The most effective creative work comes when there is a strong collaboration between the client and the agency. And this starts from a great brief. Being clear on what you want your new project to achieve from the outset ensures you have a benchmark to measure against.
When briefing a new project, the key thing to remember is clarity. Be concise and ensure you only include relevant information.
So how do you write the perfect brief?
Firstly, if the agency has not worked with you before, they are going to need some background information about your company. Your vision, your values, your brand proposition and your business objectives.
What are you looking to produce?
Do you need a whole campaign, a new website or maybe some help with brand positioning?
Who are your target audience?
Busy working mums, retired couples, someone looking for a new job in a specific industry? The more targeted you can be here, the more tailored the final marketing materials will become.
Depending on the nature and scale of the project, it can be really useful to try and explore your target audience in more detail. Their likes and dislikes, how your product fits in their lives. What makes them tick. How they already perceive your company – if they do.
What do you want the target audience to do or think?
Is it to try something new; switch brands; or maybe just use more of your product? It is also important to think about what message you want your target audience to come away with about your company.
And now we get into the more tricky area of the brief. A great question to ask yourself when briefing a job is – ‘What is the single most motivating or differentiating thing we can say about your brand or product to get the target audience to act in the desired way?’
This could be based around what’s in it for the consumer. A rationale or emotional benefit such as peace of mind, self-confidence or social status. Or it could be based around a product benefit. Performance compared to a competitor, ease of use, heritage, price.
The devil is in the detail
Set a budget. Be up front about what money you want to commit to the project and then the design agency can tailor their solutions to fit this. But be realistic. Great creativity takes a little bit of time.
And this brings us on to deadlines. If you really need a project completed within a tight time frame, ensure you work with the agency to set a clear timeline working towards this to ensure everyone knows what key dates they have to hit.
If you have logos, positioning statements, words, images, colours or fonts that need to be included, make sure you provide the agency with these up front.
As a business, you need to know your competition. And it’s no different for your agency. Give them a list of who they should be aware of.
And if you have come across examples of design that you like, it’s well worth supplying these at the start. It gives your agency a good steer on the sort of style you are after and can save time going down the wrong route.
For any brief to be truly effective, the client and the agency need to work together to create something brilliant and solve the creative challenge. And that is just the kind of partnership we strive for.