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Importance of Creative Briefs

     -     Oct 19th, 2014   -     Accounting Marketing, Creative Design   -     0 Comments

In the design world it’s important to have a clear understanding of what a client wants so we can deliver the most creative and effective solution possible. However, in order to have a clear understanding of what a client wants, they need to be able to express their needs clearly. In my work, I have found more often than not, clients can’t  and do not express what they want because they only have a partial concept and may not have thought the project through entirely. When this happens, we need to walk a client through the creative brief process which involves asking targeted questions about the project in an effort to gain an understanding of what they are looking for and how we can deliver it visually.

Below we have listed a few important reasons firms should take time to complete a creative brief before officially requesting a project.

  • Set Expectations – A creative brief helps to set expectations with both the client and the creative team. Not only does it define the project, deadlines and key deliverables, it also provides the “why” behind the project. All of this information is important to have, especially if the design firm is going to be working with industry partners on aspects of the project. The more information that can be shared with the creative team early on in the process, the more likely the project will be a complete success.
  • Identify the Target Audience – Sometimes we work with clients that have not yet defined the audience for the creative that is being developed. This means clients are often cramming in as many reasons as possible that a customer would want to purchase a product or service from them. The downside to this approach is that, the creative is not really speaking to any one audience. As such, the effectiveness of the message is watered down. In design, when the written message is watered down, you can bet the visuals used to communicate the message won’t be as effective as they should. Using a creative brief helps to narrow down the audience you want to appeal to. Clearly defining who they are, what title they have, their age group and key concerns is incredibly helpful when the design process begins, and in the end helps deliver the best creative piece that has a greater chance of being effective. Afterall, the ultimate objective is to generate action from your audience.
  • Define the Outcome – A good creative brief also helps to define the expectation for the outcome. Occasionally, we work with clients that want an appealing and professional brochure. While we are happy to help, more often than not the client has not thought through exactly what they want to the brochure to accomplish. In most circumstances, the content does not make a clear distinction about what actions they want a potential prospect to take. Too often, the content is  inward-facing rather than considering the needs of the recipient, and what information is important to them. Beyond content, it should be clear how the client will measure success with the creative being designed. This doesn’t have to be a formal statement but there should be an idea. As an example, the creative will provide education on our “X” product and offer a means for interested parties to connect with us.

While there are many steps to writing a successful creative brief, the above suggestions are great ways to begin generating the process. Remember that the creative brief not only helps the creative team, but ultimately helps you by being more strategic and effective with getting the attention of new and existing customers.

If a new creative project is on your horizon, it’s essential to carefully consider how to approach your creative brief. If you have never completed one or have questions about the amount of information to include, contact me today. I would be happy to walk you through the process and provide advice and direction as needed.


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