creative brief

In this blog post, I will demystify the “Creative Brief.” 

Today, you will learn the definition of a creative brief, its relevance, how to create it, and more. 

To complete the project successfully, you have to identify the objective and strategy to ensure all stakeholders are on the same page from the beginning. The creative brief helps you achieve this goal. 

This is an important document that binds your stakeholders together and gives you the support you need.

Let’s discuss it in more detail.

The Creative Brief

A creative brief is a written document that guides and inspires project contributors. It provides all details: its history, objectives, scope, budget, timelines, expected outcomes, and much more. 

It is a one-stop spot for all your project’s dynamics. 

The creative brief ensures that stakeholders are well informed about the project, and its requirements and expectations.  

That’s the basic definition, but you need more insight. 

A creative brief helps a team to know where to start and end a project. This document is inter-team-based and is a collaboration between many departments. You can share it with clients and stakeholders to understand the project fully. 

It is a dynamic document and is updated throughout the project lifecycle. 

The Characteristics of a Creative Brief

A creative brief depends on the project and its objectives, but they have a few things in common.

Here are ten essential characteristics of a creative brief. 

#1. It Gives a Contextual Background

A creative brief gives justification for the project.

It answers the following:

  • Why is the project important? 
  • What challenges are met? 
  • What opportunities are given?

A creative brief doesn’t have to include every nitty-gritty detail but it should highlight the critical and relevant information. 

#2. It Identifies the Target Audience

The creative brief shows whose needs the project will address. Understanding the consumer is the best way to develop your deliverable.

For example, if you create a product, you need to know its target customers: their needs, preferences, interests, and income levels. If they are satisfied, the project is successful. 

#3. It Provides the Expected Deliverables

Clients know their requirements. The role of the project manager is to satisfy stakeholders. Therefore, you must collect detailed requirements and expectations. 

If a project is completed without considering the stakeholders’ requirements, they may reject it, regardless of how well the creative team performed. All contributors must focus on stakeholder requirements and management to ensure the project’s success.

#4. It Provides the Communication Path and the Messaging

The creative brief identifies the critical information to be shared with the target audience. It answers the following questions:

  • What should be communicated with clients? 
  • What will our communication invoke from our clients?

Communication is critical to the client’s perception of your product. Therefore, you should have a stakeholder communication plan and a stakeholder’s management strategy.

#5. It Communicates the Brand and the Campaign

The creative brief provides the project’s particulars, like product specifications and guidelines that can be used in marketing. 

Examples of the particulars include color, size, and tone. Marketers use this section to find the information to attract customer attention. 

#6. A Creative Brief Provides the Essence of the Project

It describes the primary mandate and the objective. It unifies the purpose and clarifies the target. Essentially, a project’s objective is to meet the client’s needs and benefit realization.

#7. Stakeholders and Decision-Makers

The creative brief provides the hierarchical structure of the organization and the project. It lists decision-makers and key stakeholders and shows who can approve transactions. This document further defines roles and responsibilities and sets limits, preventing conflict and enabling seamless workflow.

#8. Start, End, and Milestone Dates.

A creative brief can tell when the project is expected to start and end and the due dates for key milestones. These details help avoid unnecessary delays and ensure launch dates. 

#9. Ways and Means of Promotion

Creative briefs provide the best venue to promote the product to the targeted audience. It also determines designs, styles, and the scale of promotion. 

#10. Provides the Budget and Identifies Competitors

It reviews the competitive landscape and market trends to determine how to stay relevant. This document makes a comparison with competitors’ products. And it provides the project budget from the beginning, which is based on realistic estimations.

A creative brief gives a detailed account of a project. With this document, you can picture the entire spectrum. 

Importance of Creative Briefs

You can now see that a creative brief articulates a vision, provides expectations, and identifies the target audience. Still, there are more reasons why you will need it. 

#1. A Creative Brief Saves Time and Cost

Team members might work on many projects in a highly competitive business environment; their time needs to be managed well. A creative brief gives project timelines, sets priorities, and lets stakeholders track the project progress. It clarifies tasks and responsibilities, reduces conflict, and saves time and cost. It helps avoid a last-minute rush to make changes. 

Finally, it makes approvals faster. The broad view, the specificity, and the structured processes shorten the approval times. 

#2. Accountability, Creativity, and Communication

The creative brief promotes accountability, creativity, and effective communication. A highly effective team is collaborative and diversely talented. Since it provides a clear outline of what is expected, it allows for innovation. 

Lastly, it eases communication between the client, the project management team, and other stakeholders. 

#3. A Creative Brief Improves the Quality of Product

In addition to accountability, creativity, and communication, this document increases the quality of the final product. A well-crafted and executed creative brief makes contributors motivated, expectations more explicit, and helps hit targets. 

It reduces the likelihood of error and makes participants proud of their work, which leads to a high quality of the outcome. 

#4. A Creative Brief is a Reusable Document

While it guarantees a high-quality product in the present, a creative brief is valuable after the project. It can be referenced or used as a template in the future. This document is now an organizational asset.

The Process of Writing a Creative Brief

This requires information from a multi-discipline team. 

For example, an innovative team will express their views, the marketing staff will gather customer and competitor information, and accountants will provide financial information. A collaboration of different ideas makes up a creative brief. 

Apart from identifying aims, objectives, audience, and context, you have to write up your company’s business profile, add technical needs, and identify potential challenges and risks. It’s necessary to provide your details so clients know who to contact. 

For example, the company purpose, vision, and structure, which shape company goals—also, identifying the technical requirements of the project pinpoint appropriate professionals for the roles. 

Lastly, you cannot find a solution until you assess the problem. Therefore, it’s best to identify project issues and mitigate risks. 

Best Practices in Writing a Creative Brief

#1. Thorough Yet Concise

A creative brief contains key information. Write it tactically short yet concisely. A long creative brief will lose focus and kill the key purpose.

#2. Use Measurable Dimensions to Set Expectations

You cannot control the project’s progress if you can measure it accurately. Firm figures make it easier to see how far you are from the expected outcome measure. 

#3. Use the Right Voice and Tone

Your audience should be able to identify your brand’s tone from your creative brief. They should feel friendliness, care, and professionalism in creative brief writing. A voice in a creative brief communicates a lot and can hinder communication if not prepared well. 

#4. Incorporate Your Team’s Input

Your team will feel recognized and involved in the process, that they have ownership of the document. Don’t underestimate their contributions. Someone else may have excellent ideas you cannot imagine. 

Conclusion

A creative brief is a document that guides and inspires project contributors, saves time and money, promotes accountability, creativity, communication, and increases the quality of the final product. Writing it is the first step in any project. 

It details the scope, requirements, and expectations of a project. 

Here is where this post on creative brief ends. Please share your experience with it through the comments section.