The essence of a good brief

A well-produced creative brief is critical to conceive a watertight creative strategy or, as one would generally define, a marketing asset creation process.  In fact, any creative job needs a good brief. Obviously, you can’t design or strategise something you don’t really understand. What problem is your creative work (strategy) solving? What are the objectives and expectations?  Does the client have a vision in mind and is it realistic? A good brief puts everyone on the same page.  If a creative task is unsuccessful, chances are that the brief was insufficient or nonexistent. I’ve had the good fortune of working with client servicing execs who could define the brief in less than four words. They could tell you the emotional payoff expected from the creative, which would become the boundary for our thought process. Alas, we’ve done away with the process of writing a brief.

A well-written creative brief shortens the time it takes to complete a project.  It’s a tool that facilitates clear and thorough communication at the beginning of the creative process, avoiding the inevitable revisions and course corrections that are a natural by-product of poor planning.  It’s not too hard to imagine the time that can be saved.

The approval process becomes shorter.  Ambiguous goals and unclear objectives coupled with vague statements, like “I’d like a rich-looking brochure”, “You’ve missed the point” or “Mazza nahi aa raha hain” will not be the stock phrases creative professionals need to listen to.  A brief with an emotional payoff ensures clarity; it minimizes difficult confrontations during the review and approval cycle.  And, when a creative asset is produced, defending design aesthetic choices becomes easier for the CS team.  The end product will be of a greater quality. This is a direct result of setting clear objectives,  and setting expectations upfront through a good brief.

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