A creative brief can make or break a campaign, product launch or brand refresh.
Success relies on making sure your brief is clear, succinct, and most importantly, guided by your commercial objectives. Keeping those in mind throughout every step of the creative process will ensure what your team or agency produces at the final stage is something that will propel your brand to dizzy heights.
Here’s our fool proof advice to achieve commercial success with every brief:
1. Frame the issue or opportunity
Creative ideas are powerful. A stand-out idea, translated across media channels, can completely alter a brand’s trajectory. And so, creative briefs must be handled carefully.
Creative briefs begin with a problem you are trying to solve, or an opportunity you have identified for your brand.
Points to consider:
Is there anything stopping your brand from evolving?
Has your brand been declining in relevance?
Does your brand lack purpose or a clear proposition?
Use commercial metrics to evidence your points and to ensure you’re focusing on areas of the business that require the most immediate attention.
Articulating these challenges upfront will help you to have a much clearer direction when you begin to create your brief. So first, think about the single key challenge your brand faces. How will the creative execution be the solution? How will it be the thing which builds your brand in the exact way you want?
2. Set commercial objectives
Now you have your list of challenges, it’s time to set concrete commercial objectives to guide the direction of your campaign.
What is the overall commercial impact you’re looking to see from your campaign or creative idea?
Are you trying to drive penetration for your brand?
Do you want to steal market share from a competitor?
Is your aim to recruit new users or to increase retention?
Having this clear in your mind will help you critique any creative idea at the end of the process, through the lens of whether the idea is actually going to deliver on the objective set out at the beginning. Clarity around commercial objectives also helps hold your team accountable every step of the way.
3. Who are you targeting?
For a campaign or creative execution to cut through the noise, it needs to be directed at a specific target audience. This is thegroup of people that are most likely to want to buy your product or service. Focus on real people and consider what motivates them to invest in your brand.
Depending on the direction of your campaign, you can segment your audience in different ways:
Location:Segmenting your group based on location. City vs rural is a common segment.
Demographic: This is usually categorised by age or gender.
Lifestyle:Looking at mindset.For example, if your product is fitness-related, you may want to target people with a thrill-seeking mindset.
Behaviors: You could also define your audience by the way they behave towards products or services. For example, do they only buy a certain product on a specific occasion? Could they be tempted to broaden their purchasing habits?
Your target audience will be driven by the objective of your campaign, and by the issue or opportunity you're solving for.
4. How do people feel about your brand and category?
Investing in creative ideas can be costly and time-consuming, so think through how your creative execution is going to impact the way people feel about your brand, and solve the issue you identified at the outset.
Points to consider:
How do customers feel about your brand now, and how do you want them to feel as a result of your creative execution?
How do customers feel about your category and competition, and where are the white space opportunities for your brand?
Competitor analysis will help identify areas of focus for your brand and surface areas for disruption within the category for your brand to focus on.
At ProQuoAI, we have identified 16 Drivers of relationships. When identifying areas of focus for your creative brief, we suggest looking at these Drivers with a critical eye and mapping out where your brand’s strengths and weaknesses are. Doing the same for your competition will surface any unmet needs or the low-hanging fruit for your brand to zero in on.
5. The human truth
Human truth is at the core of every great brand and creative idea. Finding the undeniable truth within the group you are targeting is crucial for an idea to succeed.
Think hard about what unites your target audience. Do they have any shared beliefs in common?
You'll know you’ve found a valuable human truth when someone’s reaction to it is: ‘I do that too, I thought I was the only one!’ The best pieces of creative are the ones which tap in very directly to what people need and want.
6. Frame The Task
The ‘Get’ ‘To’ ‘By’ framework is a way of crafting a single campaign objective into one sentence. Because it’s a formula, it can rarely steer youin the wrong direction.
“Get” is all about who you are trying to win over.“Get... your target audience”.
“To” is all about your business objective, what are you trying to do? “To do what... tocommercially impact our brand”.
“By” is all about your marketing objectives. What mindset shift do you want to create from your communication. How do you want to change people’s feelings and thoughts about your brand? This is about getting people to purchase your brand by telling them something that seduces and persuades them.
7. Define your message
For a brief to have clarity, it will need to focus on one specific and single-minded message.
This is often the most difficult part of the brief, but also the most important; distilling the brief into one single-minded communication point.
Points to consider:
Is your message about the product? E.g. Persil: Dirt is good.
The outcome of the brand? E.g. Red Bull gives you wings.
Or about subverting established beliefs? E.g. Dove's Real Beauty campaign
Whatever you’re aiming to communicate, take the time to distil it into one message. This clarity will be invaluable to your team as a creative springboard, and will help guide each step of the creative process.
8. Optimize your idea before you go live
Before you put the big bucks behind production and media buying, understanding whether your idea is going to shift your brand in the right direction, and deliver the hard commercial results you’re looking for, is crucial.
ProQuo AI’sCreativeLabgives brand’s instant guidance on how to make any creative idea the best it can be – atany stage of the creativeprocess. Concepts, storyboards, finished films, you name it. Chuck your assets into the platform and in a few hours you’ll receive feedback from over 300 people, and actionable guidance on what to do to improve it.