Writing a good brief is as important as having a good creative process. The brief defines the goals, direction and problems to solve. If you or your team don't have it clear, the ideation process will be pointless.
After our experience, we wrote down these points that would hopefully help you to narrow your brief into a valid focus question.
1. It better be a question
Questions are more suggestive than sentences. Your brain feels more motivated to solve a problem that it's open and directly talks to you. For example, it's better to have "How could we launch our new product?" than "Ideas to launch our new product".
Make sure you begin your focus question with a "How could I/we". Some examples:
- How could we solve our engagement problem?
- How could we communicate our brand in innovative ways?
- How could we create a new service for our target group?
- How could we launch an educational campaign about health?
2. Make it concise
Your focus question should be short and straightforward. Complicated sentences provoke complex mental processes.
3. One thing at a time
Don't fall into the temptation of adding a lot of goals and details to your focus problem. It needs to tackle one thing at a time. If there are more elements, you need to consider, add them later when you have some ideas generated already.
For example, try to avoid these cases:
- How could we solve our engagement problem in a cheap way and sell more products?
- How could we communicate our brand in innovative ways, make it viral and tell about our new service?
The more you focus on one specific goal, the more effective your ideas will be.
4. Write it down
You might feel like it's enough to say it out loud and check everyone heard you, but no. Always write the focus question on a post-it or piece of paper. Have it in front of you for the whole session. Don't forget it!