A creative brief is a document that helps you define your project and communicate its purpose clearly to clients, key stakeholders, and team members. It’s also a great way to get buy-in from everyone involved in the project.
Writing a creative brief is a lot harder than it sounds. Most creatives will tell you that writing a creative brief is the hardest part of the job. But with the right approach, you can write a creative brief that gets results in 2022.
I’ve written a complete guide on how to write a creative brief that works. This guide includes everything you need to know to create a winning creative brief. I’ll walk you step-by-step through the process of creating a winning creative brief.
- According to time management expert Brian Tracy, planning out your work ahead of doing it can save an estimated 25% of the time you’d spend on it.
- According to the Project Management Institute, approximately 37% of project failures are the result of a lack of “clearly defined objectives and milestones to measure progress.”
What is a Creative Brief?
A creative brief is a document that helps you define the purpose of your project and provides guidelines for developing ideas. It’s usually used during the ideation phase, which is a valuable tool for brainstorming and planning.
Clients typically write creative briefs who want to work with designers, illustrators, or other creatives. The goal is to provide clear direction to the creative team so that everyone knows exactly what they’re working towards.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when creating your creative brief:
• What problem am I trying to solve?
• How does my design solution fit into the overall strategy?
• Who is my ideal customer?
• What kind of experience do I want to create?
• What is the best way to communicate my message?
• What visual elements would be most effective?
• Is there anything else I should consider?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin drafting your creative brief. Start by defining the problem that you’re trying to solve. Then, describe the type of person who will benefit from your design solution.
Next, outline the goals of your project and explain how your design solution fits into the bigger picture. Finally, write down the specific details of your design idea.
After you’ve finished your creative brief, share it with your client. Ask them if they have any feedback or suggestions for improving it. Once you’ve agreed on the final version, you can move forward with the project.
Why Do You Need a Creative Brief?
A creative brief is a document that helps you define your project goals and objectives. It provides a clear outline of what you want to achieve, who you’re working with, and what resources you need to complete the project.
In addition to providing a framework for your project, a creative brief also serves as a guide for your team members. It ensures that everyone involved understands what needs to happen and what they need to deliver.
It’s essential to create a creative brief early on in the design process to avoid costly mistakes later. For example, if you haven’t defined your project goals and objectives, you could end up spending hours designing something that doesn’t meet your client’s expectations.
Who Creates the Creative Brief?
Many businesses rely heavily on digital marketing to grow their business in today’s world. One of the most effective ways to market your company online is through creative briefs.
These brief documents outline everything from the type of content you’d like to create to the design elements you’d like to include.
While a team of professionals typically creates these briefs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re written by someone who has experience making them.
If you ask anyone who creates creative briefs, they’ll tell you that they’re usually written by someone who has little to no experience doing so.
It means that you could end up wasting a lot of time trying to write a creative brief yourself. Instead, consider hiring a professional writer to create one for you. The benefits of having a creative brief written by a professional outweigh the costs involved in paying for one.
Who is the Creative Brief Made for?
It’s no secret that creative briefs are vital for the design process. But who exactly is the brief designed for? Is it meant to be used by everyone involved in the project, from designers to developers to marketers? Or is it just a tool the client uses to communicate their needs to the team?
In many cases, clients will give the brief to the designer to create a visual representation of their ideas. However, if the brief is too vague or general, it could confuse the team members.
In these situations, it’s best to ask questions during the briefing to clarify expectations and avoid any potential misunderstandings later on.
Sometimes, clients will hand off the brief to the developer to implement into code. It’s important to remember that the brief is just a starting point; it doesn’t necessarily mean that the final product will look like the brief.
Developers should always work closely with the client to ensure that the result matches the brief.
Other times, the brief might be handed off to the marketer to develop a strategy for promoting the product. The key here is to ensure that the brief includes everything the marketer needs to succeed.
For example, if the brief calls for a logo, the marketer must consist of a brand identity system.
The last scenario is where the brief is given to the entire team. In this case, it’s essential to have clear communication between the different departments.
Ensure that everyone knows each other’s responsibilities and what they expect to receive from the others.
The Elements of an Effective Creative Brief
If you’re a creative agency, your clients are likely looking for more than just the usual creative briefs.
They want to know how you will help them achieve their business objectives and goals. It is why we’ve put together a list of the top five things every creative brief should contain.
1) A Statement of Purpose
Before you start writing anything, it’s essential to understand why you’re working together. What problem does the client face? What do they need to be solved? Why is this project important to them? These answers can help guide your creative thinking and ultimately determine which direction you take when creating the brief.
2) An Outline
Your outline should break down the project into manageable chunks. You’ll use this as a reference throughout the project so that you don’t get lost along the way.
Keywords are words or phrases that describe the project. Think about the keywords that would help people find your content online. If you were trying to promote a new restaurant, you’d probably search for “restaurant” and “dinner.”
4) Project Goals
This section helps you define what success looks like for the project. Are there specific metrics that you need to reach? Do you need to increase sales? Reduce costs? Create awareness? Whatever the goal, it’s essential to state it up front clearly.
It is one of the most important sections of the brief because it tells you exactly what the client expects to spend on the project. Don’t forget to add additional fees such as retainer fees, milestone payments, etc.
Creative Brief Outline
It is where you’ll start brainstorming ideas. We’ll create a creative brief that outlines your project goals, budget, timeline, and other details.
You’ll then begin creating concepts based on the ideas outlined in the creative brief. These concepts will include sketches, mood boards, storyboards, and wireframes.
Your company background is a crucial part of your creative brief outline. It helps to explain who you are and what you do, and it gives potential clients a clear idea of what to expect from your work.
It’s important to include details about your business history, including where you were founded, how long you’ve been in business, and other vital facts. Include these details in your creative brief and a link to your website.
Also, make sure to mention any awards or accolades you’ve received. These achievements give potential clients confidence that you’re capable of creating excellent work.
Your project objective is the primary goal of your project. It’s usually included in your brief, but if it’s missing, here’s where you can add it.
It’s essential to include this information in your brief because it helps you understand exactly what you’re working towards. For example, if you’re creating a logo design, your objective might be to create a logo representing your brand.
It is especially useful when working with clients who aren’t familiar with your industry. It gives them a clear idea of what they’re paying for and allows them to ask questions along the way.
Your creative brief outline should include details about who you’re targeting, where they are located, and what type of content you plan to create. It’s also important to consider the tone of voice you’ll use when communicating with these individuals.
For example, if you’re creating a video for a company, you might choose to speak in a friendly manner while addressing the employees directly.
It’s also helpful to understand the types of content that your audience prefers. Are they interested in videos, infographics, articles, or other formats? Knowing this information will help you decide what kind of content you should create.
In addition to knowing your audience, it’s also essential to know yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? How much time do you spend online each day? These questions can help you determine what kind of content you’d enjoy creating most.
Finally, it’s important to remember that no two audiences are alike. Each person has different needs, preferences, and expectations. Make sure that you tailor your creative brief to address these factors.
One of the most common mistakes that businesses make is underestimating the competition. Many companies are competing against each other for customers. It’s easy to assume that your business has no competition, but that’s rarely true.
To determine whether or not you have competition, you’ll need to analyze your market.
What products or services does your potential customer base need? How much money are they willing to spend? Are they loyal to certain brands? These answers will give you insight into where you stand in relation to your competitors.
After you’ve determined who your competitors are, it’s time to figure out what they’re doing. Who are they targeting? Where do they advertise? What kind of content do they share? Once you understand these details, you’ll be able to create a strategy that helps you compete with them.
It’s also important to consider your strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you’re a local business, you might want to focus on creating unique content that appeals to locals.
Or, if you’re a national brand, you could try to appeal to international audiences. Whatever your niche, make sure that you’re focusing on areas in which you excel. That way, you can build a strong reputation and attract more customers.
Your creative brief outlines the key message you want to communicate through your design. It includes everything from the typeface used to the colors chosen.
The purpose of the creative brief is to provide direction for the project team so that everyone knows exactly what they’re working towards.
In addition to providing direction, the creative brief also serves as a reference point for the project team. For example, the client might ask for a specific font, color scheme, or style when creating a logo.
Having a clear idea of what the client wants helps the team create a cohesive final product.
To write a successful creative brief, you need to understand the client’s needs and goals. Start by asking yourself questions like these: What does the client want to achieve?
What kind of visual language would best represent the company? How will the design contribute to the overall brand identity?
Once you have answers to these questions, you can begin drafting your creative brief. Write down your thoughts and ideas in bullet points or short paragraphs. Include examples of previous work if possible.
Once you have a draft ready, share it with the client to get feedback. Make sure to include notes about revisions and changes along the way.
After receiving feedback, revise your creative brief until both parties are satisfied. Then, send it off to the project team for review.
Key Consumer Benefit
It’s easy to forget that consumers aren’t always interested in the same thing that businesses are. When you’re creating a creative brief, it’s important to remember that your clients might not care about the same things that you do.
It’s essential to understand what your clients are thinking about when they’re trying to decide whether or not to buy from you.
For example, if you’re working on a marketing campaign promoting a new restaurant, you might focus on the food and service. But if your client wants to sell a car, they might be more concerned with the features and benefits of the vehicle.
To do this, ask yourself questions like these: What does the consumer want? Why would they choose us over our competition? How can we provide value to them? These questions will help you create a clear vision for your project.
Call to Action
One of the most common mistakes that businesses make is failing to include a clear call to action in their creative briefs.
Without a CTA, clients will struggle to understand what they should expect from the project, and they won’t feel motivated to act.
Include a CTA in every piece of copy that you write. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating a sales letter, a landing page, or a web banner—every single element needs to contain a clear call to action.
Before you begin creating your creative brief, you need to decide who you’re going to share it with. It’s best to choose someone who has experience working within your industry and knows your brand inside and out.
Once you’ve created your creative brief, you’ll need to distribute it to everyone involved in the project.
It includes anyone who might be interested in helping you execute the idea, including graphic designers, photographers, and copywriters. This person will be able to give you feedback on your ideas and help you create a document that’s tailored to your business goals.
After you’ve distributed your creative brief, you can move on to the project’s next stage.
How to Write a Creative Brief
Decide on a name for the project
It’s easy to get caught up in brainstorming ideas for your creative brief. But if you spend too much time thinking about names, you might miss the chance to focus on other aspects of the project.
Instead, try to narrow down your options based on a few key criteria. For example, you could ask yourself questions like these:
• What kind of style would best fit the brand?
• How does the name sound?
• Does it include a keyword?
• Is it short enough to remember?
After narrowing down your options, choose the one that feels most appropriate for your project.
Write about the brand and summarize the project’s background
Writing a creative brief is a crucial part of the design process. It helps define the project’s scope, set expectations, and outline the deliverables.
In addition to outlining the project’s goals, it’s also helpful to write about the brand and summarize its history. It gives the client a better idea of who they’re working with and what they can expect from the final result.
It’s also essential to include a timeline in your creative brief. The timeline should be detailed enough to give the client a clear picture of when they can expect to see the work. It lets clients know when they can expect to receive the finished product.
Highlight the project objective
One of the most common mistakes that creative briefs make is focusing too much on the client’s needs instead of the project objectives. It’s easy to fall into this trap if you haven’t done your research beforehand.
Before starting work on a creative brief, it’s important to understand precisely what the client wants from the project. What do they hope to achieve? How will the final piece look?
And what type of message does the client want to convey? Once you know these answers, you can write a brief that focuses on the project objectives.
It’s also important to remember that clients aren’t always right. Sometimes they just want to hear what they want to hear. Don’t let them dictate your ideas; instead, focus on providing solutions that fit within their budget and meet their expectations.
Create a list of potential resources
Once you have an understanding of the project objectives, it’s time to start researching potential resources. You can use online databases or search through directories to find people specializing in certain areas.
For example, if you need help creating the visual design, you may want to hire a graphic designer for your company’s internal team or outsource it to an external agency.
Describe the target audience
To write a creative brief, you must first understand your target audience. What does your ideal customer look like? How much money do they spend online? What kind of products or services do they buy?
Once you know these answers, you can begin to create a clear picture of who your customers are and what they want from your brand.
Next, describe the problem you’re trying to solve. Why would someone choose your company over another? What problems could they face if they didn’t choose you? Make sure to include the benefits that your product or service provides.
After you’ve described your target audience and the problem you’re solving, you can move on to describing your brand personality. Think about who you are and how you communicate with others. Is your brand friendly?
Does it offer helpful tips or tricks? Do you speak plainly, or are you more subtle? These questions will help you develop a unique voice that sets you apart from other brands.
Finally, describe the goals you hope to achieve through your project. What do you want to accomplish? How will you measure success? Are there any risks involved? It’s essential to consider these factors when creating your creative brief.
Interpret the competitive landscape
It’s essential to understand your competition and what they’re doing. It helps you create a strategy that works for your business and gives you an edge over the competition.
To learn more about your competition, you can look at their websites, social media profiles, and other online sources. Once you’ve gathered this data, you can interpret it to determine what kind of strategy would work best for your company.
Next, you’ll want to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. What does your brand stand for? How has it evolved over time? What are its core values? These answers will help you develop a unique selling proposition (USP).
The USP is essentially your brand’s personality and voice. It sets you apart from the competition and allows you to stand out among your peers.
After you’ve determined your USP, you’ll want to consider your industry. What are the most popular products or services in your niche? What are the most common problems that customers face? How can you solve these issues?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to write a creative brief that outlines everything you plan to include in your creative campaign.
It includes the type of messaging you’ll use, the tone of your copy, and the images you’ll use to represent your brand.
The next step is to decide whether you want to hire a writer or handle the project yourself. If you choose to go with a freelance writer, make sure that you have clear guidelines about what you want.
Be specific about what you want to achieve and what you expect from the writer. Also, give them some examples of similar projects you’ve worked on in the past.
This information will allow the writer to provide you with a customized proposal that meets your needs.
Prepare the core message.
Before you begin writing your creative brief, you need to decide what you want to say. The most common mistake writers make to writing too much. Instead of focusing on the main points, they rambling on and on about irrelevant details.
To avoid this problem, try to narrow down your focus. Start by brainstorming ideas and then choose the ones that seem most promising. Once you’ve decided on the topic, you can move on to the next stage: preparing the core message.
It means coming up with a few sentences that summarize your idea. These sentences should include the main point(s), supporting evidence, and a call to action. It’s helpful to break these down into bullet points to make them easier to remember.
After you’ve written your key message, you can work on developing the rest of your creative brief. It includes creating a style guide and choosing the best visuals to accompany your text.
Choose the key consumer benefit.
Consumers are increasingly demanding that businesses provide value and solve problems in today’s world. In fact, according to research from Forrester Consulting, nearly half of customers expect companies to deliver tangible benefits to them through their interactions with brands.
It means that if you want to stand out among your competition, you must create products and services that offer real value to your customers.
And while many business owners believe that creating unique products is enough to differentiate themselves from the crowd, it’s actually much easier to create a brand experience that offers tangible benefits to customers.
To achieve this, you must understand exactly who your customers are and what they want. The best place to start is by asking yourself these questions: What problem does my customer have? How can I solve that problem? Why would my customer choose me over other businesses?
After answering these questions, you’ll be able to develop a clear understanding of your customer base and what they want. From here, you can begin crafting a creative brief that outlines the specific benefits your company provides to its customers.
For example, let’s say that you own a restaurant. You might write a creative brief that includes the following points:
• Customers love our food.
• We serve delicious meals made from scratch.
• Our chefs prepare dishes that are healthy and nutritious.
• We offer free delivery within a five-mile radius.
By providing concrete examples of why your customers should choose you over your competitors, you’ll give your team a strong foundation to build a successful campaign.
Select an attitude
Your creative brief is the foundation of every project you work on. It helps you define the project’s scope, set expectations, and outline the deliverables.
It’s important to select an appropriate tone for your creative brief. For example, if you’re working on a corporate branding campaign, you might choose a formal tone. However, if you’re creating a personal brand, you might opt for a casual tone.
In addition to choosing a tone, it’s also essential to select an appropriate attitude. An attitude is an emotional state you adopt while working on a project. For example, if your goal is to create a fun, playful piece of art, you might choose a positive attitude. But if your goal is to convey a serious message, you might choose a negative attitude.
To help you choose the best approach, consider these questions: What kind of project am I working on? Who is the intended audience? How much money am I willing to spend? What type of budget do I have available?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin selecting an attitude. Choose one that matches the project’s tone and aligns with your goals.
For example, if you’re creating an advertising campaign for a company, you might choose a neutral attitude. Neutral means that you’re neither happy nor sad; you’re simply objective.
However, if you’re creating artwork for yourself, you might choose a more positive attitude. Positive means that you’re excited and enthusiastic about the project.
The key here is to match your attitude with the project’s tone. If you’re creating a corporate branding campaign, choose a positive attitude. Choose a neutral perspective if you’re creating artwork for your enjoyment.
Once you’ve selected an attitude, write down your thoughts in a notebook. Then, whenever you feel stuck, refer back to your notes. They’ll remind you of the answers to the questions above and help you decide whether you should continue with a particular idea or move on to another.
Determine the best call to action
A creative brief aims to provide direction to the team who will create the project. It helps define the project’s goals, set expectations, and outline deliverables. In order to write a creative brief that works, you need to determine the best call to action.
To figure out the best call to action, ask yourself these questions: What is the project’s goal? What is the scope of the project? Who is the intended audience? How much does the project cost? What is the budget? What is the deadline?
Once you answer these questions, you can decide whether you want to include a CTA button or other call to action.
For example, if you’re creating a landing page for a lead generation campaign, you might choose to add a form where visitors can signup for a free trial. However, if you’re working on a brand identity redesign, you might opt for a different approach.
Whatever the case, make sure you communicate the call to action to your team. Otherwise, they could end up wasting valuable time and resources on projects that aren’t going anywhere.
Draft the distribution plan
Before you begin drafting your creative brief, ask yourself these questions: Who is the priority audience? What does the client want from the project? What are the key messages you want to communicate? Where will you share the content?
You’ll need to understand your client’s business and industry to answer these questions. Once you know what they’re trying to accomplish, you can draft a creative brief that will help them achieve their goals.
Start by creating a list of potential audiences. Think about who might be interested in your work and write down their names. Then, brainstorm ideas for each person. What would they want to learn? How could you help them?
Audience analysis can be helpful in finding the best-suited audience profiles for your marketing campaign. You can use tools like Google Analytics to find people who have visited your website recently. Or you can use Facebook Insights to see which pages get the most traffic.
Next, decide what type of content you’d like to create. Is it a video, infographic, article, or other formats? Make sure that you include the appropriate keywords in your title and description. When you’re ready to draft your creative brief, choose a template that best fits your style and preferences.
After you’ve drafted your creative brief, you’ll need to determine how you want to distribute it online. There are many different ways to go about this, including posting it on social media, sending it via email, or distributing it through print publications.
Once you have a clear idea of how you want to distribute your content, you can finalize your creative brief.
Share the creative brief with stakeholders.
Before sharing your creative brief with project stakeholders or key stakeholders, it’s important to consider who needs to read it. It’s best to share the document with the team members working on the project, but if you’re unsure who else might benefit from seeing it, you can always send it to the client.
In addition to giving stakeholders a chance to review the creative brief, it’s also helpful to include a section where they can add notes or feedback. It allows them to express concerns or suggest ideas without waiting until the end of the project.
After you’ve shared the creative brief with stakeholders, it’s time to begin brainstorming ideas. Start by thinking about the goals of the project and what you hope to achieve.
Then, ask yourself questions like these: What does the brand stand for? Who are our customers? How do we want to feel when we interact with the brand?
Next, write down everything that comes to mind. Don’t worry about making it perfect; just jot down whatever pops into your head.
Afterward, organize your thoughts into categories based on their relevance to the project. For example, you could group ideas under themes like “color,” “typography,” and “layout.”
Once you have a complete list of ideas, it’s time to narrow them down. Remember that the purpose of a creative brief is to create a clear vision for the design, so try to focus on only the most essential elements. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, it’s time to choose the ones that best fit the project.
Things to Keep in Mind
Creative briefs are essential for creating successful ads. Without a clear idea of what you want to achieve, it’s hard to create a campaign that will actually work.
To avoid wasting money and time, it’s best to write down everything you want to include in your creative brief before starting to design. It includes critical details about your audience, budget, and other factors influencing your ad strategy.
Once you’ve written down everything you want to cover in your creative brief, it’s time to put it into practice. Start by brainstorming ideas for each section of your creative brief.
Then, narrow down your options by narrowing down your audience, your project budget, and your campaign goals.
After you’ve narrowed down your options, it’s time to choose the best option. Take advantage of the power of data to determine which option works best for your business.
For example, if you’re running a shoe store, you might decide to focus on shoes rather than clothing. Or, if you sell food products, you could concentrate on snacks instead of meals.
But before putting pen to paper, you have to keep in mind the project requirements and project guidelines to ensure that the final product meets all the necessary criteria.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to use Creative Briefs?
A creative brief is an essential tool for any project. It’s a document that outlines your objectives and requirements, as well as the scope of work required to deliver on those goals.
The brief can be used in many different ways, including:
• As a guide for designers who need direction
• To help clients understand the process involved in developing a new product or service
• As a way to communicate with stakeholders about the project
What is the difference between a creative brief and a concept sheet?
A creative brief focuses on the overall look and feel of a piece of content, while a concept sheet provides more detail about how the content should function. A good concept sheet will also provide information about the target audience and the competition, but a creative brief goes further by providing additional information about the brand and its history.
How do you use a creative brief to develop a marketing plan?
A creative brief helps you define the type of content you'll produce. By defining the type of content you want to produce, you can then identify the appropriate channels through which you'll distribute that content.
For example, if you're planning to launch a new line of clothing, you may first consider using social media to spread the word about your new collection. After you have defined the type of content you wish to produce, you can start thinking about where you'll find people to share that content.
You can also use a creative brief to evaluate existing campaigns. If you notice that certain types of content aren't performing as expected, you can adjust your approach accordingly.
What is the difference between creative strategy and creative brief?
Creative Strategy is a tool for planning. It's used to help you define your client’s needs, goals, and objectives in order to create an effective communication plan. A well-defined creative strategy will include both the visual elements (creative) and the messaging (strategy).
A creative brief is a tool for execution. It's used to outline specific details about what you intend to create. The goal of a creative brief is to make sure that all parties involved agree on the final design before production begins.
What does a creative brief consist of?
A creative brief consists of three main parts:
3. Scope of Work
Your objective defines why you’re creating this particular piece of content. This could be anything from increasing sales to raising awareness. You might even be looking to promote a charity event. Whatever your reason, make sure that you clearly state it in your objective.
Your requirements are simply a list of things that must be included in the content you create. For example, you might require that the content be delivered within one week, or that it feature a certain number of words. Make sure that you clearly define these requirements so that everyone knows exactly what they need to accomplish.
Scope of Work
The scope of work section outlines everything that you intend to create. It includes any special instructions or guidelines that you want to follow during the creation process. These instructions could include color palettes, fonts, and other visual elements. They could also include deadlines, budget constraints, or any other limitations that you might face.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, a creative brief is a document that helps you define your project and communicate its purpose clearly to stakeholders.
A creative brief doesn’t have to be long—it can be as short as two pages, but it must be thorough. It should include a description of the problem you’re trying to solve, the audience you’re targeting, the solution you’re offering, and any supporting evidence. And if you follow the steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to writing a creative brief that gets results in 2022.