Brand Briefing Resource: How to Brief a Brand Agency

14 November 2019

Every branding and design project starts with a brief. This is a meeting or document that outlines everything an agency needs to know about your brand and the kind of work you’re after.

A brief’s purpose is to make sure both parties are clear on every important piece of information so the work delivered can be of the highest possible standard.

But in order to be presented with something that truly resonates with you, it’s essential that you provide a complete picture of your brand.

The importance of a brief cannot be overstated. An inadequate brief can greatly affect both the creative process and the outcome of the work.

Remember: The team you’re briefing isn’t privy to the same information as your own team. The more details you can share, the better.

Avoiding this situation is as simple as making sure you arrive at the brief meeting fully prepared. So to make sure you don’t forget anything, here’s everything you need to brief a brand agency.

Before the Brief

The key to a great brief is being prepared.

Set some time aside to review your brand’s past and present from both an internal and external perspective.

Review all your internal documents, from staff orientation manuals to styleguides. Go through your logos, colour schemes, and anything that’s branded.

“It’s always better to provide too much than not enough.”

How have you presented your brand across social media? With your signage? Through your marketing materials? It’s all relevant.

Next, think about who you’re trying to reach and who you’re up against. In other words, your target audience and your competition.

Your audience might be your current customers, a new type of client you’re trying to target, or even prospective employees to grow your team.

A good agency will research your competitors, but it’s still a good idea to provide any relevant names to create that complete picture of your brand.

“An inadequate brief can greatly affect both the creative process and the outcome of the work.”

Most importantly, think about your goals. What do you want to get out of this project? What purpose will it serve? What are you hoping to gain from a big-picture perspective?

For instance, you might need a new logo because your current one is outdated. But a new logo can also attract a new kind of customer, demonstrate your difference from your competitors, and shift the mood in your team.

Finally, have some examples of similar brands or work that inspires you. It’s important that you know what you like and what you don’t.

Your examples don’t have to be in your industry, either. There’s no such thing as too obscure.

However, make sure you don’t confuse something you like with something you want your brand to look like. These aren’t always the same thing but are often confused.

Branding is sort of like a haircut. You might the look of a certain cut on someone else, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to work on you.

During the Brief

Now that you have all the required information, you need to know how to articulate it.

We often encounter clients who apologise when they hand over all the documents they’ve compiled. But the truth is, we love it! The more information on your brand we have, the better.

You never know what might be significant. It’s always better to provide too much than not enough.

“An inadequate brief can greatly affect both the creative process and the outcome of the work.”

During the brief, you’ll be asked lots of questions about your history, your service model, and your values. It’s vital that you can explain exactly what it is that your brand does to someone outside of your industry. Don’t assume any prior knowledge.

Make sure you’re upfront about any challenges your brand is currently facing. That could be staffing issues, internal challenges, controversies, PR issues, or sales. Don’t leave anything out, no matter how irrelevant you might think it is.

The work you’re paying for is going to see your brand through to the foreseeable future, so share any developments on the horizon. Are you undergoing a merger or acquisition? Are there any significant upcoming events?

This also ties in with another essential detail: Your deadline and budget. Do you need the work turned around before a specific date? Is there limited flexibility in how much you can spend?

Be upfront with these details, but also ask the right questions of your agency. What kind of turnaround time do they work with? What’s the working process like in terms of presenting concepts and revisions? This kind of information is essential for managing expectations and ensuring everyone is on the same page.

“There’s no such thing as too obscure.”

If you’ve had experiences with other agencies — good or bad — make sure to mention them, too. It’s always a good idea to be crystal clear on the kind of service and work you’ll be receiving, as well as voice any concerns you might have from past experiences.

If there’s one thing we always stress to our clients, it’s that there’s no such thing as too much information or too many questions. That’s why we’re always open to answering any queries you might have for our team, whether it’s in regards to brand design or brand story.
Ready to start the briefing process? Get in touch today and let’s start brainstorming.

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