How to Write a Key Insight

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In this video, Kevin teaches you how to write a key insight so that you have a stronger creative brief. This video is a part of the series that teaches you how to write a creative brief and provide creative feedback. You might also want to check out our Ultimate Guide to Writing a Creative Brief, and be sure to subscribe to receive updates when we post new videos, articles and frameworks for brand management. 


Hello, Kevin Namaky here, and today we’re going to learn about how to write a key insight when writing a creative brief. When we’re writing a creative brief, the key insight tells us very important information that we need to know to come up with good creative ideas that are going to resonate with our target audience. 

The Key Question When Writing a Key Insight

The key question we want to answer when we’re writing the key insight is, “What have we learned about the target that presents an opportunity?”

You have to think back to the target statement we wrote, which we talked about in the last video here, and get in the mindset of that person. Then, we want to identify the opportunity. I’ve broken these tips down into a few helpful buckets.

Things to Consider When Writing a Key Insight

These are prompts that you can use to help you come up with the material that might go into your key insight. 


What are the challenges that the target audience faces? You have to think about the target audiences’ goals and the things that they want to achieve. Then, think about what things might stand in the way of those goals. These are the targets’ challenges and often present opportunities that can inform our key insight. 

Educational Insight

Oftentimes, if you can identify an educational insight: an important piece of information that, if you were to provide and educate the target audience, would unlock an opportunity. 

Why Would They Care?

Put yourself in the mind of your target consumer and ask “Why would this person care about our product or service at all?” They would care because____ (fill in the blank). This exercise often reveals a meaningful insight that you can use when writing a creative brief.

Things to Do In A Key Insight

Here are the “dos”—things that are recommended to do when writing your key insight. 

Be Human

You want to consider human challenges and problems, not necessarily business challenges or problems. Always think about humans first. 

Use Research

If you haven’t done research before, now might be a good time to go and do some research. We want to use research and use the consumer voice as much as we can. Have you heard directly from your consumers in some way? Whether it’s in-person or even through something like an online survey, there’s valuable information there that you might be able to use when writing your key insight.


Observations are a very powerful way to get insights. When we observe people’s behaviors, the behaviors of our consumers gives us insights that we wouldn’t have found otherwise, or that we wouldn’t have found by simply asking questions and hearing answers.

Things Not to Do In A Key Insight

Here are the “don’ts”—things we should avoid. 

All About You

We don’t want to make the insight all about the brand, the business, or the products. We want to make it about the consumer. 

More Than One Problem or Desire

This is a big watch out. We only want one problem, tension, or desire—one problem that we might solve for. We don’t want multiple or many ideas shared in the key insight because it will create issues later when we write other parts of the brief. 

Same As Competition

You should avoid sounding the same as the competition. And, in this case with the key insight, avoid solving for an insight that the competition is already focused on (unless we can be meaningfully better and different).

Key Insight Examples

Here’s an example of a typical insight and then a better, more strongly written insight to compare:

Customers could do their taxes more accurately with our filing services. 

You might imagine this is an insight in a brief for a company that does tax filing services. We’ve identified the insight as being a lack of our services. So, they’re inaccurate because they’re not using our services.

That’s okay, but not great. A better insight in this case would be something like the next one:

Most Americans, unknowingly, make mistakes on their taxes, leaving behind over a billion dollars in unclaimed refunds every single year. 

There are a couple of things that make this example stronger than the first one. First is that customers are making mistakes unknowingly. They’re leaving money on the table and they don’t even know it. That’s an interesting insight that we can use to our advantage when we come up with creative ideas. The other is the interesting fact about how much money is left behind, which could be leveraged creatively. There’s specificity in this example and it’s a meaningful insight—much stronger than the first example. 


If you use the tips that I’ve outlined here when writing your key insight, it will improve your chances of writing a strong creative brief and getting successful creative work.

If you’re looking for a more efficient strategic and creative process, check out our course on How to Write a Powerful Creative Brief. In this hands-on workshop course you’ll master the skills needed to write each and every component of an inspirational creative brief based on sound strategy.

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