Getting the brief right – and ensuring it delivers winning work

When a football team loses 9-0, we typically expect there’s been some sort of communication breakdown between the manager and the players. At least that’s how it appears to us, but you’d have to check with some Southampton fans to be sure.

In fairness to the Saints, a mismatch between what the manager expects and what the players produce happens across the Premier League. During the increasingly rare times that it goes wrong for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, it’s often speculated that he has overcomplicated his tactics. The players simply don’t understand what’s being asked of them.

Likewise, during Unai Emery’s ill-fated spell at Arsenal, it was suggested that his inability to speak English fluently was harming performances. Put simply, getting good results relies on objectives being agreed and understood.

It’s the same with great creative work. Creating inspiring animation – or delivering a really effective social campaign that leaves everyone happy – doesn’t happen by chance. Instead, it’s the product of a detailed brief – that everyone fully understands and believes in.

The beauty of preparing a brief is that the process is often as useful for our clients as it is for us. It allows brands to truly understand their own positioning and why they deserve a hearing from their target audiences.

It also makes it much more likely that we get it spot-on with our work first time, makes it easier to measure the success of the campaign and lays the groundwork for achieving incredible results.

So, now that you’re presumably sold on the benefits of a good brief, we’ll take a look at just what this contains.

The key elements of a brief

When it comes to what we want in the perfect brief, we need the game plan from the manager, we need to know what the fans expect, and we need to know about the players on the pitch.

The manager

With the manager, it’s all about the big idea. You’ve got your scouting report, know exactly how your opponents tend to play and have a clear game plan. We need to understand your thinking and what you want to achieve, which should be distilled into a key message or objective.

The fans

When it comes to the fans, or your target audience for the campaign, we want to know what it is about your brand that should have your supporters singing your praises from the terraces. What’s genuinely different about your brand? If you’re in a crowded space, what’s the element of your offer that you do better than your competition?

Also, who’s your number one fan and how did you win them over? What is it about them that makes them so loyal?

Finally we need the players. Here, we mean the elements of the campaign that actually make things happen on the pitch. Do you have some unique IP or skills that you can share with us? Or a really credible influencer backing your brand? Or some decent budget to create campaigns that run across multiple channels? Once we’re clear on what we’re working with, we can get excited about the results we can achieve.

The players

If we’ve got you fired up and ready to draft the perfect brief, then, as luck would have it, we’ve made this process really simple. We’ve created a downloadable template that explains everything. It also contains box outs, allowing you to quickly supply all the info required.

We hope you find the process valuable and we’re confident it could set you well on your way to enjoying some 9-0 victories.

You can download our perfect brief template by clicking below