What Is A Creative Brief?

Whether you are embarking on a new advertising campaign, or pitching a new project to a company, a creative brief is an integral part of the process. 

What Is A Creative Brief

But what exactly is a creative brief, and how are they used in business? 

Creative Briefs: The Facts

When discussing creative briefs, there are certain things that are important to know. 

What Are They? 

A creative brief is a document used by creative professionals (as well as advertising agencies) to convey certain promises or ‘deliverables’ – such as visual design, copy, advertising, and proposed web presence. 

Who Are They For? 

Creative briefs are usually created by the ‘requestor’ – such as a marketing member who has the proposed idea – and then presented to the rest of the development team, or indeed their superiors who are required to clear and accept such projects. 

While this usually requires a project manager or someone of a similar level, the requirement can sometimes be fulfilled by the creative director, who will have to approve the proposed project before it can move forward. 

What Do Briefs Look Like? 

While the specifics can differ from company to company, both in terms of visual layout and the components within, by and large the format includes the following things: 

  • Background – the background of the project, and why you want to do it. 
  • Target audience – what are their current thoughts about this project? 
  • Intended user/consumer profile – what kind of person are they? 
  • Key insight – what does the market say about the company and their services? 
  • Objectives – what will be accomplished? What will success look like? 
  • Single message – what one thing should the audience know? 
  • Desired customer behavior – trials, purchases, recommendations? 
  • Tone of voice – serious, lighthearted, humorous? What is the right tone? 
  • Mandatories – client logo, address, phone number etc. 
  • Deliverables – what method will be used to convey this message to the audience?
  • Timeline – how soon is it needed, and when will it be completed? 
  • Budget – how much is required for this to happen, and any special requirements?
  • Approvals – whose approval is required to make it happen? 

Things To Remember

The main things to remember are that creative briefs need to be directed, clear, and inspirational enough to convince your colleagues and superiors of the project’s validity. 

Directional elements also tend to refer to target market, objectives, and message, while inspirational elements also refer to the tone of voice, and the overall feeling of the finished brief. 

Why Should Briefs Be Used? 

As hinted to above, there are many benefits of delivering a creative brief about a proposed project. 

Demonstrating Understanding

If the brief has been commissioned for a specific client, then a good creative brief highlights that the person or agency has understood the assignment, and that they are on the same page going forward. 

It can also highlight any areas that need to be improved, and whether the agency is a good fit for the client, or whether they might need to take their project somewhere else. 

Client Buy-In

As far as the agency or company is concerned, delivering a good creative brief can be a good way of securing a client’s business before the finished product or project is even completed. 

This can deliver them early profit, continued business, and a degree of security – particularly if a contract has been signed by the client which promises their business to the company. 

Encouraging Projects

They are also pivotal for kicking off internal marketing projects within a company.

Creative briefs can be a good way of helping a project gather traction, either through impressing a superior, or by attaining the support of colleagues within your department. 

Providing A Plan

A creative brief is also a good plan, which lays out what the company can expect, what the company needs to do, and the payoff they are all aiming for. 

What Is A Creative Brief (1)

This can be a good way of assigning jobs and tasks, as you can move forward with everyone’s skills matched to the things that need to be done. 

Ultimately, this is a good way of providing everyone involved with a clear and concise direction for what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and when it needs to be done by. 

Who Is Responsible For The Brief? 

The person responsible for the brief depends entirely on what the company does, and the kind of project being proposed. 

Agency Settings

In an agency, a client will come to the company with an idea.

He will then present this idea to the account manager, who will then create a more detailed creative brief, which will then be presented to the creative director, and used for the internal business surrounding the project. 

This will be updated every time the client makes changes, and depending on the projectl, should show a clear trajectory of growth and development. 

In House Settings

For an internal project, this is usually proposed by a member of the creative marketing team, who are then responsible for the creation of the creative brief, and the delivery of the brief to colleagues and any required superiors. 

This is just like a marketing campaign, and as such needs to be shared and discussed with everyone who will be involved, and who has an important stake in things as they progress forward. 

This could be stakeholders in an idea, or shareholders in a small company.

Basically anyone who should know, needs to know, and it is the business of the proposer to ensure these people are kept informed through all parts of the project’s development, regardless of the stage. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about creative briefs and their place within the business world. 

As you can see, their importance cannot be overstated, and without them many projects would probably never get off the ground – at least within the professional world.

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