Over the past ten years, the best projects I’ve been across are the ones where the client is in the thick of it, working together with the agency at each step - especially in creating the brief. It's in this collaboration that synergies and ideas come to life, and those lightbulb moments spark.
None of this is possible without the right brief, that central source we all need to refer back to now and then. And while getting one together might sound easy, there are definitely right and wrong ways to go about it.
The best briefs are human and just a little organic – after all it’s a human-shaped process.
Every client’s different – they all like to work in their own particular way. Here at Dave Clark Design, we not only understand it, we embrace it. We do so by creating a briefing process based on whatever suits our client's best way of working - rather than tie them to a single, prescribed, rigid process.
Once we receive an initial brief, we don’t take that as the be all and end all. From an account management perspective, our job is to delve further and ask various questions to fully understand the problem we’ve been asked to solve.
We ask for reports, data and any analytics that will support our thinking. And in identifying points that may not have been on a anyone’s radar, we might even suggest different approaches that work better.
Finally, we go back to clients with a summary and agree on the scope, approach and goals. It’s important to have a formal agreement, since account managers use this as a guide to track budget and brief creatives. Then we can get cooking!
If you remember nothing else, remember to…
- Consider the brief as a starting point for discussion
- Communicate and collaborate during the process
- Agree on next steps and actions
- Stay grounded and be authentic to cultivate true relationships
Katie Tat is the Auckland General Manager of Dave Clark Design.