Briefs are ubiquitous across the entire working world, we all use them. Every project we work on starts out as a brief, but what exactly does a document need to be considered a brief; more importantly, how do you make a compelling creative brief that translates to a successful result?
What is a Brief?
A brief is a document that outlines a project, its goals, challenges, target audience, and method of delivery. If successfully crafted, the brief should give all collaborators a clear understanding of the project and serve as the foundation to make sure any campaign or project is successful from start to finish.
Much of Wippli’s process revolves around the brief, as an end-to-end solution, creating the brief is one of the initial steps in this process. We know what makes the difference between a brief that inspires your team and one that falls flat, this blog is going to highlight the dos and don’ts of writing a compelling creative brief.
Why Do You Need a Creative Brief?
A brief is the first impression people will have of a project, so making a compelling one that excites your team can be the difference between a mediocre and amazing project. The biggest challenge to writing a strong brief is translating the big ideas of an entire project into an easily digestible document that gives readers a clear idea of the project and its goals, in just a few pages.
Your creative brief isn’t just a document, it’s a tool that facilitates clear and thorough communication from the beginning of the design process. A clear brief can prevent last-minute project changes, misunderstandings, and conflicting objectives—all of which will cost your team valuable time and money.
Be clear in your brief. The less ambiguity, the less red tape you’ll deal with. Ambiguous goals are difficult to achieve. The briefing process is as much about anticipating obstacles as understanding and aligning objectives. Starting with a detailed and well-crafted brief will result in a higher quality project. When everyone’s perceptions and expectations are made clear, it’s easier for the team to hit their mark, remain invested, motivated, and proud of the outcome.
The secret to making your next creative project a success—whether you need a new logo, website, video, marketing campaign, or eBook—starts with a thorough and well-thought-out creative brief.
Who Creates the Brief?
There’s no single correct answer as to who is charged with creating the brief. Frankly, it should go to the person with the most knowledge of the project and the best ability for a creative brief; whether it is the marketing team, the account manager, or using an agency. It may make sense for your agency to include the creative director in this process as well to make sure everyone has a sound understanding of the project requirements.
Simply put, the brief is an important step of any project so it should be in the hands of trusted people with a deep understanding of the work at hand. Many great briefs are a collaborative effort, so don’t shy away from getting input from a lot of people.
Brief Vs Work Specification
If you’re new to the digital workplace, it’s important to understand the difference between a project brief and a work specification document.
The main difference is in scope. A project brief describes the high-level aspects of a project and does not spend much time in the nitty-gritty. It will give a general idea about the whole body of work and gives the audience a digestible preview of an upcoming project.
A detailed specification, on the other hand, describes the work in detail and is typically hyper-focused on one aspect of the work being done.
How To Brief
Highlight Your Brand and Mission
Let’s go over the steps to writing a captivating brief and the many areas that should be covered.
An effective brief should start with information about the brand and the project’s goals and mission. Whoever reads your creative brief should get all they need to know about your brand. This knowledge is crucial so that your project can be completed in complete alignment with your company’s vision and identity — so don’t shy away from giving as much context as possible.
Avoid being vague or throwing around too many disconnected ideas. Collect the most important information that can help your staff complete your project successfully while keeping it true to your brand’s history. Your brand’s history must be respected whenever you come up with a new project. Remember that the creative brief is a document, and as such, it must act as a reference for achieving your goals.
Lay Out Clear Objectives
This is the section of your brief where you need to be mostly technical and specific. In this section, you will get into the meat and potatoes of the brief by giving detailed explanations of how you plan to complete the project, address the anticipated challenges, and the objectives of the engagement.
Identify the Audience
You can’t get a project off the ground—much less convince others of its viability—without first identifying your target audience. You probably already have some idea of the customers you’re trying to reach, but let’s go over some simple tips for more acutely describing who can benefit from your product or project.
When you dig a little deeper into your audience's interests, lifestyle habits and aspirations, you will have a strong jumping-off point to outline how you will market your product. For example, will it solve a problem, or does your target audience look at it more like a fun product?
Make a Distribution Plan
When your brief is ready to be circulated you’ll need to give careful consideration to the channels you’ll use for distribution. It might seem like an inconsequential piece of the puzzle, but in reality, the medium you choose can have a big impact on the reception of the project. The most important factor in making this decision is your audience, where are they? Traditional media or new media? Instagram? Facebook? Twitter? Perhaps all of the above, but don’t waste time and money on channels of communication that your audience isn’t using!
Share the Brief Internally
Want to get some feedback on your brief? Or share it with suppliers so they are in the loop? You could always use the tried and true channels such as email or slack—or as we mentioned earlier—Wippli is made for briefs!
Not only does Wippli use smart technology to help you create the brief, it also provides you with a platform to exchange briefs, files, approvals, change requests, and allows for easy management of the entire project workflow on a single platform.
Brilliant Briefs Make Brilliant Projects
A well thought out creative brief is imperative no matter the scale of the project. From quick turnarounds to long-term projects, a detailed creative brief that captivates its audience is the keystone document from which all progress is made, so make it compelling and make it brief.
If you’re looking to take your briefs to the next level, start the next one with Wippli and see what we mean, we’ll equip you with all the tools necessary to craft a brief that inspires and excites.