The Empathic Brief 

An approach to briefing where the key objective is to collect ideas that have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Active Time

60 - 120 minutes


Preparation Time

15 - 30 minutes



Explore possibilities

Collective Ideation

Consensus on business fit



  1. Identify moments in the user's life context where there exists a possible interaction with the product/service.

  2. Identify pains & needs that often emerge in each of the particular life contexts, and translate them into a problem statement i.e. “how might we” questions.

  3. Identify key parameters that define the brand fit to the ideas, and locate each problem statement in a matrix based on two spectra: impact (how relevant it is to user) and fit (how relevant it is to the product/service requirements).

  4. Individually, think of initial ideas that enable the brand to address the problems that falls under the high impact, high fit spectrum. You might also want to consider other high-impact ideas as future opportunities.

  5. Do a group brainstorming to come up with a key proposition that is inspired by the collection of ideas.

1. Identify life context
1. Identify life context

2. Identify pains/needs
2. Identify pains/needs

5. Proposition based on the ideas
5. Proposition based on the ideas

1. Identify life context
1. Identify life context



Ideas that resonate the most in people’s lives are those that add value and have positive impact on their lives. The more people resonate with your business, the more it will translate into the bottom line. Also, what’s more rewarding than coming up with good & impactful ideas? 


Make sure that the “brand thinking” is only incorporated later in the process, and the identification of life context should not be influenced by brand message. During early ideation, facilitator should also give stimuli to facilitate the team coming up with impactful idea.



  • Key Insights

  • Matrix with problem statements

  • Parameters to assess brand/business fit