It’s where every project begins and ultimately where it can end.
As an agency, one of the most critical aspects of our work is receiving a well-considered brief from our clients. A great brief can make all the difference in delivering outstanding results, while a bad brief can lead to disappointment and missed opportunities. When we receive a brief, the first step is to take the time to fully understand the objectives, target audience, desired outcomes and practical factors such as timeline, location or budget. The project brief we receive is rarely the same as what then forms the creative brief, packed with insights, creative direction and the strategy.
Distilling the brief is a crucial step that allows us to focus on the essential components of the project and avoid getting lost in unnecessary details. At this stage we are like miners, searching for those nuggets that sparkle in the light to help us inspire, challenge and ideate. Great briefs provide clarity and ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page, working towards the same goals.
A well-considered brief that has been distilled to its core elements enables the team to develop innovative ideas that align with the client's vision and objectives. It provides the necessary context and guidance to develop a creative strategy that is targeted, impactful and successful. A brief that is too detailed or convoluted can lead to confusion, misunderstandings and missed opportunities. It can result in a lack of alignment between the client's expectations and the agency deliverables, leading to a disappointing outcome.
We’ve all been part of those big procurement-lead tenders that have countless pages of unnecessary information that you have to sift through to try to distil the brief. Often erroneous and ultimately contradictory. Those briefs that take hours to read, with appendices to boot.
In a competitive pitch situation, you could lose the lion's-share of your time to respond simply reading and cross-referencing the brief against the appendices. Which is why it’s important to distil and quality-check briefs before they are shared with agencies and partners.
Some briefs are inaccurate in their nature, what we aim to do is challenge those inconsistencies to establish clarity and drive projects forward, toward a clear goal. Sometimes clients don’t have a full brief yet, but they give us a clear understanding of their challenges and targeted outcomes. That’s where collaboration can really come into play.
Helping a client write a brief is an important skill, once the brief is nailed you can play it back to the client, then confidently move forward to the next phases of the project, confident that all stakeholders are on the same page.
What I know for sure is if the brief isn’t good enough, you can’t expect the outcome to be. Put sh*t in, get sh*t out.
As an agency, we understand the importance of keeping the brief, well, brief and focusing on the critical components of the project. By doing so, we can ensure that our creative strategies are targeted, impactful, and successful.