The creative brief: one document to rule them all

Creative brief

It might not be the “one ring” in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” but this one document is very powerful and is used for the good of the client and agency.

For a client, the creative brief defines the information about the project and includes the project goals, strategy and characteristics. It also helps build consensus by giving the stakeholders an opportunity to provide input.

For the agency, the creative brief provides the background and foundation for design. It helps to reveal the truth while giving insight to the client’s intentions while becoming the justification for the designs presented and the criteria for evaluation.

But there is a catch. One size does not fit all; there is no such thing as a single “perfect brief.” Flexibility is important when preparing the proper brief. You need to be flexible when selecting the questions appropriate to the type of project you are thinking about. Is the project direct response or brand awareness? Is this an extension of a current campaign or brand new creative? And so on. If nothing else, the brief should inspire the author to stop and think about the project more intensely, which can lead to a change in direction or more specific goals not thought of previously.

For those who may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the prospect of filling out a creative brief, our creative team here at Infinity Direct provided some general guidelines to help direct your next creative project. Remember, all projects are unique, but filling out a proper brief will benefit both the client and the agency.

Here are five general questions to keep in mind as you plan your next creative project:

What is it?

What service, product or idea are we selling, and how will the message be disseminated?

Describe the look, the feel, the colors, the channels of communication. This is an opportunity to provide an overall picture of the project, campaign or brand being promoted.

Who is the audience?

Who we are selling to is just as important as what we are selling. Along with a key demographic profile, how would you describe the typical member of the audience? How do they perceive your brand or product? Any additional insights into their beliefs can be beneficial.

Why should people buy?

What is in it for the audience? What are the reasons for them to buy? It could be a logical or emotional appeal. Think about the top three reasons someone should buy or try what you are selling.

What are the reasons people don’t buy?

What reservations, worries or concerns do prospects have that may inhibit purchase? If there are challenges such as price, performance or perceived value, we can address those concerns to help the audience overcome any apprehension.

What is the call to action?

Finally, what is the desired action of the audience? Without an impactful and clear call to action, your overall project will struggle. Whether you are selling a physical product, a service or trying to persuade an audience to take any multitude of actionable steps, the goal is for the audience to take action. Make it easy for them!

Here is a simple creative brief template that can help guide your next project

briefcreativecreative designdesignprintm direct marketing

Scott Kennedy • January 5, 2017


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