How to write a simple creative brief

Here at DWH towers in Coventry we work with a wide range of clients. Some of our clients have worked in marketing all their lives and know all about the theory of marketing and how to develop marketing strategies. Some of our clients are small business owners and know little about the theory but have an instinctive grasp of what their customers want and how to interact with them. Some of our clients have only been working a short time and don't always have a lot of practical experience. Some of our clients have literally no idea about marketing their business. Whatever the reason for using us our clients know they can rely on us to help them be successful.

We thought it might be interesting to develop some content that will give a basic explanation of marketing and the elements that are involved in it from design right through to SEO. Practical content that users can copy. For free - no catches. Help yourself.

This blog is all about the creative brief.


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What is a creative brief?

A creative brief is an instruction for someone to build or design something for you. A website, a brochure, a logo, an advert, a building sign, an exhibition stand, an e-mail. It doesn't have to be complicated or long but it must set out your expectations, deliverables and timescales for the project.

In our experience projects that don’t have a creative brief can go wrong or take longer than they should.


7 things to include in a creative brief?

It doesn't have to be complicated and we’ve laid out a really simple template below - just copy and paste it into a document and you’re good to go.

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About your business

A simple summary of your business. What markets do you operate in, what products do you offer, who are your competitors and so on. Any information about your customers and how they interact with you - are you online only, retail only, mixture of both and so on

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Project

What's the project about - what has brought about the requirement for change? Are you looking for something new or something to compliment your existing approach?

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Objectives

You can have more than one objective for a project or piece of work but there is always a prime reason driving the project. Is it to get more sales, change customer activity or is it to refresh your brand?

Be honest - your agency partner will want to do the best job for you (to get more business of course) so be up front. I had a client once who asked us to develop a new brochure range and they were slightly coy about the reasoning. It turned out it was because they just didn't like the ones they had but they couldn't really say why specifically. Creative work can be subjective and bosses can be a bit bonkers so its OK to tell the truth to your agency.

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Deliverables

What will we have at the end of the project? This sounds kind of straight forward but it's worth spelling it out. Be specific - if all your brochures are a certain size include it in the brief.

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Deadline

When does it need to happen. If its a website what is the live date. If it's an exhibition stand when do you need it (not the date of the exhibition - when do you need it at your office so you can get it transported to the event) Your agency will take this date and work backwards giving you the steps along the way for the project to be delivered. This timing plan will then help you to see all the stages in the project.

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Mandatory's & legals

What do you have to include with your brochure, advert or stand? Most industries have specific wording and small print to include but your agency will need to know up front what it is and how much space it will take up.

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Existing brand considerations

This isn't just about your logo but more about other things that may not be immediately obvious. Maybe there is a specific colour range or palette for specific products, maybe a certain type of image is required and maybe a certain tone of voice needs to be used in any wording. Often companies have things like this in their “brand guidelines” which explains how to use the company logo and any requirements for image type and so on. A lot of small businesses may not have a formal document but there will probably be some way that things are done but this needs to be detailed here. What's obvious to people working at your company may not be so obvious to your agency partner.


ABOUT DWH

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We help lots of clients achieve their marketing, design, product and branding goals. With years of experience we can offer a full range of creative design and marketing expertise. We've worked for a wide range of clients from start-ups and charities to public sector and FTSE 100 companies.

Drop us a line - we’re approachable, friendly, professional and are more than happy to meet for a chat to see if we can help you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Jonathon Bright is the DWH marketing guru and handles all marketing, copywriting and social media duties. With over 25 years experience working with clients and agencies across the globe, his role is to provide all things marketing from lead generation strategies right through to writing blogs and press articles. Two Marketing degrees and a successful track record of working with sole traders, SME's & FTSE 100 companies mean his full mix experience can deliver results whatever the budget.


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