How to write a branding brief. By Fiona Sands, Designtastic
One of the most crucial aspects of an organisation’s branding is consistency. A branding brief, sometimes referred to as a brand strategy roadmap, exists to cement that consistency. It’s one comprehensive document, detailing exactly what your brand represents- and what it doesn’t represent.
Done right, a branding brief can be an invaluable reference point. It’s the document that will enable your team, and external agencies, to communicate your brand effectively.
But despite what its name might suggest, this kind of brief should be extensive. There are a number of steps involved, and in today’s blog, we’ll be breaking those steps down.
What’s the point of a branding brief?
Companies produce branding briefs to ensure there’s no confusion about their vision, goals, and style. This is particularly important if your company has enlisted the help of a creative agency to bring your brand to life. Outlining in detail what your brand is, or what you want your brand to be, will give the agency the best opportunity to keep their creative in line with your goals.
What’s the difference between a branding brief and a design brief?
Branding briefs and design briefs are inherently similar, but the terms are far from interchangeable. While a branding brief encapsulates the values and goals of the company’s entire brand, a design brief focuses on a specific campaign or project. A design brief is also typically more focused on aesthetic than on overarching strategy.
Nevertheless, every campaign or project will have roots in the initial branding brief. And if an external agency is using your design brief for a specific project, it’s likely that they’ll also use the branding brief for reference.
What to include in a branding brief
How to write a branding brief revolves largely around what to include in the branding brief. Not every brief will look the same, or include the same information. If your company’s still in its infancy, you may not even possess all of the information. But, generally, a comprehensive branding brief should at the very least touch on the following:
The goals and objectives of your brand. Tell your stakeholders and your creative agency why exactly you’re creating, or reworking, the brand. Outline the goals you’d like the brand to achieve
Your vision statement, and your mission statement. You might be wondering: aren’t those the same? But that’s not quite the case. A vision statement should be the ultimate goal of your brand and business- where you hope to be in the next 10 years or so. A mission statement focuses on how you’re going to get there
The target audience for your brand. Define who you’re trying to target with your brand. If you’re still in the process of honing in on your audience, think about who most likely stands to benefit from the brand- the customer you probably had in mind when you first conceived of it
Your brand’s USP (unique selling point). This is the defining element of your entire brand, the thing that sets your brand apart from competitors. Which brings us to
Your competitors. Take a good look at the current market. Outline what’s working for your competitors, and what’s not quite working. There may be certain aspects of their strategies that you’d like to replicate- and others that you’d rather avoid
Your brand voice. You can’t convey your brand’s messaging effectively without first specifying your voice, and your tone.
Conclusion: how to write a branding brief
With so much riding on the contents of your branding brief, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. But by carefully crafting this comprehensive document, you're laying the foundation for a successful and cohesive brand identity. A well-executed brief ensures that everyone involved in bringing your brand to life understands its essence, goals, and USPs.
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