Posts Tagged ‘creative brief’

Top 3 Items (Besides a Logo) Every Brand Must Have

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

DEFINING YOUR BRAND

Note: this article is reprinted from our monthly e-digest, >the mixer. Click here to be added to our email list.

All about us

1)  A CREATIVE BRIEF

For companies that are serious about defining their brand and audiences, a creative brief is the essential first step. Here at Mix, our work with a new client starts with an in-depth question and answer session with our clients that gets to the heart of their business. From there, we prepare a written creative brief that guides the work we do together. What’s in the guide? For starters: the company’s objectives, audiences, competitors, personality, unique selling points and much more. The brief paints a picture of the company from past to present and into the future, and informs all of the visual choices we make about the brand throughout the design process.

2) A WELL-DEFINED COLOR PALETTE

Color PaletteDetermining a company’s color palette is about more than aesthetics—it’s setting the groundwork for creating readily recognizable designs to represent your business. A brand’s color palette takes into account the logo colors, primary and secondary text colors, colors for links and rollover states, accent colors, seasonal or specific product variations and more. The color palette is crafted to set your brand apart from competitors and express your brand’s personality. Implemented correctly, a brand’s color palette should be as recognizable by audiences as their logo. To prove my point, answer the following: what colors to Target employees wear? What are the colors of the Walmart logo?

Brand Fonts3) BRAND FONTS

Simply put, fonts influence meaning. Imagine you see a billboard for two similar retail shops. Billboard 1 features a sleek, edgy font you’ve never seen before. Billboard 2 features Arial, a font available on any PC. Which retail shop do you assume has a larger marketing budget? Which do you imagine is more successful? It’s incredibly important for a brand to select an appropriate font or set of fonts to use as part of their brand identity and stick to it. Consumers will come to associate the font with your brand, serving as a sort of mental shortcut in conveying your brand message. See our blog post for more on selecting fonts (including a fun mind-bending activity!).

Anything but “brief”

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Illustration of a creative brief

For companies that are serious about defining their brand and audiences, the creative brief is the essential first step. At Mix Creative, we typically start our work with a new client with a discovery session—an in depth question and answer session with our clients that gets at the heart of their business. From there, we prepare a written creative brief that will serve as our guide throughout the work we do together.

So what’s in a brief? It’s different from agency to agency, but a good creative brief may include:

1) The brand story. In order to understand where a company is headed, it’s important to understand where it’s come from: who were the founders, why was the business started (what was the impetus behind starting the business?), when was it started (and what was the cultural climate like then?), how was it started (as a sole proprietorship? An LLC? A Corporation?), and where it was started.

2) The brand objectives. What measures the company’s success now, and 10 years from now?

3) The brand promise. Simply put, the need the company fills for its clients.

4) The products and/or services. What are the products or deliverables clients look to the company to receive?

5) Brand benefits. What are the benefits to clients in using the company’s products and/or services. And…what is the benefit to consumers in purchasing this brand versus others?

6) Target audiences. Arguably the most important part of the brief, this section dives into who the company is selling to, including the psychology of their buying habits, their influences, their demographics, and much more. Understanding a business’s target audience is critical to that company’s success!

7) Competitors. It’s important to know and understand a company’s competitors in order to communicate to audiences how your company is different. It’s not uncommon that a client will come to me saying that they have NO competitors. To that I say, WRONG! Even if there is no one out there doing exactly what you do, there are plenty of companies out there competing for your audiences’ dollars.

8) Inspirations. Much as it is important to understand those seeking the same dollars as your audiences, there is much to learn from companies in unrelated fields that are reaching out effectively to their audiences.

9) Brand personality. This section focuses on the feel or tone of the company. Questions in this section weigh heavily in establishing the overall brand’s look and voice.

10) Brand elements. Companies may already have completed much in the way of the look and feel of their brand; sometimes the challenge is bringing disparate elements of the same brand together to form a cohesive whole.

What emerges from the brief is a picture of a company from past to present and into the future. Most of our clients find the discovery process to be enlightening, awakening their minds to aspects of their business they hadn’t considered since they began the business.