As marketing goes faster, use our mini creative brief

Posted on Posted in How to Guide for Marketers

With social media, digital advertising and search media, marketing is moving faster than ever. You still need a creative brief; however, you might need to try our mini creative brief. We are seeing things speed up, with opportunities come to brand leaders need quick decisions and even faster execution.

If your brand has a solid brand communications plan, you should be able to create a mini creative brief with a clear objective, consumer target and insight, the desired response, and the main message.

Going too fast sometimes takes too long. With the explosion of media options, timing is everything. Unfortunately, there are too many “phone call briefs” happening. Even worse, no brief at all. Slowing down will make you go faster.

Without a brief, too many things could go wrong. When you see the creative options, you have to rely on your memory and instincts. When you try to present it to your boss, there is nothing to guide them through their decision-making. One round of rejection by your boss, and you will be wondering why you did not just take the 15-30 minutes to organize your thoughts and write a mini brief.

How to transform your strategy into a creative brief

Let’s look at the seven questions of the brand communications plan  

  1. Who is in our consumer target?  
  2. What are we are selling?  
  3. Why should they believe us?  
  4. What is our organizing brand idea?
  5. What do we need our advertising to do? 
  6. And, what do we want people to think, feel or do?  
  7. Where will our consumer be most receptive to see and act upon our brand message?

Do the strategic homework you developed through the brand communications plan, and begin to populate the 12 questions of your creative brief.

This should allow you to turn all the thinking into a master creative brief, that should be able to serve your brand for up to a year. For each smaller project, you can opt for the mini brief above. 

The creative brief should define “the strategic box” for the creative to play within.

Most great creative advertising people I have met are problem solvers, not inventors. I would describe them as ‘in-the-box’ creative thinkers, not blue sky “out-of-the-box” dreamers. If they need a good problem to solve, then give them your problems, but never your solutions. 

Never give your creative team a blank slate or blank canvas and ask them to come up with an ad. Use the creative brief to create the right box for them to play in, and to solve your problem.

When I see marketers writing a big, wide brief with too many objectives, a vague target, and cluttered messaging, I wonder if you have unknowingly created too much strategic freedom. While you might think writing a big, wide creative brief provides room for creativity, it does not. Your agency will see you as confused, and will likely just peel the brief apart, rewrite the brief how they want, then provide you with strategic options, instead of creative options. 

The problem is that you will be choosing your strategy based on which ad you like.

Advertising for an erectile dysfunction drug is very effective and you can buy the drug online at a bargain price.

When I see marketers write a big, long laundry list of mandatories, everyone knows you are just trying to control the creative output. Do not create a tangled web of mandatories that almost write the ad itself, or you will trap the creative team into taking various elements in the mandatory list and build a Frankenstein-type ad. If you want great work – and I know you do – give your agency the creative freedom they need.

Read our story on how to write a creative brief

Get our Creative Brief template, Media Brief template, and our Mini Brief template

  • This includes a ready-to-use formatted blank slide with key marketing definitions where you can insert your own creative brief, media brief and mini brief for specific projects.
  • For the creative brief, we include both horizontal and vertical formats. 

Build your marketing skills with our post on how to define your Brand Positioning

One of the most important skills marketers need to know is the fundamentals of creating a brand positioning that will set up your brand to win in the marketplace. Read our step-by-step process to learn how to define your brand with a balance of functional benefits and emotional benefits. The ideal brand positioning matches what consumers want with what your brand does best.

Beloved Brands is the playbook to keep at your fingertips

Our readers tell us they reach for Beloved Brands a few times each week as a reference toolkit to help them with the day-to-day management of their brand.

  • To start, we will challenge you with questions that get you to think differently about your brand strategy.
  • Then, we take you through our process for defining your brand positioning. We will open your mind to new possibilities for how you see you can differentiate your brand. And, we use examples of brand positioning statements to bring the learning to life.
  • Next, we will show you how to write a brand plan that everyone can follow. Make sure all stakeholders know precisely how they can contribute to your brand’s success.
  • Moreover, we will show you how to run the creative execution process, show you how to write an inspiring brief, and make decisions to find both smart and breakthrough work.
  • Finally, you will learn new methods to analyze the performance of your brand with a deep-dive business review.

Above all, over 90% of our Amazon reviews receive five-star ratings, and Beloved Brands has spent numerous weeks as a #1 bestseller in brand management.

Our Brand Toolkit has every template slide you need to run your brand

If you are running a consumer-driven brand or you are a consultant looking after clients, our Brand Toolkit has every PowerPoint slide you would need.

  • Our comprehensive Brand Toolkit package has over 120 PowerPoint slides with templates for brand plan presentations, brand positioning presentations, and business review presentations. You will get slides for a creative brief, brand concept, brand credo, and brand story.
  • You will get blank slides for you to populate. Each line has key definitions. And, we provide a fully completed brand toolkit using Gray’s Cookies.
  • Bonus: We include reading on strategic thinking and how to write brand plans from our Beloved Brands playbook. You will find many of our models in our Brand Toolkit.

Examples of the slides we include in our Brand Toolkit