Purpose Brief

15-45 minutes
2-4 players

Describing the core identity of a project or organization and the ways that all project efforts should support it

Creative briefs are common tools used by design firms to give direction on a marketing project. These documents exist to create common understanding between marketing staff and visual designers and include information like branding guidelines, marketing purpose, and intended audience.

The purpose brief is similar, yet it can apply to any project or initiative, and its value extends beyond visual design. Use the Purpose Brief to reinforce values and identity among existing project members or stakeholders, and when you invite new people or partners to participate in your project.

  1. Start with the Who
    1. Brainstorm all of the groups of people that your organization or project serves. (If you have developed Personas, you can refer to those.)
  2. What and Why?
    1. Distill what you do or what your project does into one sentence. Once everyone has agreed, write it on a white board. Then, beginning with a bulleted list, write an explanation of why you do what you do (or the project does what it does). From there, write your why in one sentence.
  3. Put It Together
    1. Now you can brainstorm ways that components or projects fulfill your what and why, and also appeal to your who.
      Working as a team or with a designer, put together a cohesive Purpose Brief document that can be distributed internally and externally. Use our sample Purpose Brief below for inspiration.
Tip: Google Slides are a great way to collaboratively lay out a purpose brief