Brand Design Brief | Guide + Template

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When switching from Google Docs to HolaBrief, I found that our briefs became significantly more in depth
- Terri Williams, Agency Founder

What is a Brand Identity Design Brief?

Let us first begin with what is a brand… Investopedia defines it as:

(...) a business and marketing concept that helps people identify a particular company, product, or individual. Brands are intangible, which means you can't actually touch or see them. As such, they help shape people's perceptions of companies, their products, or individuals.

In other words, it is a tool, a symbol that helps people identify an entity. Its job is, once seen, to bring to mind that entity and quickly communicate what they are all about (what they sell, in which industry they are in, their personality and style, etc.).

A brand identity design brief is simply a document that collects and contains all the information that the brand strategist/designer needs to build a solid brand identity that the client will love, but not only that.

Its purpose is also to give the project a logistical structure, specifying things like responsibilities, stakeholders, deliverables, milestones, and dates. If anyone involved has a question about the project, the answer should be easily found by accessing the creative brief.

What Makes a Perfect Branding Creative Brief

After working with many agencies and freelancers we’ve realized that good branding creative briefs share similar traits that make them effective. Here are the ones you should consider when writing one from scratch o when choosing a briefing platform (we can proudly say that HolaBrief possesses them all!)

  • They ask the right questions
  • They provide the necessary information
  • They are not complex
  • They are easily accessible by anyone involved in the project
  • They provide a creative direction
  • They provide logistic and administrative information
  • They foster collaboration between agency and client

How to write a Creative Brief for Branding in 7 Steps

Building a brand identity brief from the ground up can be a difficult task, especially if it’s your first time doing it - but don’t worry! If you follow these steps to the T you’ll be on the right track to writing the perfect brief.

Or if you want to be 100% that you are using the best brief possible, we invite you to create a HolaBrief account for free and choose our proven Brand Brief Template.

1) Project Overview

The first step to create a visual identity and brand brief is to provide an overview of the project. Here you should aim to define:

  • Stakeholders (on the client and the agency side)
  • Budget
  • Deliverables
  • Date of Delivery
  • Problems to Solve
  • Company Background
  • Project Background
  • Past Efforts (successful and unsuccessful)

This section aims to give everyone involved a bird’s eye view of the project and define its foundations.

2) Define an Objective

At the end of the day, everything is built with a goal in mind. The idea in this step is to write down why your client needs a new brand and what is driving this decision. Perhaps it’s because their current strategy is not working, the branding style being used is not communicating the company’s values well enough, or just that it’s a new business and they require a brand guide.

Your job as a creative and project manager is to discover which business need your client is trying to solve and state it in a few words. Take your time with this step, make sure you are truly understanding your client’s needs and are reading between the lines - sometimes they don’t know how to put their thoughts into words.

3) Discover Your Brand’s Essence

As we said at the beginning of the article, the goal of a brand is to communicate the business’ essence straightforwardly and intuitively. Logically, the way to do that is to investigate and discover the brand’s essence. Some questions that will help you are:

  • What does the company do?
  • How do they do it? Which products and services do they offer?
  • Why do they do it? What’s their raison d'être (reason to be)? Why do they exist?
  • What are their values?
  • What is the company’s personality? If they were a person, who would they be?

4) Build Your Customer Persona

At the end of the day, the objective of a brand is to appeal to a certain group of people. If you don’t have them in mind while building a branding strategy, chances are that the result will not be as effective.

That’s why it’s imperative to build one (or several) customer personas and have them in mind while working on the brand design. In HolaBrief we are aware of it and that’s why we’ve built an interactive Customer Persona exercise that you can include in your branding briefs and complete with your client.

5) Map Out Your Competitors

Remember when we mentioned that a brand’s primary objective is to help the company position itself in the mind of its customers? Well, this task would be easy if they were the only ones in the market, but chances are they are not.

Every company exists in a conceptual world where several players compete for a piece of the buyer’s mind. By mapping out your client’s competitors in a visual way, it will help you design a brand that stands out and differentiate from all of them in a meaningful manner.

6) Choose a Visual Direction

Once you’ve defined an objective, discovered the brand’s essence, built the ideal customer persona, and mapped out the client’s competitors, it’s time to give the project a visual direction. In other words, based on the information collected in previous sections: How do you (and your client) want the new brand to look like?

Interactive Moodboards are a great tool for this step since both of you can upload images of brands and pictures you like. In HolaBrief we offer this tool for free, so go try it out!

7) Define Milestones and Deadlines

The last step is to define milestones and their respective deadlines. Unless you are the best brand strategist in the world (and even then), it’s a good practice to set milestones and schedule feedback sessions throughout the whole design process.

This allows your client to tell you what they think about the direction you are giving to the brand and correct it before it’s too late. It also provides you, as a brand strategist and designer, the assurance that you’ll not be wasting precious time on something that your client will not ultimately like.

A Good Brand Identity Design Brief Example

There are tons of good branding brief examples on the internet, but after going from most of them we’ve realized that there’s no one brief that fits every project’s requirements. That’s why, inside the HolaBrief platform, we’ve built a proven branding brief template that you can use to kickstart your projects the right way.

The good news is that this template is customizable so you can delete or add exercises based on your project’s needs and specifications. Go check the template out by creating an account!

Build and Download Proven Brand Design Brief Samples

After finishing this blog, you are in the best spot to write a brand design brief from nothing, no matter the type of project. But what if I told you you don’t need to start from scratch?

We built HolaBrief to develop the best creative brief software out there. After doing hundreds of briefs, talking to dozens of agencies, and lots of trial and error, we’ve created the ultimate tool to create interactive, collaborative, and professionally-looking briefs.

You can give HolaBrief a try FOR FREE, create your brief and send it to your client in a few minutes. As simple as that!

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Explore More Templates

Build interactive briefs that your clients will love to fill out

Either pick from our tested templates or create custom briefs using interactive exercises like Moodboard, Customer Persona, or Competitors Map. Once done, send the link to the client so they can respond without the need to have an account.

Ready to create standout work in less time?

Join 1000s of agencies using HolaBrief to set up their projects for success.

Ready to create standout work in less time?

Join 1000s of agencies using HolaBrief to set up their projects for success.