B2B Design Briefs can come in all shapes and forms. Whether it’s a two-hour ear-burner over the phone to scrawlings on the inside cover of a Rizla packet, one thing is certain – A quality brief makes for an excited designer, which makes for quality work, which makes for happy clients.
Drafting and sharing a design brief is a vital part of building a mutual understanding of what the project is about, and expectations of how creative will support it. Correctly conveying an idea, complex or simple, to your agency will ensure that you get the best work and the best results for your investment.
Now, we are not stupid enough to think that one size fits all, so feel free to de-generalise the following SEO friendly list. So, without further ado, here’s are our top 5 tips on how to write the perfect B2B Design brief.
1 Clear, Concise and Digestible
Like the word may suggest, keep your design briefs, brief! Only give information that is needed to complete the task at hand. A designer does not need to know all the company history, its successes and failings. Briefly, explain what the business is about as if you were explaining to a friend.
Writing a brief should not be a creative writing project, nor an opportunity to play jargon bingo. Keep it simple, understandable and to-the-point. An overly elaborate brief may lead to confusion. Confusion never speeds things up. Designers tend to be visual animals (big eyes, very small ears), so include any visual references that you think might be helpful, as well as any insights gleaned from previous campaigns.
2 Desired outcomes
Every brief, whether it’s B2B or B2C, should contain a problem that needs to be solved. This problem needs to be clearly defined, eg. “We have a great product but the perception is that it is only useful during the summer months, we need a campaign that will change this perception”. If the problem is not entirely clear, more research may be needed and a strategy defined before moving to the briefing phase. It’s important to have a clear vision of what the core message of the work should be. What should be the number one thing that the audience remembers?
If you are super clever, outline how the work will impact the business objectives, including any KPI’s – so you can claim the attribution when it happens! Win!
3. Project Parameters
It’s vital to include as much detail as possible on the key information such as:
- Campaign timing – including any 3rd party supplier deadlines and specifications
- Budget available
- Resources and assets available
- Formats required
- Appropriate language and image guidelines
- Required Tone of the work – e.g. Authoritative? Friendly? Approachable?
- Context/ market in which the work will be seen – In what countries and cultures will the work be seen?
- Design process – how frequently would you like to be updated on the project? What format should that take?
4 Mandatory Considerations
What technical or regulatory information must be included in the work? How should this appear? What legal disclaimers or terms and conditions information that needs to factored in? How should the brand logo appear and at what size (brand guidelines would be really helpful too!) Is there a protracted sign off period within your business or organization? Does it need to go through your legal department? Who will ultimately sign off on the work, and what are their main business objectives and concerns? These ‘boring but necessary’ parts are often the biggest final hurdle to getting your design project signed off on deadline.
5 What does success look like?
It’s always great to get an indication of what you think a great outcome looks like. Set your expectations clearly and your Design Team will endeavour to meet them. If you’d like something innovative, new and exciting, include it in the brief – Conversely, if you’d like something proven and steadfast, similar to previous work, include it in the brief.
The more consideration that’s put into drafting a B2B design brief, the better the outcome for you and your business.
The results speak for themselves – check out our work for clients following a great brief.