In brief, be creative.
When developing effective creative content, a properly crafted creative brief is paramount in developing a compelling concept that realizes returns.
A creative brief is, essentially, a written document that describes the desired business objectives and results a given communication or campaign, should aim to fulfill, yet not dictate the creative ideas by which to achieve them.
Below are fifteen basic, yet key, components that inform a strong creative brief. Utilizing these points of discovery when crafting a brief can greatly enhance outcomes in terms of connecting your consumer with your brand and your communication goals.
1. Project Background
Is there any pertinent history or context that will help in understanding the assignment?
2. Project Description
What have we been asked to create?
What marketing or business objective are we trying to achieve?
What’s the consumer problem we’re trying to solve?
Describe a representative member of our target audience(s).
- Who are they? Paint a picture of who this consumer is and what their needs and wants are.
- Describe how the use of the brand should fit into their lives?
If not covered elsewhere in the brief, be sure to answer two important questions about the target audience:
- What do they think and/or feel about the brand now?
- What do we need them to think and/or feel about the brand after exposure to the communications?
4. The Competition
What is influencing the consumer to think or feel differently than we want them to?
Always develop the creative with an understanding of competitive activity and how that might point us toward – or away from – certain directions.
A good way to convey this information is showing competitive examples.
What incentive are we providing to motivate the desired action?
If there are different offers for different audiences in the program – show them.
6. Key Message
What is the single most important message the consumer should take away from our communication? Be brief.
7. Call To Action
What do we want the audience to do?
Provide as many details as possible: the 800 #, URL, PURL, retail location, etc.
8. Support Points
In order of importance, list the points that back up the overall key message.
What are the most compelling reasons for the consumer to believe the brand can actually deliver on the benefit it’s promising?
9. Segmentation & Versioning
Address matrices that incorporate variables including audience, product, channel, and offer. A chart is often helpful.
10. Value Added Thinking
Provide an insight or suggestion (the more “out of the box” the better) that you think could help make the work more innovative or effective.
11. Brand Considerations
Include a summary of the brand elements that should be a constant in all marketing communication. These include the brand positioning, the value proposition, brand personality and the desired tone and manner.
This is all the boring but important stuff – and not to be confused with support points.
It’s things like the graphic standards, logos and legal disclaimers.
Whenever possible, include two types of budget information:
Production Budget – How much have we budgeted to produce the work?
Manpower Budget – How many hours are budgeted for the creative team?
14. Reference Materials
Any materials that will help understanding the project better.
And, of course, the all important timelines and milestones that align events, objectives, and workflow streams
Go forth and be brief.
The 360º view provided by a carefully written, clear and concise brief becomes the blueprint and foundation by which creative innovation is amplified. When you tightly knit client goals to a talented creative team’s vision, you can create emotion that drives behavior, enhances customer experience, and prepares the way for material increase in results.