Marketing Planet

How to write a good brief?

Why a brief?

A good brief is the "guiding light" for the project in the shape of a written request. It may feel as a constraint but it is very usefull and because of this, even a key element of a project. Whether the project is internal or external, not all participants have the same understanding. Another reason of having a brief is for its control fonction. It will enable to verify the result compared to the aim and verify the delays. When using the brief for external agencies it allows all agencies to have the same information. A good comparison in their reply can thus be made.
According to these points, one will understand that the quality of the brief will represent the quality of the project itself.

What is to be included in a brief?

First part: The company

  • A presentation of the company
  • Provide the general information that will draw the companies profile
  • It should also discuss the image and notoriety of the company as well as its vocation.
  • The market situation and the competition
  • Define the limits of the market, its histroy and the trends.
  • What is the place of the company within the market? What are his current type of customers?
  • What is the place of the competition?
  • What are the products and the distribution channels used?
  • According to the project, it can be wise to enter more in detail for some products and only briefly mention others.
  • How can the customer be described?
  • Any habits in consumption, what are potentially identified customers, what trend can be noticed?
  • What type of communication does the company use?
  • According to the market, communication will be more or less agressive and more or less influential on the results and the company image.

Second part: the mission

  • What is the aim of the project?
  • Clearly identify the problem to be solved, what should this mission reply to, what effect should it have?
  • What methods should be used and what constraints exist?
  • Is the company looking for something new, what image should it reflect?
  • Are there any legal constraints such as submission of a product or a campaign, and what official authorisations might be needed?
  • Define the planning of the project.
  • What are the imperatives and the dealines to be respected?
  • Are there any influences of the season or production capacity, any training needs or coordination with other services?
  • By defining the planning, the agency will notice the good organisation, the company can thus make the expectations clear and increase its image upon the agency (and its position in negotiation).
  • Budget
  • Though it is difficult to establish a budget, it will be a guideline. If you don’t want to pin your company up, you can give a large indication.

According the the aim of the project, the brief will be more or less developed. The main elements need to be found in every brief whatsoever as also the 4P’s.

Once the brief is finalised, it is important to verify regularly the various elements. Use it as a control for the best of all and assure a good organisation.