The creative brief summarizes the various parts of the project and makes it easier for both the customer and the creative team to work together. It should provide a vision, but also set the boundaries for the work to be done.
How to write the perfect creative brief – 10 questions that need answering
A creative brief should be concise, distinct, and inspiring so that your creative team has a clear picture of what is expected. It should provide a vision, but also set the boundaries for the work to be done.
The brief summarizes the various parts of the project and makes it easier for both the customer and the creative team to work together. The ideal brief documents the partnership between client and agency throughout the project in a way that informs and controls the process.
Ten questions that the brief should answer.
#1. Why is the project necessary right now?
Start by answering why. Think of the opportunities that lead to the project being initiated or why you need a creative team at this precise moment. The insight can help shape the process and result of the project.
Describe the outside world. What is happening in the market? Something going on in the customer side that the creative team should know? Any opportunities or problems in the market? What is most important to communicate?
#2. What are the objectives of the project?
Focus on a few overall goals to keep the brief focused and the project manageable. Use the model S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Accepted, Timed, Realistic). Also, write a short account of the effect the ad will have on consumers. What should the marketing make the audience think, feel, or do?
#3. What are the project parameters?
Identify what needs to be included, and define the format, agreed deliveries, and the project’s timeline and budget. What do you need from the creative team? When do you need it? Enter all media details.
#4. Who is the primary target group?
Who is the primary target group for the project? How do they view the brand’s product, service, strengths, and weaknesses? The more accurate and detailed, the better. Go beyond age and gender to describe demographics. Explain how the audience currently thinks, feels, and behaves concerning the product category, the customer’s brand, and the customer’s specific product or service. Is there a secondary target audience?
#5. What are the roles in the project?
State who is responsible for the tasks at the customer and agency, respectively. Who approves along the way and who needs information? Who should be consulted for ongoing approval and who needs to be informed of progress or adversities?
#6. How is the project to distinguish the company from its competitors?
Knowledge of the market and competitors and how the project will make the product, service, or brand stand out, helps the creative team find the right focus. Here you can include consumer insights, a description of the brand’s personality, positioning, insights, terms of the offer, profit expectations, and of course compulsory elements such as logo, URL, etcetera.
#7. What is the essence of the message?
Describe the project’s tone, message, and expression around the brand’s existing message, whether the goal is to identify a new message or to find a new way to communicate the existing one. What is the most persuasive message we can express to achieve the goal? This should be a simple but concrete sentence. Explain why the consumer should believe in what we say and why they should buy.
#8. How should the message be communicated?
Limit the various communication channels (or not), but be sure that both the agency and the client agree on how the message is to be marketed. Include detailed information on expected media – both for initial concepts and finished material.
#9. How is the work evaluated?
Establishing the criteria for an evaluation in advance can, in the long term, lead to a stronger relationship between the customer and the creative team. Make sure that there are agreed measurement values so that everyone knows if and when goals are achieved.
#10. What do you want the agency to add?
Give a new perspective, have an opinion, come up with, or find a unique solution to an old problem? In addition to delivering what the customer asks for, a good team can also come up with solutions you didn’t even know you wanted.
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