Before GPS became a thing, how did people find their way around a new city or town? They used maps. The maps helped them navigate through the city, with little or no discomfort, depending on their ability to read maps. In recent times, GPS has replaced maps, as they give easier-to-follow directions than the old maps.
Creative Briefs are more like maps and your GPS. They help you navigate through a project, campaign, etc. easily. However, like maps, the quality of direction you can get from them is only as good as their quality (or accuracy). If they are of great quality, you can count on them to direct your efforts throughout the project and keep you right on track.
This article will be guiding you on how to prepare great creative briefs that will help you and your team excel in your projects. We will also be sharing a template to guide you in creating your own, towards the end of this article. However, before we delve into all of these, we will first set some foundation by defining the term Creative Brief. Let’s go!
What are Creative Briefs?
Workamajig.com defines a creative brief as a short 1-2 page document that outlines the strategy for a project. Like a map, it guides a creative team on how best to reach their campaign or project’s stated goals. See https://www.workamajig.com/blog/creative-brief, for more details.
Hubspot defines a creative brief as a short guide, often created by a consultant or a creative project manager that sums up a project’s mission, goals, challenges, demographics, messaging, and other key details. The brief is often presented to a client or company stakeholders before the project gets underway. See https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/creative-brief, for more details.
From these definitions, we can conclude that a creative brief is any brief document that contains the major details of a project or campaign.It covers the strategies that are to be used in achieving the stated goals of a campaign or project, and a designated professional often creates it.
Why Create a CreativeBrief?
Many times, you just need to know the why of a thing topush you to learn and master it. Here, we will be discussing those reasons why you need a creative brief before commencing on that campaign or project.
Its Standard Procedure
Itis only expected that you present a creative brief to your clients for their review before they can approve the project for commencement. You would not expect a client to sign off on a project worth millions of dollars without first seeing a brief on what the project is going to entail, especially with regards to how you wish to go about completing it.
In addition, the team charged with implementing a campaign needs a creative brief to guide them on how to complete the project.So, you will always need a creative brief before you can start the implementation of any project.
It defines the scope of a project
Another benefit of having a creative brief is the fact that it defines the scope of a project and helps the creative team to stay on course. Many times when handling a project, the temptation arises to go beyond the scope of a project.
For instance, if the project was to renovate the interior of a building. The temptation may arise to retouch some parts of the exterior.The creative brief helps you avoid this temptation since it clearly defines the scope of a project.
The defined scope helps you identify what the project does not include, and helps you focus on what counts.
Specify the project’s timeline
The creative brief details the project’stimeline and helps the creative team to stay on track. As you would appreciate, regardless of the nature of the project, most project creativeteams have several projects running simultaneously. Having a timeline would help them know how to manage their activities and stay on track.
It gives the creative team a clear understanding of the organization
Although it may not seem so obvious, it is important for acreative team to have necessary details about the organization they are working for, before they embark on their task. The creative brief supplies the details about the organization they are working for.
It gives the creative team a good starting point
The creative team will always appreciate every information they can get before they commence their work. This information will serve as a base for themto start their work, and it could help them generate ideas on how to carry out their task effectively. The creative brief supplies this information.
How to write a creative brief
Having examined the benefits of having a creative brief before the commencement of a project, we will be discussing how you can create your creative brief. Let’s go already!
Provide details on the brand and the project background
The first information to provide on a creative brief aredetails of the brand and the background information that led to the project. Summarize the mission of the brand in a few sentences (since it is a brief), and then go ahead to provide details on events that led to the initiation of the project.
These details are necessary as it demonstrates to your clients that you have a good understanding of their brand, their needs and what they hope to achieve through the project.
Also, it willbe helpful for the creativeteam, as they will get valuable information from this section that will help them deliver the project to the satisfaction of the client.
Mention the challenges and objectives
Most times, projects are initiated to solve a challenge, meet a need, etc. Ensure to mention the challenge or need your project hopes to solve. Provide details of how this project will resolve the challenge.
This will convince the client that you understand just how important this project is to them. It will also help the creative team understand what is expected of them.
In addition, state the goals of the project, as it is important. The challenges a project seeks to solve are often the objective of the project.However, in a situation where there is no obvious challenge, and the project is directed at adding value, it is important you state the objective of the project. It convinces the client that you understand what the project is all about and helps the creative team know just what they are expected to achieve.
If it is necessary, you could write out challenges and the objectives of the projectunderdifferent subheadings.
Describe your target audience
This refers to the persons your project or campaign will be directly covering. Before you begin a project or campaign, it is necessary to understand who your target audience is. This is important because the details available here will help you in your planning and implementation, to ensure that the project is effective.
In this section, you will be providing the following details about your target audience:
In addition, you will be providing details on what is really important to your audience (that is their needs), their pain points, etc.If this data is not readily available, itcan be gathered through proper research.
Learn from your competition
A popular quote says; keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Why? You do not want to lose sight of them and what they are doing to put you out of business, to dominate your niche, etc.
Researching the activities of your competition will offer insight into what you could do to stand out in your niche. You can learn from their mistakes, improve on their previously successful campaigns, etc.
To do this, identify the leaders in your industry, identify present or previous projects that may be similar to your present project, and then review them to identify valuable insights that could help you in developing your present creative brief.
Identify your distribution plans
The question to answer here is, when your project is done, how will your target audience know about it? Alternatively, how will you reach your target audience in the campaign? These are the questions to answer as you attempt to decide on your distribution plan.
As you prepare the list of your proposed distribution plan, ensure that these channels can effectively reach your target audience. For instance, if your target audience are teenagers within the age bracket of 15 – 19, a good place to start will be social media, digital platforms, etc. Billboards and other mainstream advert channels will not be effective for this age bracket.
In addition, write out the central message you wish to promote during your campaign. This central message should be writtenin a voice that resonates with your target audience. If they will prefer a formal tone, do well to write out this promotional message in a formal tone. If you did proper research on your audience earlier, you would be better prepared to answer these questions.
Use a Template
If it’s your first time writing a creative brief, a template might just be what you need to help you master the art of writing an impressive creative brief. Please find below a template you could customize for your needs:
[Inset Company or Client Logo at top]
For ___ years, ______ [Brand Name] has been serving customers in the ____________ [group/job field/geographical area] with ____________________ [product or service].
[Brand Name] has made achievements including __________,__________, and ___________. We have also launched marketing campaigns that have touched on ____________,________, and ____________. With the launch of _________ [project name] they hope to ___________.
With this project, the company aims to solve problems related to ____________________, while also expanding on ___________ and improving on _____________.
Our target audience is ____ [gender], in the age range of _ and _, and live areas like ____, _____, and ______. They enjoy _____, dislike ______, and might work in fields like _____, _____, and _____. They want more of ________ and their daily pain points include ________.
Their favorite products might include _______ and ______. They learn about these products through channels including ________, _________, and _______.
Our three biggest competitors [are/will be] ________, ________, and _______. These competitors offer _____, ______, and ______. We are ahead of them in _____ and ______, but we are behind when it comes to product offerings like __________ and _________.
We will promote the launch on platforms and channels that our demographic regularly engages with. These will include ________, ________, and _______.
We will also release content including _______, _______, and ________ to gain attention from our audience and inform them of the project.
Below are a few messages we will use:
Share the creative brief
Having completed the preparation of your creative brief, the next step is to share it with all eligible parties. This includes your client (if you are working for one), the creative team, etc.
As you share the creative brief, be open to answering questions about any aspect of the brief they may not understand. Also, be open to fresh ideas that may come from others, to improve the plan.
This will ensure that everyone understands the brief and are committed to it.
So there you go! With these steps, you should have no challenges writing your creative brief. To your success as you go-ahead to implement them!