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Nailing Your Sales Message

Nailing your sales message: Top tips for writing a brief that gets results

The humble brief is often a somewhat overlooked element in a project process. But, pay it the respect it deserves, and it can transform the planning, direction and ultimate success of any project.

A good brief is worth its weight in gold, keeping everyone on track and accountable by making sure there is absolute clarity on the objectives, challenges, and expectations. And, it provides your agency or internal team with a written-account of the exact vision that’s in your head but can be tricky to share accurately by any other means.

Our structure, outlined below, has been designed to help you to share your challenge in the most relevant and inspiring way.

At LEWIS we work with clients in many sectors: utilities, arts, culture, charities and education. These are our tips for getting ideas out of your head and into a project brief.


What has inspired you: is it a change in your audience, a new product, a shift in service, a sales drive, learnings from previous work, a big new competitor or something else?

All detail is welcome, so long as it’s relevant to the project.

Prompts: What’s the context for this project? Why is it happening now? Let us know any successes, changes or news that have prompted this work.


The VIPs. After all, this is who everything is created for. It’s important to understand what really matters to this audience so that your messaging is hyper-relevant. If you have any recent research findings or insights to help bring the audience to life as real-life human beings, then please share it. And if you don’t have that insight but would like some then say that too. Any good strategic team will have access to data across your sector and other sectors too which gives a valuable understanding of consumer attitudes and behaviours.

Prompts: What is most important for them? What would be a big gain for them? What are their pain points? Why might they avoid your product/service? How will your offering answer that?


To identify the objective, we recommend starting by stating what you want the audience to do (or think). Then explain what will ultimately achieve that for your organisation. This is a good way to keep things focused on the behaviour and attitudes you want to shift.

Prompts: What exactly do you want to achieve? Include specific brand or business goals that this project will help to achieve.

Competition and challenges

Sometimes your biggest barrier is a competitor. Sometimes you won’t have a direct competitor and the challenge is internal, cultural or related to consumer awareness, or problematic PR. Try to spotlight one or two key challenges to help the project team stay focussed and ensure the work is most effective.

Prompts: What are our barriers to achievement? Include the competitive, cultural or audience issues you will need to overcome.

Core focus

Your elevator pitch. Take everything you’ve written and condense it down into a short proposition. Don’t worry about making it sound like a tagline, think about the one most important instruction or goal that everyone needs to remember. What exactly is it that you want to do?

Prompts: What’s our key call to action or number one goal? Be as brief and focused as possible.


It’s always good for your creative team to know more about what you like (or don’t like) in a wider context. Sometimes a brief is very straightforward, but, at one point or another, there will be space to think differently, and it’s always good to have that fresh perspective from you. You might use this as an opportunity to mention an untapped audience, new technology, different channels, an upcoming event…

Prompts: What would you ideally like to do more of? Include examples or ideas, even from outside of your sector, to inspire the team.

Requirements and suggestions

What are the mandatories (brand guidelines, spec requirements etc.)? Get these off your chest, as well as any other ideas or guidance that you’d like to put forward. It’s fine for this to be pages and pages long, the more detail the better!

Prompts: What must you do? What might you consider? Include channels, formats, specs, assets, tone of voice etc.


How will you know if the project is a success? Include as much detail as you can on how the different parts of the work will be judged. This could be anything from sales, footfall, engagement with online content or click through rates. If it’s helpful to include more than one, then be sure to do that and outline which are primary and which are secondary.

Prompts: How will you know that you’ve succeeded? Include the specific measures.

The essentials

To keep the project on track and to ensure it’s a success be sure to share who is accountable for the project, your expectations, timings, and budgets.

Prompts: Be specific with roles and responsibilities of the project team, your timings and what you want to spend.

For a limited time, we’re offering a free strategy session with our team of experts. It’ll give you a unique opportunity to challenge us to provide insight into some of your current challenges. You can contact Gill or Kirsty to arrange a time that suits on or

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