How to write a creative brief for a brochure

In an earlier post, I had touched upon context and how the creative would be consumed by customers.

Building on that let’s take an example and then discuss the implications of how this will translate into creative work.

The brief for the brochure pictured above was conveyed along the following lines:

  • Great Lakes Management Institute professors are acknowledged experts in advising senior managers on the routes to profitability
  • The focus of the 2-day program is that unseen revenue drop-offs affect profitability and is not part of normal reporting
  • Prospects attending the program will expect to get insights on what they should guard against
  • The names of the people conducting the program have to feature prominently since they are well known
  • It will be handed over personally to the Executive Assistants or Secretaries of senior managers to get them interested

The audience for the program was limited and the options were to feature the speakers, the program details or feature a model looking suitably concerned,

The route above was chosen because it conveyed that revenue leaks drain profitability from companies – a problem every senior manager would like to be on top of.

The program got the numbers required and the client was happy with the response.

What are the 10 elements that will make a difference to the creative team and the final output?

  1. Focus on why should the prospect should make the time to read it
  2. If you have 5 seconds to make an impression, what are the factors that will make a difference?
  3. What will the prospect get out of the offering (the Program featured above, your product or solution)?
  4. Lead them step-by-step through the process of settling on your offering.
  5. Don’t take any more time than necessary – keep information that is not essential to decision-making lower down the order. That also helps define the creative hierarchy.
  6. It is tempting to try and sell other alternatives that the senior manager can be tapped for in the brochure. You’ll end up helping them postpone their decision.
  7. Accept that you are going to persuade only a small portion of the audience you are targeting
  8. Several factors play a role – with reference to the example featured above, the prospect’s knowledge of the speakers, their impression of the competence to advise, their views on Great Lakes Institute, the travel schedule of the prospect and whether the prospect has a pressing problem with profitability
  9. Don’t try unusual shapes and sizes in an effort to stand out. There are times when it helps to stand out and they have to be chosen carefully. Imagine an unwieldy horizontal brochure. Prospects will have a tough time scanning two horizontal pages side by side – so they won’t!
  10. Textures, colors, and glossiness are all extraneous factors until the message is right.

Incidentally, the back page of the brochure featured above was the bucket without the leaks!

If you’d like a brochure or any other creative designed, please write to contact(at) and begin a conversation

How can you make sure that your brief will help your design team create effective work? Here are some factors to consider

Here’s a well-explained post from Canva detailing other factors that come into play when the message and tone have been defined