Expert advice on creative brief writing: making the most of your agency.
Dec 15, 2023
Working with a creative firm requires you to provide a good brief from the start, unless you like unpleasant surprises. As the receiver of many a creative brief and as a designer, I can attest to the fact that without a clear direction to follow, I am prone to go off on many creative tangents.
Designers, like me, are creative individuals. We tend to think and make judgements in a less strict and logical way than left-sided thinkers because we utilise more of the right side of our brains. Because creative companies like Postjer Agency are brimming with right-brained thinkers, we often perceive, do, and act on emotion rather than logic. This might imply that when confronting a creative issue, we can supply uncontrolled creativity and a plethora of ideas, the majority of which will be based on what we emotionally connect with and appreciate. That's fine if we're creating jobs for ourselves. But not if we're creating work for your company. That is why presenting a detailed creative brief with defined aims and objectives is always a good idea.
Consider your creative brief to be a road map, a set of instructions that will lead the creatives to their objective. The blueprint analogy works because it leaves opportunity for innovation - how often have you disregarded the sat nav to choose a better path, for example? The stated path is flexible and may be altered if it takes us to the goal faster or in better form. Setting specific goals and a clear destination helps to keep the team on track and moving forward.
Give an overview of the situation and specify the target or aim.
First, provide an outline of the project or difficulty in a few phrases. Keep in mind that this is a short, so keep it that way. Tell us what you want to do, what you want to achieve at the conclusion of the project, and where you want to go.
Consider this a lift pitch: you just have a couple of floors to provide the important information before the person you're speaking with gets off. Anyone reading this short paragraph should be able to comprehend the purpose of this brief.
What are the primary deliverables?
Now you must outline, in bullet points, what you expect the agency to provide. A helpful advice here is to utilise a traffic light system to distinguish which items are really necessary, which are pleasant to have, and which aren't as crucial. This may help the agency select what's essential and make better use of their studio time.
Establish a timeline and major goals - but be realistic!
Next, determine your expected arrival time to the place you've just left for. Working backwards, consider the important milestones of your project or problem. Do you wish to get frequent updates? What do you want to see by a given date? Would you want to have frequent team feedback sessions? How much involvement do you want in the creative process?
Have you previously established brand guidelines?
Provide your brand guidelines here if you have any. Contact us if you don't have any brand standards.
What is the purpose of this, and who is it for?
Tell us about your target market, clients, and target audience. Who exactly are they? What drives them? What brands do they support?
Consider why you're creating this brief and what you hope your audience's reaction will be. What do you hope your target audience will do as a consequence of this project?
Put some flesh on the bones.
So far, we've mostly stuck to bullet points and short words, but now is the time to dive into the weeds a bit more.
You now need to offer some creative direction to the agency and describe what you're looking for for each of the deliverables you've set.
Consider the following:
What precisely do you want delivered - consider carefully what assets or collateral you'll require?
How should it appear? Do you have a preferred fashion style?
Share links to examples you've seen that you enjoy and talk about what you appreciate about them.
Is your company's brand professional or casual? Premium and prestigious or approachable and affordable? What is your brand's tone of voice?
What should we avoid at all costs? Are there any colours, typefaces, or styles that the team despises?
Is there anything else we should keep in mind?
These are only a few topics to think about, so keep in mind that your brief should be as specific as possible. Someone who is unfamiliar with your brand should be able to pick it up and understand precisely what this effort is attempting to accomplish.
How much money do you want to spend?
Oh, the embarrassing money situation. I'd be able to retire comfortably if I had a pound for every brief or creative challenge we've gotten that didn't include a budget. It is critical that you establish a realistic budget for your brief. It assists the agency in determining how to get you the most bang for your buck and will aid in the refinement of the brief to ensure the most crucial aspects are addressed.