A MILLION DOLLAR BRANDING QUESTION: WHAT IS THE BRIEF?

May 26, 2017 / BY mdbadmin
A BRIEF PURPOSE

A creative brief is the written foundation for any creative challenge. The point of the brief is to create enthusiasm, and inspire emotions, ideas, and direction for a creative project. Effective brief writing should be considered an artistic endeavour, not administrative paperwork with deadlines and deliverable formats.

ADDRESS THE CHALLENGE, NOT THE SOLUTION

The power of the creative mind is limitless and it is the responsibility of the brief to push it to its full potential.

Creating a definition is critical for a brief, but it’s equally imperative that room is allowed for artistic vision from the Creative front – think open answer vis-à-vis multiple choice. It’s always healthier to watch designers engage with a brief and mold it into a solution than to trap the creative juices in a limited space.

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

Unlike blocks of copy that are mashed together on pages of text, visual briefs make a real difference in helping the Creative Team understand the meaning of the brief. Creating a simple visual brief will create a unique design language, such as address textures, shapes, sizes, and colors – this allows the brand to take on an authentic personality and – most importantly – to be itself.

DEFINE THE AUDIENCE, NOT AN ON-GOING TREND

Two of the least popular words on the brief are Millennial and Hipster – the reason being that they are trend generalizations that cover the masses instead of single-minded, focused audiences.

Instead, consumer habits should be explained in much detail: where they shop, what are their appetites, why they choose brand X over Y, where they go and why, their short versus long-term goals, et cetera.

BUZZ WORDS = BUZZ KILL

Buzz words are usually meaningless and will send your brief on a similar trajectory. Specifically, buzz-killers are words such as (but not limited to) cool, premium, creative, innovative, strategic, authentic, iconic, own-able, interesting, et cetera. These terms are overused and become subjective judgement criteria, not clear creative direction.

A BRIEF IS A CREATIVE COLLABORATION, NOT A LITERARY COMPETITION

Design is a team sport – it’s about the greater good and teamwork, not individual efforts. An effective creative brief is a conversation between a Strategist that has the vision for the brand, an Account Manager that understands Clients’ needs, and Designers that can execute it into something beautiful and tangible. Briefs that are written by only one of these parties will rarely provide a full picture for the Creative Team.