I was recently featured in Momentum (a magazine for marketing and creative professionals) in a design article about the 3 steps to the perfect design brief.
- State the key business and project objectives; establish success metrics
- Keep it short, simple, clear AND interesting
- Brief in person rather than via documents
The task for designers is a difficult one. Design is so subjective that clear direction is a necessity. It is scary how much money is spent on marketing that simply does not drive any business value beyond basic brand recognition.
A rundown of the important info that every brief should include:
- Key business objective(s)
The goal when creating any piece of creative work is to deliver on the client’s key business objectives. Great imagery, design and copywriting are wasted if they do not create the outcome the client wants.
- Internal/external deadlines
It’s important to highlight all key interim/internal deadlines as well as the final delivery to client project deadline. Ensure that the dates are clearly visible and not lost within the main content of the brief where they can be overlooked.
- Primary and secondary messages
Although creative with a single message or focus is usually the most compelling and effective, there will be plenty of times when a creative team has to blend multiple messages into a single piece of copy. Clearly explain the hierarchy of messaging. Don’t let a creative team “guess” at which benefits or messages should take priority.
- Relevant market research and data
Insight into industry trends, competitors, consumer behavior, purchase statistics and product popularity are all crucial pieces of information that can help influence a message or the way in which it is delivered to the target audience.
- Creative budget
Although a creative budget is a fundamental component of any good brief, try to make this budget as detailed as possible and ideally segmented into the different components required to develop the creative – imagery, copywriting, materials, retouching, etc.
- Key differentiating factor
Regardless of whether the key differentiating factor of a company or its product is the same as the key message, it is always beneficial for creative to understand where the product/company sits in the general marketplace
It was a pleasure to work with Tim Sweeney (a fellow copywriter here in Melbourne) who wrote the article.