategy projects with decision-maker interviews for a few reasons. First, they are an excellent aid in defining project success. Second, they allow us to uncover key pain points. Last, they set the tone for building strong, collaborative relationships.

Defining Project Success

The perspectives we obtain from our brand strategy interviews with decision-makers are invaluable for defining project success. Gaining insights from those who inevitably call the shots facilitates creating and structuring focused and accurate project goals. Meeting those goals should then equate to both happy decision-makers and project success.

Gaining insights from those who inevitably call the shots facilitates the creation and structuring of focused and accurate project goals.

Uncovering the Key Brand Strategy Pain Points

An underrated part of why we love to kick off branding projects with decision-maker interviews is to uncover key pain points. These are typically the problems we’ll need to resolve throughout a project; they aren’t always out in the open. By keeping questions open-ended and organic, we can tease nuance out of responses. We want interviewees to speak their minds, clear the air, and share any reservations or concerns they might have heading into a project. Knowing pain points at the outset allows us to sharpen our focus and not get sidetracked further along in the process when more might be at stake.

Building Collaborative Relationships

What we might love most about conducting decision-maker interviews at project kickoff is the tone they set for building strong, collaborative relationships amongst the project team. We’re in the people business after all and we do our best to make the process fun. Being interviewed can become almost like a rite of passage at the outset of a project. The interviews help us gain sympathy and understanding. For decision-makers—they confirm we‘re listening.


We make it a habit to kick off branding projects with decision-maker interviews because they are great for defining project success, uncovering pain points, and building strong, collaborative relationships. The process tends to have a multiplicative effect on our knowledge of a project and the momentum we carry into it. Interviewing is a great way to get to know new clients or better acquainted with those we’ve worked with. If you’re looking for a partner on your next project, it might just be how we kick it off.


Ben Regan

Creative Strategist & Designer

A former semi-pro baseball player and an enduring fan, Ben is best defined as calm, committed, and constantly smiling.
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