Why writing a Creative Brief is an integral part of Marketing Communication?

Marketing Communication is the fun place where brands start to mean something. A sweet black carbonated beverage suddenly means so much more than just that. It looks, feels and tastes different if you know the brand story. A bag with a certain logo becomes so much more than just a “a flexible container used for carrying things”.
How does all this happen? With fantastic storytelling of course! It’s the content that brands drive, that make consumers perceive the brand in a certain way. All you need is good creative people, some money to produce content, and magic happens… That’s what most people see.

The Creative Brief

An important step that many forget, is the first step itself… the BRIEF. Actually, it would be wrong to suggest that people forget about the brief. It’s part of the marketing processes in most companies. However, many times it’s taken as a check-mark item, than a step with real value addition.
How to write a creative brief comic
A piece of communication may end up used for months, will surely take weeks to make, and its brief deserves more than an hour to make. Many times, the process of writing a brief itself helps in clarifying objectives.

Example of writing a creative brief

While writing a brief for a coffee brand, the communication objective was to “make the brand synonymous with the first beverage at home in the morning”. To increase trials amongst new users, the TG was defined to be students and young adults. While generating insights to be used for the brief, one may realize that students and young adults don’t wake up early enough before going to classes or office, to be able to manage the early morning coffee in bed, or even the breakfast coffee at home. For many of them, the first beverage is at 10am after reaching college or office.
If the brief is written properly, and each step thought through, this issue will come to light before it goes to the creative. This saves the brand from wastage of money, time and resources on creating a beautiful campaign around no actionable benefit.

Common mistakes in brief writing can be –

  • - Isn’t well thought through. Turns out to be a collection of sentences rather than a clear direction.

  • - Is a repetition and re-hash of earlier briefs sent on same brand

  • - Doesn’t mention the expectations and requirements as output

  • - Doesn’t give enough flexibility for creative people to play with ideas

The brief is an input for the creative team to consider, ideate upon, and come up with an output of content. While different brands are at different stages of evolution, and not all may have a clear direction forward.

A proper creative brief should mostly address the following –

  1. Context to Brand, business and competition

  2. Business Objective

  3. Communication Objective

  4. Target Audience (describe behavior and attitudes)

  5. Insight into Target Audience

  6. Brand Tonality, Look and Feel

  7. Expected Timelines

This article was written by Sambit Dash, V.P marketing at MamaEarth.