We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—a solid basic creative brief is the backbone of any creative project. They are, in essence, a roadmap to project success that provides clarity for both your creatives and your clients.
Sometimes a good creative brief can end up taking a large amount of time to complete, and for large-scale projects, that’s a good thing. But for the little projects that roll in and are too small to merit a full client discovery session, it can be difficult to get all of your project managers on board with taking the time to write a brief. That’s why we’ve created the Basic Creative Brief. It’s short, sweet, and covers all the need-to-know project basics without requiring a comprehensive deep-dive for your project management team.
Here are 3 key tips for utilizing basic creative briefs:
When in Doubt, Brief it Out
When your agency has already developed a solid working relationship with a client, small to midsize projects sometimes end up slipping into the mix without any proper documentation. This might not seem like a big deal: your designers understand the client’s brand guidelines, you tracked the project in your project management software, and ultimately the client is satisfied with the end piece. But if you’ve received a client request and are already restructuring your sprint to accommodate it, do your creative team a favour: grab your basic creative brief template and get writing.
Creative Brief Templates
Fuel Your Design Process
Basic Briefs Answer Need-to-Know Questions
Do your creatives know the who, what, where, when and why of the project? No? Then be prepared for some time-wasting questions coming your way. Rather than shooting a project request over via email because it seems faster in the moment, enforce that your creative briefs are part of your single source of truth. They live within your project management software and provide the core roadmap to project success.
Basic Creative Briefs Create Order
Your agency designed a creative workflow to create efficiency, clarity, and order. When you’ve invested the time and energy into designing these processes, not sticking to them just seems silly. By saving themselves the 10 minutes it would take to write a simple brief, project managers risk due dates that slip through the cracks, untracked time, uncoordinated billing and a bunch of admin work later on down the line. Taking the time to write and share a basic brief shows a genuine investment in agency processes, and sets a solid example for both creatives and more junior staff. Your creative brief should always kick-start your project, no matter how small.
Creative Briefs Produce Better Work
It’s tempting for smaller projects to throw together a half-hearted brief for a familiar client. Maybe the last 4 campaigns you’ve run have been fairly successful, your team knows your clients well enough to just run with it, and the end result will be fine. But nobody goes into creative industries because they want to produce work that is “fine”.
Even taking 10 minutes to write a basic creative brief provides you with the time to consider your client’s overall well-being. It’s a time to reflect on your last few projects, from what went well to what could have been a little bit better. With your whole agency getting in the habit of taking these quick check-ins, you’ll find you’re avoiding the autopilot traps that can occur when working with long-term clients.
Download your FREE package of Function Point creative briefs. It’s completely customizable to your agency’s unique needs and workflow style, just like our software.
Natasha Carter is a Communications Manager at Function Point with a background in market research and strategic communications. She enjoys building high-value experiences for customers along their path to purchase.