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How to write a creative brief and what are the benefits?

by Casey Schmidt  |  November 21, 2019

4 min. read
A closeup shot of a woman's hand writing on a notepad.

A creative brief forces teams to have concrete goals and adds structure to a project or campaign. It outlines necessary information concerning a new project and sets the tone for how the campaign will be completed. It’s such an important tool to have at your disposal, so make sure you understand what it is, how to create one and the benefits of it. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown.

What is a creative brief?

A creative brief is a rundown of important details pertaining to a campaign or project. The creative brief is written for the department or team who will be involved in the campaign. It outlines specific details – such as goals, deadlines and other important project factors.

Think of a creative brief like a manual for an airplane. The pilot uses the itinerary to see exactly where they will be flying, how to start the plane, how fast to drive and other important details. The itinerary guides pilots to deliver the plane and any cargo on-time and efficiently. A creative brief is an itinerary for brand and product delivered to team members with specific project details.

A team of workers studies a blueprint layout.
A creative brief provides teams with specific details about how to accomplish a project task.

How to write an effective creative brief

Before you learn the unique benefits of a creative brief, it’s important you understand how exactly to obtain these benefits. In order to reap the many benefits of a creative brief, you need to write an effective one. The most important thing to remember when writing yours is that it’s going to be different than all other company briefs. Everything you create should follow that one principle in order to build the best guide possible.

The next main thing to remember is to focus everything within the brief around your brand. The tone of the entire creation will reflect onto your company – make sure this reflection is positive. If you need to begin with a mission statement or a rundown of brand ideals, that could put the reader into the right mindset to take away a lot more positives from the brief.

Here are three ways companies benefit from having a sound creative brief for campaigns:

1. Improve team understanding of brand and product

A creative brief specifically outlines the brand and/or product and helps teams gain valuable insight into it. A more informed team is capable of better product and brand promotion, even if it’s done indirectly through a thorough advertising campaign. A filled-in team is linked directly to project success and similarly an informed team is as well.

When an advertisement is released, every team who worked on it will have its impact on its success. If the teams had a strong understanding of brand and goals, it’s likely the advertisement will capitalize on the correct strategies. Guide your teams to success through details about product in the brief.

2. Make campaigns more efficient

A creative brief keeps teams on task during a campaign, as it gives step by step details about objectives. It reminds teams of brand characteristics and attributes. It’s vital that the overarching theme of any project follows some semblance of company brand. The brief should also include some details concerning the intended audience of a product or advertisement.

A group of young workers looking at a screen at an office.
Creative briefs keep teams on task during projects.

With these essential specifics in place, the brief should begin laying out the timelines, goals and objectives of the upcoming project. These give structure to teams and promote efficiency throughout a campaign. This structure is an underlying guide to help companies navigate entire projects successfully.

3. Boost collaboration and improve team communication

When teams know the details of a project beforehand, there’s less breakdown in communication and confusion. Creative briefs ensure teams stay focused, connected and commutative. With everyone on the same page, your teams will start each project on the right foot and communicate concerns beforehand rather than in the midst of a project.

Teams in agreement work harmoniously and a brief instructs them in a way that ensures they’re connected and working toward the same thing. It also keeps their teamwork at a high level throughout the project. With such a powerful connection with one another, projects are bound to be more successful.

Creative briefs help deliver guidelines so that teams can in turn deliver successful creations. Keep all briefs optimized with important ideas highlighted to ensure success.