Don't you dare to email the customer's brief!
The most valuable information is gathered through casual conversations. Remember, the brief is the backbone of your project, so make the customer feel involved in it.
Get prepared, check the customers brand, read reviews, ask people if they have tried the product or service. You should also investigate the customers competition...if posible call the customers service and ask about details of the products.
This will help you to understand the context in which you are about to work your project. Here's my top channels I use to investigate:
Meeting + brief
Make the customer feel comfortable. Have a seat in a relaxed space with no noise or interruptions. You should even ask the customer before for this valuable time, acknowledging that this is a sacred hour, which will be important not just for you...but also for the brand!
Don't forget to get the customers signature or recorded acknowledge about the answers.
A good AD, graphic design, animation, it's just part of a great communication skills
Questions will give you answers, a good question will make the customer think before they answer.
This are the type of information we are looking for our projects, the one that makes the stands in reflection. In the brief you want to be the therapist who manage and leads the conversation where the core of the brand is.
Creativity thrives on the diversity of ideas. When you judge ideas prematurely, it can stifle the free flow of creativity and prevent potentially groundbreaking concepts from emerging.
By withholding judgment during the creative brief, you allow a wide range of ideas to surface, increasing the chances of finding the best solution.
"The art of conversation lies in listening."
- Malcolm Forbes
It's equally important to document this information and if possible, get the customer's signature at the end. A casual conversation will assist you in gathering all the key points for the advertising campaign, branding, or any project you are about to work on, and a friendly signature will help the customer commit to the information given.