Four brightly colored crumpled pieces of paper sit on the ground while a bright yellow one is elevated and looks lit up light a lightbulb

Whether you’re a writer, a producer or a designer, if you’re undertaking a creative endeavor with a client – a creative brief is essential.

When done well, a detailed creative brief can be an incredible time and sanity saver for both parties.

Because the document clearly outlines the client’s vision it allows the service provider to understand and manage expectations – thus helping everyone avoid buyer’s remorse once the work has been completed and the budget spent.

Creative Briefs Supply “Golden Nuggets of Information”

As the CEO and Creative Director of tbk Creative, Melissa McInerney has spent almost a decade honing the creative brief that her agency uses to assist their clients.

“Our creative brief isn’t short, but you don’t need to fill in every question,” she says. “It’s hard to be objective about your own company, but through answering some key questions, examples start to come out that highlight what’s special about you. These ‘golden nuggets’ are great launch points for our team to dig deeper into a project.”

Questions Your Creative Brief Should Answer

In its basic form, a brief should outline what the project is, what it’s trying to accomplish and who the target audience/market is for the activity.

However, the above is only scratching the surface. Asking more provocative questions can have its merit in revealing what makes your client tick. Understanding who they are and why they do what they do will allow you to create assets that match their brand, their voice and their vision.

Amazing Questions to Ask in Your Creative Brief

Melissa and tbk Creative have spent over 6 years developing their brief. Here are some examples of the questions they may ask their clients:

  • Why do you get up in the morning?
  • What’s your favorite part of what you do every day?
  • What groups inspire you – and why?
  • What do you want to be famous for or receive recognition for?
  • If you had to start another business, why would that business be successful?

“When people start answering these questions, you start learning so much about what drives them,” says Melissa. “They step away from the product or service that they’re currently focused on – and allow you to understand why the client wants to make it successful.”

Do You Need to Develop a Website, Refresh Your Web Design or Help a Client Do the Same?

Listen to Melissa talk about how she helps clients to craft compelling communications online, on the Sound Stories Podcast.

Melissa McInerney, CEO and Chief Creative Officer at tbk Creative.
Melissa McInerney, CEO and Chief Creative Officer at tbk Creative.

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