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Creative Briefs – 10 things to include

Many a times, agencies and clients skip the bit about writing a creative brief, simply because everyone is eager to jump into the project and start right away. The agencies have probably waited a long time to bag the project and the clients feel they have spent enough time going back and forth over it, enough to feel that everyone is on the same page and has the same vision. But, a human mind works in weird ways!
It’s constantly changing and re-thinking and re-evaluating, so much so that the idea you started out with may not necessarily be the same idea you end up with. Which is why a creative brief is so important –
it gives everyone a singular vision to follow and lays down the plan as is mutually beneficial to all in the most efficient manner.

What is a creative brief?
A creative brief is a document that succinctly outlines all the important aspects of a project and details the process that will be undertaken to successfully complete the project, taking into account all the factors that will influence the project. All through the project, this creative brief guides the client and the agency and ensures they do not deviate from the initial plan of action.


Every project should have a detailed brief for its successful completion.

Every project should have a detailed brief for its successful completion.


Important inclusions of a creative brief:
Creative briefs need to be just that: brief. They need to sum up the project details and the future course of action, without ending up as a folder full of useless information. To achieve this end, we need to keep few points in mind which make it easier to understand and better to work with.

  1. The Background: First step, get to know your client thoroughly. Second step, get to know the product/service/brand. Read up on everything you can about the client and the product and how well (or, not) it has been faring. For new products, understand the product well, so you can explain it well.
  2. The Product Overview: Now that your client is ready to launch the product (it could be a re-launch too, in a new avatar!), what makes it any different from the existing products in the market? Why would the consumers want this over any of the gazillion products available? Make sure you have the answers to these questions and have the product USP figured out.
  3. Primary Objective: So, your client thought they would be making $$$ from the word ‘go’, but you thought they were just testing the ground? Not being clear of your client’s goal and what they expect your agency to achieve will create issues that can make or break the project. Make sure the creative brief clearly details out the client’s goal and objective.
  4. Target Audience: No brief is complete without this vital piece of information. Try getting down to the specifics, as much as you can.
  5. Call to Action: This is probably the singular most important part of a creative brief! What do you need your target audience to do – what are you trying to make them do? Sign up for your product, buy your product, refer your product or even, just remember your product?
  6. Browbeat Competitors: Find out who the competitors for your clients are and what tactics they use. Find out what separates your client from their competitors and use that as your USP.
  7. Breakdown of Deliverables: If your clients already know what they want done, it makes the work easier for you, but it is always important to list out these deliverables in the brief. Should you or your client decide to include or exclude any, depending on the consumers’ response,
    the brief should accordingly be updated.
  8. Tone and Tenor: Passive, passive-aggressive, aggressive or downright cut-throat – what will be the tone of your communication? Make sure you and your client agree on this.
  9. BreakDown of Offer: Now that you have discussed everything you need to about the client, project, objective and the reason for hiring your agency, it’s imperative you note down, in the brief, the offer as settled upon. What will you be providing the client and what is the client offering you in return, and when and how. Make sure you are absolutely clear about the client’s budget and timeline as well.
  10. Reporting and Communication: And, finally, now that you are ready to put your John Hancock across the dotted line, be clear about your channel of communication. Who will you be communicating or reporting to, what will be the means of communication and where does the final approval come from.


Make sure every detail of the project is recorded and verified in the brief.

Make sure every detail of the project is recorded and verified in the brief.


Keep in mind that every client is different and their needs and objectives are as different as can be, so no two creative briefs can be the same. Whether you decide to keep the brief concise and crisp or lengthy and well-documented, you take the call on that, but always make sure you have one. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine!

Do you have a different creative brief? Do you tend to skip the creative brief? If yes, no, why, let us know by commenting below.

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