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How to Write a Creative Brief (for Clients)

For anyone working on a project, the creative brief is the only source of truth. It serves as a roadmap that guides a project from conception to completion and ensures that the scope, schedule, key stakeholders, and purpose of the project are clearly communicated.

Provide an overview and list key project details

Provide contact information (project name, brief description, project lead and contact information). Provide a project summary that can be used as a quick reference. State the problem, objective, and deliverables. Write the outline after you have written the rest of the document.

Write about the brand and clarify the background of the project

Provide a brief overview of the brand's mission and what you hope to accomplish with the campaign. Describe the company profile and the details that set your brand apart. Provide background information about the brand and what led to the development of the project.

Explain the problem, highlight the goal, and set the KPIs

Describe the problem you are trying to solve and highlight the goal that should be associated with the problem. Provide KPIs. Include the start and end dates and any key milestones. Create a timeline that shows when something is needed, how many revisions are possible, etc.

Describe the target audience for the project or buying personas

Focus on the most important details: (1) Demographics: Age, gender, income, education, occupation. (2) Behaviors: Buying patterns, trends, other customer history. (3) Psychographic data: How the target audience thinks and feels about your brand, product or service. (4) Location.

Describe the competitive landscape

Include a short list of competitors with similar product or service offerings. Briefly mention some similarities between your company and them, how your brand already stands out, and in what areas this project can help you get ahead.

Create a clear, simple key message for the target audience

The key message explains why your target audience should pay attention to your campaign. It includes the pain point, the experience the target audience would have without the pain point, and the benefits they will receive from your company's solution.

Describe the tone of voice

Discuss the tone of voice that should be used in the creative material to appeal to the target audience. Decide if the tone should be light, humorous, serious, or something else that will appeal to the target audience and their values.

Choose the key consumer benefit (KCB)

Choose a KCB that highlights the key benefit you want to communicate. Use consumer data to inform your decision, and consult with project stakeholders. The KCB is not just any feature of your product, but the benefit that solves your target audience's biggest problem.

Determine the best call to action (CTA)

What behavior do you hope customers will exhibit? Do you want them to try, buy or recommend the product/service? You can include multiple CTAs, especially if you have a primary and secondary target audience. It's a good idea to have a primary CTA that drives the project goal.

Set the budget, identify stakeholders, clarify the deliverables

Set the budget and break it down into smaller amounts, especially for a complex project. Include names, titles, reference to the project, and contact information for all involved. List the deliverables and who will be responsible for approvals throughout the process.

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