What is a brand brief?


WTI brabd brief masthead

A brand brief is the place where lots of data and learning are boiled down into a simple unique selling idea. The brand brief I use was borrowed from McCann-Erickson while under the reign of Peter Kim in the 90s. As hard as I’ve tried to make it better, I’ve only been able to tweak it. It provides a wonderful logic that when filled in serially (in order) delivers a strong reason to buy. Or Selling Idea as Mr. Kim called it.

I know when I’m not there yet or not fully prepared when tripping over the logic flow of the brief. Each element, an opportunity to create a mini-headline, contains an important insight. Done right, the insights link together like a beautiful song.  

What makes this brief a brand brief rather than a creative brief is that beyond the main strategy idea (claim) lie three support planks. This is an addition to the McCann brief. These planks focus and array the proof, pounding home and cementing the claim in the minds of customers. Claim and proof. There are only three planks because that’s what consumers can remember.

If working with a feisty creative person who doesn’t like long briefs, I can jump the logic and hit the idea. But the logic is telling, so I prefer the long form.

The brand brief is my secret sauce and one only shared with clients…though I am happy to share some of its outputs, upon request. Peace.

Steve at WhatsTheIdea