There’s often a lack of understanding around the importance of creative briefs. You’ll sometimes find, particularly in agencies, that there’s a limited relationship between the people creating the product and the people who manage the marketing. Messages become skewed and unnecessary problems arise.
A clear and concise creative brief can be fundamental to avoiding these issues and the success of a campaign; more often than not, without a brief, your design team could experience a total lack of insight into the message being put across and the audience being spoken to, or lack knowledge of the things that have and haven’t worked well in past campaigns.
A poor brief can waste valuable time and money, which, when working in a fast-paced agency, is something you need to be avoiding wherever possible.
Developing an effective creative brief template might seem daunting, and to some people pointless at first, but once a brief has been perfected, it serves as the bedrock for a never-ending reward of successful campaigns over and over again.
What is a creative brief?
A creative brief is a document that ensures everyone has the same understanding of a campaign’s ultimate goals. It ensures all involved are on the same page about the brand in question, their competitors, their audiences, what their behaviours are, and most importantly, what the key message for the campaign is and how it’s going to be achieved.
Having knowledge of all this allows everyone involved to come together to deliver the best possible cohesion between marketing strategy and creative execution, and create something really impactful.
How to write a creative brief
A good place to start when constructing a creative brief is building a template. This template can be used as the starting point for all future briefs, making the process simple and easy by prompting the creator of the document to gather all necessary materials to ensure designers have all the things they need.
For example, is the designer equipped with all the correct and up-to-date brand guidelines, asset copy, and data they need to create your digital PR campaign assets? This will change depending on the type of campaign you’re running, especially if they’re designing for social media, so you should ensure that all required materials are attached alongside the brief.
Secondly, clear communication is key when constructing a creative brief. The brief need to get across the objectives of the campaign and what the end goal is, so you should include detail about each specific design asset. This doesn’t mean writing lengthy paragraphs of information copied and pasted from ‘brand guidelines’ or ‘tone of voice’ documents, though; bullet points covering the fundamental facts and insight will do just fine. It is called a brief after all.
Other things you might want to add to a creative brief template include:
- Ideas or images from previous campaigns that you think will really help to portray what you are trying to get across to the designers.
- Anything else that you think might help the designers take the information provided and come up with the best possible creative solution.
Creative brief examples
If you’re unsure how to construct your first brief, seeking inspiration from similar creative briefs can really help to get you going. So put in some time to see what other people are doing with similar campaigns.
Whether it’s the concept, the layout, the functionality, the styling, the colours, the icons, or the UX, you can use other creative brief examples to help you work out what to include in your own.
And if you like something, add it in via a link; “Here is a link to a cool campaign I have seen. I like *this*, *this*, and *this*, and I think something similar could work really well for our campaign”. This doesn’t mean you’re asking the designer to copy it colour by colour; it simply provides context to your way of thinking in a more visual manner. Websites such as Dribbble, Designspiration, and Awwwards can be a great starting point for visual research.
Another very simple-yet-effective way of getting ideas across is through sketches. These can be as basic as stickmen or scribbles, but, if you’re struggling to explain your visions, sketch it, scan it, annotate it, and attach it to your brief. All of these tasks are simple but extremely effective in guiding your designer.
The process of learning how to write a creative brief is also a great way of identifying the things that you may not know, pushing you to do more research to fill the gaps and create a better campaign.
Ultimately, a great brief will go a long way in aiding your creative processes again and again. To ensure you can confidently hand over a creative brief, always remember to ask yourself this:
- Do is it include everything your designer need to be able to go away and generate the vision that you have in mind?
- Does your designer understand what the key messages are, and do they know exactly who they should be creating for?
Answering yes to these questions is vital, and will help you to reap the rewards of an exceptional campaign.
If you’re interested in seeing some of our own successful creative campaigns, why not look through some of the client work we’ve done. And if you want more insight into the world of content marketing, digital PR, and SEO, check out what our experts have to say over on the connective3 blog.