Introduction to writing a creative brief
A creative brief is an essential marketing process that outlines all the details of a marketing campaign or design project. It’s like a blueprint for the campaign, allowing you to communicate with your agency on your goals and how they should achieve them.
What is a creative brief?
A creative brief is a document that presents the project and sets expectations. It helps the creative team understand what the client wants, which in turn helps them come up with ideas. It’s also a tool that helps to align expectations between the client and agency so that everyone can work together toward a shared goal.
One of the most significant benefits of having an effective creative brief is that it helps to align your expectations with your team, especially if you’re working on something new or challenging.
A creative project still needs to address business objectives and goals. Creativity per se is not a goal. Creativity is a tool to solve a business problem or tap into an opportunity.
What are the critical elements of a brief?
A creative brief is essentially a document that outlines the goals and objectives of your campaign, in addition to its constraints and resources. It should be written by you, as the client, and can be used to communicate with designers, agencies, and freelancers. A well-written creative brief will help ensure that your project runs smoothly from start to finish.
The following elements are essential for any successful creative brief:
- Clear goals and objectives
- Budget expectations
- The timeframe for completion
1) Defining your business
The first step in writing a creative brief is to define your business and its goals. What is the purpose of your company? Do you sell products or services? How do you want to be perceived by potential customers? What essential services or products make up your core product offering? Once you have defined these things, it will be easier for you to create a creative brief that aligns with them.
2) Describing your target audience
During this section, you will have to define the target audience in detail and describe their needs and wants, pain points, dreams, and aspirations. The more information you provide about your target audience, the better it will be for you and your brief creative writer to create a compelling piece of content that fulfills those needs.
For example: If we are making a movie aimed at children aged 4-8 years old, we would need to describe our audience in terms of demographic (age), psychographic (personality traits), geographic location (where they live), etc. We could then describe what it is about these kids that make them unique compared with other age groups – what things do they value most highly? What kind of issues do they face every day? How can our film help them overcome those challenges?
3) Describing your challenge
- Describe the challenge you are facing. What is it that you want to do? Why do you think it will benefit your company, customers, or users? What are the problems that need to be solved?
- Describe the problem(s) you are trying to solve. How do they affect your business or industry as a whole? What issues do they present to consumers, and what solutions would help them solve those issues most efficiently (or ideally)?
- Describe the gap that needs filling. How can this project fill a gap in what’s currently available within an industry or market segment? Will it provide solutions for existing pain points that competitors have not yet addressed; will it help users get more out of their current workflows, etcetera…
- Describe the opportunities for innovation/utilization/applications with this project: Are there other ways we could leverage the project outside its initial scope (e.g., an API)? Do consumers have access to similar products elsewhere but at different prices or features – if so, why would they choose yours over theirs?
4) Describing your brief objectives
The objectives of your campaign are what you want to achieve with it. They can be cultivated, like “improve brand awareness,” “increase sales,” or very specific: “Increase sales of the product line by X% in the next 12 months”.
It’s essential to state the purpose of each piece of content and channel in your brief so that everyone involved is clear about why they’re working on something and how it fits into the overall picture. This aspect will also make it easier for you to measure success later!
5) Defining the critical value proposition of the campaign
- Define the problem
- Describe the solution
- How do you know you have the right solution?
- What is the value proposition of your solution?
In writing a creative brief, it’s essential to define what exactly is meant by “creative.” Creative briefs are just a way to communicate with your team so that everyone knows what they need to do and how they need to do it. This step can be significant if multiple people are working on different aspects of the campaign.
6) Setting up the right expectations
- The creative brief should be clear, with no ambiguity.
- It should set the right expectations.
- It should be easy to read and understand so your agency can easily understand it.
- It should also include an “included section” and an “excluded section” for the agency to define a perimeter of action for them.
7) Identifying the branding guidelines (unless you are developing a new brand when the brand book is a deliverable, not a constraint!)
The branding guidelines are the set of rules that the agency needs to follow while creating its brand’s visual identity. For example, if you are a startup company with a fresh and innovative product, your branding guidelines will differ from those of an old family-run business. The brand guidelines can be in the form of a document or bullet points. They should clearly state what is allowed and what isn’t when designing your logo or website.
The branding guidelines should not be too long as they might confuse designers working on your project; they should also be easy to understand so that they don’t take too much time explaining themselves.
A creative brief is a crucial piece in any marketing campaign. It’s like a blueprint for the campaign.
A creative brief is a document describing a proposed project’s scope. It’s a tool for clients to communicate their requirements to agencies and vice versa.
A creative brief isn’t just an outline. It’s more like a contract between you and your client. Because of this, both parties must understand what they’re signing up for, what projects they will work on together, and how often and where they will appear (social media? print?). A good creative brief should include information about brand identity, audience demographic; goals & objectives; pricing structure; deliverables timeline, etcetera.
You must start with a creative brief to get the most out of your marketing campaign. This is the blueprint for your campaign; without it, you could waste time and money on projects that don’t deliver what your business needs.