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From brief to brilliant: elevating your marketing game

4th May 2023

4-minutes read

The creative brief holds together any design project. A good brief leads to a good result so let’s focus on some key points that should be included in any creative brief.


The proposition describes the single idea or thought that the design should communicate.

This should be conveyed as a single sentence, never a list. Few people have time to absorb a fraction of communication they're bombarded with every day, and for any hope of your message cutting through the noise it must be single-minded.


What are the most powerful benefits customers receive by choosing your business?

What is the benefit of your service or product? "We deliver next day" is not a benefit: you need to go a stage further - what is the benefit of next day delivery? Be specific: the more targeted the message, the powerful it becomes.

Tone of voice

How do you want your marketing material to sound?

Reassuring? Informal? Helpful? Does your target audience want guarantees? Or are they turned off by too much detail? Although this section is often dictated by the nature of your business, don’t confuse who you are with who you target. Tone of voice can come down to subtle variations in copy or visual cues such as font choices and colours.

Target market

Think specifically about the person targeted by the media you’re designing.

Don’t describe your target market as "women aged 20 - 50” as this is too vague.

Go deeper and develop a brand persona, a fictitious customer that your business aims to serve. Consider income, marital status, occupation, education, personal tastes, attitudes and buying habits. What do they watch on TV? Love Island or Panorama? Would they use public transport? Would they buy their car from a main dealer, car supermarket or Ebay?

Don’t worry that you’re making a judgement about their behaviour, you’re just trying to understand it better. If you struggle to narrow it down, consider a "primary” and "secondary” target market that don’t conflict.

Product / service positioning

Every organisation has a specific market position.

Where does your business sit within the marketplace? Although many brands outwardly appear to target the same customers, each will be targeting a slightly different persona and its useful at this stage to understand what those differences are.

It's also worth identifying your indirect competition as well as your direct competitors. If a customer chooses not to buy from you, who are they buying from, and are they necessarily buying from a direct competitor? For example, consider somebody who needs to buy a gift. One online retailer sells clothing. another sells jewellery. Despite selling different products, the clothing store might face much bigger competition from the jewellery store rather than rival clothing retailers. Is it possible to draw a similar parallel in your own marketplace?

Call to action

Every design needs a call to action. Do you want customers to sign up to your mailing list? Visit a website? Visit your premises? Follow your Linkedin company page?

Think carefully about what you sell and the media you use. If you’re a service business, perhaps a sales appointment is the right outcome? For big ticket product businesses, a sale at this stage of the interaction might seem unlikely: instead, should you encourage your would-be customer to request more information or visit your showroom which is a tentative step towards their first order? However you want your customers to interact, remember to include details that make interaction easier: "Free Delivery”, "Free Parking”, "Open 7-days a week” etc.


Explain to your designer how much you want to invest in your project. Being clear and honest up front helps your designer answer your brief in the best way without exceeding your limits.

There’s no point getting a response to the brief from your designer only to find that it’s way beyond budget - that’s a frustrating outcome for client and designer alike.

A well written creative brief is the key to any successful design project and you should invest time and thought getting it right. The better your designer understands your requirements, the better the results.

A full briefing document can help with your own brand development or design project. Give us a call and find out how we can help you attract more business.

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Mark Wilde

Mark Wilde

Creative Director

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