ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Shop Talk's Master Marketer: The Brief Statement That Breeds Success
As our days seem more and more packed with tasks, there are some practices developed many years ago that have fallen by the wayside for lack of time. And while no one will notice if you don’t get around to shining your shoes daily, there are few things more devastating than the failure of a project because there was no creative brief.
What’s a creative brief? And why is it so important?
A creative brief is an organizational tool that every project needs to stay on track. It’s based on a simple form that’s been refined through the years within each organization that uses it religiously — and that's what makes it work.
There are questions or “prompts” in a brief that provide essential information for a creative team to consider as they start a project.
If you work with creative types on any kind of project — copywriting, design, marketing, whatever — you absolutely need a creative brief. It outlines the reason for the project, the nature of the brand, the target audience, the restrictions. Even details like word limits and color/image restrictions are important. It’s all there in black and white.
Most seasoned marketers have had the experience of handing over a project to a writer and/or designer, getting their first draft back, staring at it and saying, “What happened? Why is this so far off track?”
Well, there’s a very good chance that there was no creative brief. And because of that, the verbal and unorganized written communication provided at “kickoff” didn’t include some essential tidbit of information that would have kept it on track.
What to include in a creative brief?
As I mentioned, each organization seems to develop their own special version. A general form of a brief may include: