At Vision House, a big part of our creative process is immersing ourselves in the client’s marketing materials. One of the first questions I ask- “Please give me all the customer facing marketing collateral that you have.”  Sometimes we get a comprehensive branding document and this can be immensely helpful.  Color palettes, logo placement guidelines, design motifs and accepted practices.  But mostly, when we create a video, build a site or otherwise design something creative for a client, the response to this question is either a line card with some bullet points or a quickly brainstormed email sent over the next day.  Not everyone has a large enough marketing budget to create all the collateral they need…The act of presenting oneself to others through media (or in person) requires, by definition, an understanding of who you are.  For most organizations this is constantly changing as they grow, shift focus and continuously redefine themselves.  If you have the budget to do a comprehensive brand study, create a brief, target and control your messages then we can work with you to leverage that effort (see this case study: MedPlus). But for the small, growing business we can rely on a more pragmatic approach.  This Needs Analysis list is one of the first things I send to smaller business clients to get them talking internally about what their goals actually are, what they want to accomplish, and ultimately… who they are.  On many occasions this discussion has sparked some great branding discussions and really helped to define themselves more as they invested in a video or web site. Take a look and see what ideas you have.


  1. Who is your target audience? (be careful they aren’t too broad… we can accomodate multiple purposes, but it must be thought out in advance and may cost more $$$)
  2. What is your message? (what information do you want included… do you have ideas on how you want it presented?)
  3. What specific action do you want people to take after watching the video? (it is important to be very specific… sometimes this betrays unrealistic multiple expectations)
  4. How will you distribute the video to your target audience? (more detail on this in the next set of questions)
  5. What venue/context will it be shown in? (trade show, company meeting, conference, television, home, office, web site)
  6. How will you measure the success of your video once it’s in the hands of your target audience? Again, be specific… and maintain reality)
  7. What budget constraints do you have? (we may be able to save money if we know in advance – ie stock footage may work sufficiently instead of shooting customized footage.)
  8. What is the deadline? (rush jobs usually cost more… GOOD – CHEAP – FAST … pick any two.)


  • Do you have sample videos you can show us that look similar to what you want?
  • Do you have a script or summary of the video already?
  • Do you need us to develop the message and script or just help rework what you have?
  • If you have a script, we need to do a script review and comment on feasability. (Frequently clients have soaring expectations about a video w/o understanding the costs- a  script analysis allows us to verify that expectations are in line with the budget.)


  • Explain your ideas on how you will show the video to your target audience.
  • Will you personally hand your video to a member of your target audience?
  • Do you want them to be able to watch the video on the Internet?
  • Will you ever need to show your video in a sales presentation or in a meeting?
  • Will your video need to be handed out at trade shows or sent via direct mail?
  • Do you want the ability to put your video in a PowerPoint presentation?


Most videos will contain a mixture of these elemants:

  • Opening logo animation with music and optional effects.
  • Professional Voice Over talent.
  • Interview clips with your executives or employees
  • Interview clips with your customers
  • Video footage and/or pictures taken in your offices, plants or warehouses
  • Video footage of your employees serving customers or working together on projects.
  • Video footage of your customers putting your product/service to use
  • Graphic animations and special effects

When these elements are combined with a persuasive script and creative editing techniques, the end result is a video that will meet and often exceed your goals for the project.