Tips For Developing a Branded Creative Brief

graphic of a document, a file, a notebook, a keyboard and a pencil on a desk.

 A creative brief is an essential document that every brand should carefully develop. In this article, I walk through what I believe are the most crucial parts of a branded creative brief and why they are so important. I also leave you with some principles to keep in mind when curating your brand's first creative brief.

Post created: by Makenna Miner, Applied IMC Spring, 2023

Just so we’re clear…what exactly is a creative brief?

A creative brief is a document that is created by marketers or project managers to plan a campaign or creative project. It serves as a blueprint for your project. This type of creative brief is important in gaining a clear understanding of your process and goals of a campaign, yet creative briefs can also serve as a tool to help define your own brand. Creating a personal branded creative brief for your brand ensures your organization knows its customers, recognizes the needs that it can fulfill, and understands its true mission and goals. A personal creative brief, or brand brief, can help you establish your new startup or personal brand and guide you as you begin taking on projects.

The Most Integral Pieces of the Creative Brief

A creative brief can have a few sections or a dozen. Each section is important, yet I find five aspects to encompass the creative brief’s mission. These areas ground your brand and help steer you or your team in the right direction throughout ideation. The areas that I personally find most important to conquer in order to establish a solid foundation of your brand are PurposePeopleProblem and Product Strategy.

Why They’re So Important

Every part of the creative brief is important, yet I would argue the ones listed above are the most important when utilizing the creative brief to uniquely serve your customers. If you have time to devote to bettering a portion of your brand’s creative brief, I’d recommend focusing on these sections. And here’s why:

crossword puzzle with the words purpose, product, problem and people highlighted.


  • Purpose of the Brand. The purpose of the brand briefly explains how your brand can fulfill your target market’s needs. The purpose statement gives your brand the opportunity to describe how you differentiate yourself while still having an understanding of what your customers desire. An authentic purpose statement can guide yourself and your team through a project and ensure that everyone is working with the same mission in mind. Cohesion can evolve out of a quality purpose statement - without one, gaps in performance and brand strength can form. 
  • PeopleTarget Market Description. Our customers are everything, so it's imperative that we fully understand who they are. Demographics and psychographics, when defined by data, helps your brand tailor its offerings to its customers. Benefits sought by the target market give your brand a deeper understanding of how your outcomes should translate to the satisfaction of your customers. Defining and revisiting the customer's benefits sought help you remember what value you can and should deliver in order to satisfy your customers.
  • Problem Statement. The problem statement describes, from your customer’s point of view, what needs must be fulfilled by your brand. The problem statement helps your brand get to the very root of the issue. By defining who the customer is, what they are attempting to accomplish, why they are unable to accomplish it currently, and how they feel when they aren’t able to fulfill their need, your brand builds a starting point and inspiration for your product strategy.
  • Product Strategy. The product strategy describes the customer's benefits sought (defined in the target market description), physical features of your brand, intellectual advantages of your physical features, and emotional benefits the customer experiences from the physical features you provide. The product strategy helps break down each benefit your customers seek and define exactly how you can create that benefit not only physically via deliverables, but intellectually and emotionally. The product strategy discovers the deeper needs of the customer and ensures that your brand can satisfy customer needs.

Final Thoughts & Things to Keep in Mind

As I work on creating my third client creative brief and as I continue to revise my own branded creative brief, I reflect on some key principles I've collected and keep in mind when working on a creative brief.

As so eloquently and beautifully stated by Pam from The Office, "pobody’s nerfect." Nobody’s perfect, everyone makes mistakes, and that’s why we iterate. Something to keep at the front of your mind when working on a creative brief is that the first draft will not be perfect. It will have flaws and issues, which is perfectly okay. 

Run your drafts by multiple people, multiple times. If you have professional marketing or management friends, ask them to critique your draft with a critical eye. Then make the appropriate changes. Then go back and ask them to take a look at it again. Then change it again. Having our colleagues critique our creative brief helps us to consider different perspectives and see things we never would have caught on our own.

Dig below surface level. Ask “why?” as many times as you need to get to the root of a motivation, problem, purpose, benefit or objective.

Keep coming back. As you discover more about your customers and as your brand grows, the creative brief should be updated. Make as many amendments as you see fit because growing with your customers is essential in keeping and retaining them. Also, come back to ground yourself. Routinely remind yourself of your brand’s purpose, what your values are, who exactly your target market is and what your defined objectives are. 

Lastly, something to keep in mind is that the creative brief should not only be about your customers, but it should also be about you. Don’t take this sentiment too far, though. It’s important to think of your customers and their needs throughout the entire document, yet don’t forget to inject your brand’s style and personality into the brief. There is a section for brand elements, so be sure to format your brief accordingly. Follow the tone, colors, fonts and even your values as you draft your document so that the end products is integrated with your brand.