An effective brief at the start of a project can be a driving factor in its overall success, so it’s super important to get it right. Clive Scott, creative director at Kesslers, shares his top tips.
We absolutely love getting briefs, which range from a quick few sentences to a whole scoping document, and we always strive to be involved as early as possible in the project’s lifespan, so that we can get our creative minds involved in the initial development phase.
Here we outline six key steps, which will ensure you get exactly what you want from a creative team.
Step 1 – Start at the end
The key to a great brief is understanding what the desired outcome of the project is. That may be putting a new launch at the forefront of the market place, driving sales in established environment, an increase in brand presence or creating a new space with a specific purpose. Is there a problem that you are trying to fix? Whatever it is, if this isn’t clearly and concisely communicated at the start of the project, it’s unlikely to be achieved.
Step 2 – Tell us everything
Knowledge is power as the old adage says. The more you share, the more information is available to make creative decisions that empower the designer to be brave within the parameters of the scope. Knowing other designs that inspire you, or that you hate, gives a great steer in the right direction.
Step 3 – What’s in your DNA?
Share your brand history, landscape, current marketing collateral, aspirations and future goals with the team. It’s key to the final design imbuing the brand into its very essence, so sharing this with the audience demographics and product details is really important. Let the team know if it’s replacing a current iteration, or if something has been tried before and didn’t work, that way past learnings can be wrapped in to the future of the project.
Step 4 – Retail is detail
If there is a particular specification that needs to be adhered to, such a material, a size limit, a duration in store, a special location that is required, don’t forget to share this. There is no sense in designing a beautiful unit that doesn’t fit the product on it, or is made of metal and the requirement is light-weight, so make sure that you convey the whole intent of the project in context to minimise revisions and scope creep.
Step 5 – The big picture
Where does the project fit in with the wider picture? Does it fall as part of a product launch marketing plan? Is it to capture a seasonal audience? Does it have its own budget or is it part of a large-scale implementation? Give the team the wider scope to enable them to deliver on time to the project requirements and within the budget. There is nothing worse than scaling back a beautiful design because the timings or cost parameters weren’t clear at the start.
Step 6 – Over-communicate
After all this, summarise the deliverables, even if this is communicating again. This can act as a check list to be referred back to as the brief evolves and takes shape, ensuring at every stage the design is delivering what the project needs. Don’t let ideas, issues and evolutions go without communication and notation – and make sure that everything is clear!
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