Creating a strong brand brief is a critical step in developing a brand identity that effectively communicates your business’s values, personality, and unique selling points. A well-crafted brand brief can help ensure that your brand’s visual identity is consistent, cohesive, and resonates with your target audience. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key steps involved in creating a brand brief that sets the foundation for a successful branding project.
Whether you’re developing a brand from scratch or rebranding an existing business, these tips will help you create a brand brief that serves as a roadmap for the rest of your branding efforts.
Pulling together a focused brief
When you design for yourself, it can be easy to skip the creation of a written brief. Ignoring this step could make you lose focus quickly and end up with many different things in your work instead of what was planned from day one, which may not always happen if clear goals are set at the beginning stages. But we all know how swiftly our attention wanders when working on personal projects!
Writing out those initial ideas into an actual document will help form cohesive thoughts across various areas while preventing magpieism (a term meaning collecting more than one unique idea).
Your business needs to be clear about its goals, but it’s not enough for you or your team members. If there are gaps in understanding what makes up a compelling message, people will start looking elsewhere before working on something. That means less productivity as well!
Take some time now so that when things get tough later down the line (and they always do), at least someone has something tangible with which they can refer back, too-such as a brief document listing all relevant information, including images/aspects.
So what exactly is a brand brief, and how do you create one? Keep reading to find out.
What Is a Brand Brief?
A brand brief is a document that outlines the essential elements of a brand’s identity, such as its values, personality, target audience, and unique selling points. It serves as a roadmap for developing a strong and effective brand identity that resonates with the target audience and differentiates the brand from its competitors. The brand brief typically includes a variety of information, such as the brand’s mission statement, vision statement, brand positioning, target audience demographics and psychographics, brand values, brand personality traits, unique selling points, tone of voice, and visual identity guidelines.
One of the key benefits of a brand brief is that it helps to ensure consistency across all touchpoints and channels. By having a clear and comprehensive understanding of the brand’s identity, all stakeholders involved in the branding process can create content and materials that are aligned with the brand’s values, tone of voice, and visual identity. This helps to establish a strong and cohesive brand image that resonates with the target audience and builds brand awareness and loyalty.
In addition, a brand brief can also serve as a tool for measuring the effectiveness of the brand identity. By setting clear goals and metrics for the brand identity, the brand brief can help evaluate the success of the branding efforts and identify areas for improvement.
Overall, a brand brief is an essential tool for developing a strong and effective brand identity. It helps ensure consistency across all touchpoints and channels, establishes a clear and comprehensive understanding of the brand’s identity, and provides a roadmap for measuring the effectiveness of the branding efforts. Whether you’re developing a brand from scratch or rebranding an existing business, a well-crafted brand brief is an investment in the long-term success of the brand.
What elements should be included in a brand brief?
A well-crafted brand brief should include a variety of elements that help define and communicate the brand’s identity. Some of the key elements to include in a brand brief are:
- Brand mission statement: A concise statement that defines the brand’s purpose and what it aims to achieve.
- Brand vision statement: A statement that outlines the brand’s long-term goals and aspirations.
- Target audience: A detailed description of the brand’s ideal customer, including demographics and psychographics.
- Brand positioning: A clear and concise statement that describes how the brand wants to be perceived in the market relative to its competitors.
- Unique selling points: A list of the brand’s key differentiators and competitive advantages.
- Brand values: A set of core values that guide the brand’s behavior and decision-making.
- Brand personality: A description of the brand’s personality traits, such as friendly, innovative, or sophisticated.
- Tone of voice: Guidelines for the brand’s communication style, including language, tone, and messaging.
- Visual identity: Guidelines for the brand’s visual elements, including the logo, color palette, typography, and imagery.
- Brand messaging: Examples of key messages that communicate the brand’s value proposition and unique selling points.
By including these elements in a brand brief, businesses can create a comprehensive document that serves as a roadmap for developing a strong and effective brand identity. It can help ensure consistency across all touchpoints and channels, build brand awareness and loyalty, and differentiate the brand from its competitors.
Creating a Brand Brief: The Steps You Need to Take
Now that you know what a brand brief is, it’s time to learn how to create one. Luckily, the process is not nearly as daunting as it may seem initially. Follow these steps:
1. Define your target audience.
This step is crucial because everything else will flow from it. Whom are you trying to reach with your brand? What are their needs and wants? Once you understand your target audience, you’ll be able to craft messaging that resonates with them.
2. Develop your key messages.
What do you want people to know about your brand? What are its most essential features? Write down a few key messages—think about them as the foundation of everything else you’ll be creating.
3. Create a style guide.
Your brand style guide should include your logo, color palette, fonts, and overall aesthetic. This will ensure that all of your marketing materials are consistent and cohesive.
4. Outline your content strategy.
What kind of content will you be creating? How often will you be posting? Answering these questions will help you develop a content strategy that supports your overall goals.
5. Set some KPIs (key performance indicators).
What results are you looking to achieve with your branding efforts? Do you want more website visitors? More social media followers? More sales? Choose KPIs aligned with your overall business goals and track them over time to see if you’re making progress.
6. Create your brand book
After completing all the steps above, you should have everything you need to start putting together your brand book. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy—a simple PDF will do—but it should include all of the information from the steps above so that anyone on your team can reference it when needed.
How much detail should be included in a brand brief?
When it comes to how much detail should be included, the answer can vary depending on the specific needs and goals of the branding project. The brief should provide enough information to guide the branding process, but not be so detailed that it becomes overwhelming or difficult to follow.
A brand brief typically includes a range of information about the company or organization, such as its history, values, mission statement, unique selling points, target audience, and desired brand personality. It may also include information about competitors, market trends, and any existing brand assets that will need to be incorporated into the new brand identity.
The level of detail included in each of these sections can vary based on the needs of the project. For example, some companies may want to include detailed customer personas or market research data to inform their branding decisions, while others may rely more on intuition and personal experience.
Ultimately, the goal of a brand brief is to provide a clear and concise overview of the brand’s identity and goals. It should provide enough information to guide the branding process and ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page, while also being easy to understand and follow. As such, the level of detail included in a brand brief should strike a balance between providing sufficient information and avoiding unnecessary complexity.
Can a brand brief help you attract and retain customers?
Yes, a brand brief can help you attract and retain customers by providing a clear and consistent brand identity that resonates with your target audience.
A well-crafted brief defines the essential elements of your brand, such as your values, personality, unique selling points, and target audience. This information can help you create a strong brand identity that sets you apart from your competitors and appeals to your target audience. By clearly communicating your brand’s values and personality, you can attract customers who share those values and identify with your brand’s personality traits.
Additionally, a consistent brand identity can help you retain customers by creating a sense of familiarity and trust. When customers have a positive experience with your brand, they are more likely to become loyal customers and recommend your brand to others. By consistently communicating your brand’s values, personality, and unique selling points across all touchpoints and channels, you can create a strong brand identity that resonates with your customers and builds trust over time.
How can a brand brief be adapted for different audiences or purposes?
A brand brief can be adapted for different audiences or purposes by focusing on the key elements that are most relevant to the specific context.
- Identify the key objectives: The first step in adapting a brand brief is to identify the key objectives of the project. For example, if the brief is being used to pitch the company to potential investors, the focus may be on highlighting the market opportunity and financial projections. If the brief is being used to guide internal branding efforts, the focus may be on outlining the company’s values and desired brand personality.
- Customize the messaging: Once the key objectives have been identified, the messaging in the brand brief can be customized to suit the specific audience or purpose. For example, if the brand brief is being used to pitch the company to potential investors, the messaging may be more focused on the financial aspects of the project. If the brand brief is being used to guide internal branding efforts, the messaging may be more focused on the company’s culture and values.
- Highlight the most relevant sections: Depending on the audience or purpose, certain sections may be more relevant than others. For example, if the brief is being used to pitch the company to potential investors, the section on market analysis and growth potential may be particularly important. If the brand brief is being used to guide internal branding efforts, the section on company values and desired brand personality may be more relevant.
- Use appropriate visuals and formatting: The visuals and formatting of the brand brief can also be adapted to suit the specific audience or purpose. For example, if the brand brief is being used to pitch the company to potential investors, it may be appropriate to include charts and graphs to illustrate market data. If the brand brief is being used to guide internal branding efforts, it may be more appropriate to use more creative visuals that reflect the company’s culture and personality.
Overall, adapting a brand brief for different audiences or purposes involves customizing the messaging, highlighting the most relevant sections, and using appropriate visuals and formatting to ensure that the key information is conveyed effectively.
In conclusion, a strong brand brief is the foundation of a successful branding project. It helps ensure that your brand identity is consistent, cohesive, and resonates with your target audience. By following the key steps outlined in this guide, you can create a brand brief that effectively communicates your business’s values, personality, and unique selling points.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or rebranding an existing business, taking the time to create a comprehensive brand brief will help you stay focused, aligned, and on track throughout the branding process. So, invest the time and effort to create a strong brand brief, and you’ll be well on your way to developing a memorable and impactful brand identity.
Read more about visual branding:
What is Visual Branding and How It Can Help Your Business
Visual Brand Strategy – What Is It?
How To Style Your Brand – Clarity
How To: Define Your Ideal Customers And Customer Archetypes