The importance of a great brief

Jun 21, 2023

We totally understand that commissioning an agency can be a daunting task! You want to ensure you are spending budget on a website that not only looks great and meets your business objectives, but most importantly resonates with your audience. The key to getting this right is a clear and thorough brief.

A good brief is essential to ensuring an agency understands your business, its objectives, and the message you want to convey through your website as part of a cohesive marketing strategy. It is the foundation on which the entire design and development process is built, and it is really important to invest the necessary time and effort to create a brief that everyone can work from accurately.

Without a good brief, the agency may not fully understand your business or your objectives, leading to a misalignment between your expectations and the final product. It can also lead to inaccurate quotes based on misinterpretation. This can lead to disappointment and frustration, as well as wasted time and money. This is one of the main reasons that we really interrogate briefs we are given to ensure we are coming to the right conclusions for your business. We aren’t scared of asking questions to make sure you receive a website that exceeds your expectations. It is also why we will be in touch with you throughout the project, working iteratively, to ensure we are aligned with our thinking throughout and that there are no costly surprises.

A great brief should look a little like this:

  1. Background information on your business – This includes information on your brand, its values, and its history. This will help us to understand the context in which your business operates and the message you want to convey through your website. No one knows your business like you do. This is also a good exercise to ensure you know how to concisely describe your offering to new audiences, without jargon, as that is what your website will ultimately need to do.
  2. Target audience – Clearly identifying your target audience/s is crucial. This will help us to create a website that speaks directly to your audience and meets their needs both in terms of design but also their user journey.
  3. Business objectives – What are the objectives of your website? Do you want to increase sales, generate leads, or build brand awareness? It is important to clearly identify your business objectives so that we can create a website that is aligned with your goals. It is worth remembering that a website alone cannot do this for you. Having a brilliant website does not mean that your target audience will magically know that it exists! It needs to be part of a marketing strategy that drives users to your site.
  4. Technical requirements – This includes information about what you need your site to do. Do you require e-commerce, do you need user logins, do you require the site to be linked to your CRM system. Even if it is a simple form, ensure you include this in your brief so that the project can be costed accurately and delivers what both your business and users need.
  5. Design preferences – It is important to provide information on your design preferences, including colour schemes, font choices, and overall style. Do you have a brand that we can work with? Should we avoid neon pink flamingos because your main competitor uses them? Do you have imagery we can use or will you need us to source some for you? Essentially what are the design rules you need us to follow to ensure we are reflecting your business properly.

At Herd, we really understand the importance of a good brief, and we work closely with our clients to ensure that we fully understand their business and its unique needs. We truly believe that a good clear brief is the foundation of every successful project.

In conclusion, we know that commissioning a design agency is a truly important investment for your business, and a good, in-depth brief is essential to ensuring that you receive a website that exceeds expectation. Don’t worry, you don’t have to come to us with the perfect brief, if you want us to help from the very beginning to shape your brief, then just get in touch!