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To better answer your question, there are two ways you can go.
1. How big are your clients? Unless they're pretty small with no budget, you should be doing some pretty robust research and strategy phases before you even pick up the pencil to start sketching ideas. This type of project exceeds the kind of thing that's done with a simple questionnaire.
2. Maybe your client is small/unambitious/cheap. If you're just looking to spurt out a logo for your clients, you don't need all of that. Your research phases will consist of getting some basic information down about the company name, and what it's business category. Then you pretty much just need to ask one question over and over until you're happy with the answer: what makes your business unique? If you get a good answer to that question (which can be tricky), you'll put yourself ahead of 99designs.com.
I love branding exercises. I've read everything I can get my hands on about the subject (including MBA courses on branding, which are pretty disappointing). I think that most designers go about branding all wrong, and the entire project becomes solely about the vanity of the designer or the client. Which is a shame, because these projects can have tremendous business value for the client if executed properly.