At Koch Creative Group, we love to eat. Whether we’re having birthday breakfasts, team picnics, cook-off competitions or any other cause for a potluck, our “what to bring” sign-up sheets are completed with precision.
Things only get tricky when we go out and are forced to choose one restaurant. It’s hard to reach a consensus when you have about 20 people with different opinions. This struggle is nothing new. We’ve seen plenty of businesses who face the challenges of marketing by committee.
Several years ago, we created a “lunch box” to hold the names of dining locales. Our box did the dirty work of choosing a destination. It was faster and more convenient than having a debate. If someone wasn’t happy with the selection, it was the box’s fault.
Unfortunately, some decisions require more discussion. Sometimes you need a sign-up sheet that sets clear expectations so you don’t end up with 20 different bean dips and no chips.
That’s why we place such a high value on writing creative briefs with our clients before each project. It ensures that we’re all on the same page and working toward a shared goal. The creative brief is also a safety measure that identifies any mandatory items that we don’t want to forget.
Creative Brief Questions
-Who is the target audience?
-What sets our product/service apart?
-What is our objective?
-What is the main message?
-What are the mandatories?
Koch companies encourage all employees to think like business owners, and that’s the exact purpose of a brief. It’s a tool that challenges everyone to ponder and plan at a deeper level. This is where you share knowledge, and take personal responsibility to help make the end product more efficient and effective.
Sure, you may spend a little extra time reaching a consensus on the project objective, the right audience, the most important message, and the greatest obstacles that stand in the way of our desired result. But these are the kinds of considerations that business teams need to form an agreement about before moving forward with the creative process.
Years ago, I worked with some clients who asked me to help write a job description. The team’s previous listing wasn’t attracting qualified candidates. We started by completing a creative brief together. It was quickly apparent that each person on the team had different expectations about what kind of candidate was required. After they discussed their thoughts and reached an agreement, we were able to write a targeted listing that aligned with their needs.
Obtaining team approval of a creative brief prior to a project can often save weeks or even months of revisions and additional work down the road, not to mention dollars. Any team member who will eventually help approve the finished work on a project should ideally be involved with developing the brief — even if it’s just to confirm their approval of the document before it’s handed over to the creative team. This isn’t always easy for busy business leaders, but taking a brief moment up front can leave everyone with a better taste in their mouth when all is said and done.
Chad Armstrong first set foot in the advertising world as an account coordinator. He continued to pursue his dreams of writing and eventually worked his way into the creative department. Chad is now the senior copywriter at KCG and he’s literally known for going the extra mile as a distance runner with a passion for marathons. When he’s not on the go, you can find him managing the Boston Red Sox from his recliner or enjoying the works of other writers.