How to Deliver Constructive Feedback

How to Deliver Constructive Feedback

How to Deliver Constructive Feedback

Giving concrete feedback to your branding agency can feel overwhelming, here’s our framework for formulating constructive feedback.

September 08, 2023

Words by Marbury Team

Photo by Byron Photo

Contrary to popular belief, it is okay not to love the initial concepts your design agency delivers. Maybe you like the wordmark but can’t wrap your head around the submark. Or maybe, despite how long you sit with it, something’s just not clicking. You appreciate the work for what it is, but you’re not moved by it. All of these feelings are perfectly normal when investing in branding. In fact, you should have a lot to say during these beginning stages. 

Our initial designs rarely miss the mark completely, but if they do, we embrace it as a part of the creative process. In a way, that’s the whole point of our collaboration. It’s a constant communication and exchange of ideas. We will always encourage you to voice your hesitations if something is not resonating. Sometimes the change is as simple as softening the typography or choosing a different shade of blue. Other times, we have to go back to the drawing board and begin again. Regardless, we are always excited to charge forward with new clarity and direction. 

The most critical factor in a successful round of revisions is your feedback. With each delivered asset, we include a detailed form to prompt your exploration and simplify the process. However, simple doesn’t mean easy. Sometimes it’s hard to give voice to what’s not working. 

If you find yourself struggling to identify the disconnect, here are a few questions to guide you down the right path.

We will always encourage you to voice your hesitations if something is not resonating.



1. What does the concept make you feel?

And how is that feeling misaligned from your primary intent? For example, if you’ve identified inspiration and freedom as your primary values, but the design causes you to feel rigid and restricted, that gives us a starting point for redirection. Feelings and stories are our compass in branding. They determine whether or not our design is eliciting the right response and serving the right purpose. So, if it’s not striking the right chord with you, we need to reassess. 

Identify what you feel from the design (or what you don’t feel) and then consider it from your audience’s perspective. How would they relate to this concept? We encourage viewing it from a secondary perspective so you can momentarily separate yourself from your brand. This also helps reorient you to the function of your brand—to serve your audience.

This leads to our second point. 


2. Is it a personal preference or a brand preference?

There will be times when your personal preferences are not 100% aligned with the identity of the brand. For example, you may love the color red, but what does your audience gravitate towards? A demographic of young professionals looking to escape stress through a serene, calming interior may be turned off by the color red. It stands in opposition to what they’re searching for in an interior designer. In this case, you may need to set personal preferences aside and consider a more objective point of view.

There is, however, a sweet spot where personal preference and brand preference collide. Find this by identifying the overlapping aesthetic interests between you, your audience, and your brand’s values. What details are synonymous between all three? How can you bring more of yourself into the brand without sacrificing integrity or erasing your audience from the equation? 

Once you’re able to identify your personal preferences and determine where they fit within the brand, we’ll be one step closer to realizing your vision. 


3. What visually excites you?

We prefer not to lean too heavily on Pinterest boards or external inspiration, but we admit it has its time and place. This is one of them. If you’re finding it hard to articulate what’s in your head, images can certainly help. We encourage you to pull reference images that are similar to what you’re envisioning. These can be screenshots from aspirational brands, sketches created in your notebook, or mood boards you found online. Whatever it is, we welcome your visual inspiration as a final push towards our destination. 

It’s important to note that we will never replicate another brand. If you bring us visual inspiration, know that we will use it loosely as a muse, not an outline. Your final brand identity may have a similar feel to the brand referenced but will not visually mimic that source. 

In conclusion, we hope this journal acts as a resource for you and sets the tone for our collaboration. We are always open to feedback and encourage your honesty, transparency, and contribution as we craft your legacy. At the end of the day, we strive to deliver work that feels true to you and natural to embody. Inquire here to collaborate with us today, or visit our About page to learn more about our philosophy.

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