Is Your Business Starting a Marketing Project? Why You Need a Creative Brief


You know what they say, a project without a plan is a wish.

It happens to us all the time. A client asks us to design an ad, create a brochure or build a website. That’s awesome – it’s what we do, after all – but before we get started we need to know exactly what we’re creating and why.

All of this information goes into a creative brief, which is the roadmap we use to determine the eventual creative output. What is a creative brief? It’s a plan on what and how to deliver a project. Why is a creative brief important? As creatives, we’re strategic partners. We don’t just design for the sake of design. We want to ensure that what we create meets your business goals. A creative brief provides the foundation needed to make sure that we’re delivering what you need. 

A Creative Brief is the Project that Precedes the Project

No project should ever proceed without a creative brief. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a formally typed out creative brief, but you should provide the necessary information. Without one, abandoned drafts and expensive do-overs could be in your future! When you take the time to develop a creative brief, you’re also taking the time to define goals, deliverables, and deadlines – making it much more likely that you’ll get great results both on time and on budget.

A creative brief answers the following:

  • What is the deliverable? (eg, a video ad or a mobile app.)
    • What are the parameters? (eg, length, size or functionality)
  • Why do you need it? What is the purpose? (eg, lead generation or brand awareness)
  • What information/message are you trying to convey?
  • What is the desired outcome of the project? (eg, X% conversions or X newsletter signups)
  • Who is the audience, and what are their needs?
  • When do you need it, and what is your budget?

All of this information is invaluable because once complete, the creative brief is handed over to the creatives working on the project. A detailed brief allows designers to align their concepts and ideas with the overall strategy/bigger picture.

A Creative Brief Is Good For the Team and The Project

A creative brief is more than a blueprint. It gives the creative team clarity not just on what the problem is, but also on what’s needed to develop an effective, targeted solution.

Often multiple people will work to flesh out a creative brief. This ensures that we’re covering all our bases with the level of detail and clarity you need. When you work with us to develop a creative brief, you’ll also get the benefit of insight from both creative and agency staff, who can ask questions or flag issues you might not have considered. Don’t take their expertise lightly!

But a creative brief isn’t just a good thought exercise for the creative team – it’s also good for you, the client. It forces you to define and articulate exactly what you want, and why. This reduces the likelihood of suddenly changing directions mid-way through a project or of the need for major revisions or deadline/budget extensions.

With a solid creative brief, you’re guaranteed results that are aligned with your expectations – and that meet all of your must-haves. Little wonder we make it a habit to create one for every project.

See Also:

Design & Leadership: Two Peas in a Pod

You Need a Brand Positioning Statement – Stat!

Why You Need a Creative At Your C-Suite Table

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