Strategic creativity is a secret superpower. It provides a handle on what people desire or need—even before people know they want it or need it.
Today’s post is by Robin Landa, author of Strategic Creativity: A Business Field Guide to Advertising, Branding, and Design. (CLICK HERE to get your copy).
Strategic creativity is a secret superpower.
The person who possesses strategic creativity is tactical, resourceful, ingenuous, and extremely attractive (perhaps I’m getting carried away). An infiltrator, influencer, and eavesdropper. Strategic creativity provides a handle on what people desire or need—even before people know they want it or need it.
For you—sitting in the C-suite, a business owner, a CEO, or a business professional—to get what you need to launch a brand, organization, or individual, to move a brand forward, to grow business, or to raise funds, you need to understand how creative professionals work their magic to conceive and construct strategically creative solutions. You also need to know what will work and why it’s well-conceived, well-designed, and well-written; and why pedestrian ideas won’t get you anywhere except overlooked. Think of me as your personal “Alfred Pennyworth”—I’m your special creative forces wingman, who will supply all you need to commission and evaluate creative solutions.
It’s Really About the Insight into the Target Audience
A consumer insight is a realization—a real eye-opener—about the target audience’s need, behavior, or the true nature of how they think, feel, or behave—a human truth no one has yet noticed brought to light.
That insight warrants a response—a change in the way you look at a behavior, situation, branded product, or service—and it should be the catalyst for strategically creative idea generation and brand storytelling.
Insights into the audience are vital to breakthrough creative solutions. What does the audience need? Desire? Why does the audience do what they do? On which media platforms do they spend their time? Which causes do they care deeply about? Will they align themselves with your organization’s or brand’s values?
Jeff Fromm, president of Futurecast, believes that insights are more about the category than the brand; insights reveal more about how people want to feel, than what they think; and insights inspire new ideas, not the same old stuff.
Be An Antenna of the External Zeitgeist
It’s challenging to read the political news due to so many alarming events. If you can’t manage the political zeitgeist (though I heartily recommend being informed), at least stay abreast of the cultural climate that affects our collective critical and creative thinking. For goodness sake and your business’ sake, don’t be out of touch with what your audience (and beyond) is thinking and feeling or oblivious to the issues of a diversity of people and communities.
Once you are aware, make your organization or brand an antenna of the external zeitgeist, one that transmits relevant messages that will resonate.
Know What Drives People
Most of us in corporate leadership positions, advertising, marketing, and branding don’t hold PhDs in psychology, however we must have a handle on human behavior to best understand people. Human behavior is first and foremost a kind of investment. Individuals do what they do because of either implicit or explicit benefits. Ask: How does your idea serve the audience’s self-interest?
Commit to uplifting all members of society, including people living with disabilities, people who are unsheltered, different socioeconomic groups, races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexualities, religions, and ages.
Take up the mantra: Do No Harm. Nothing in culture happens in a vacuum.
Do your part to build a better culture, a culture of respect.
Employ strategic creativity. Quash pedestrian ideas.
An idea has the power to affect people; it can change the way people think about a brand, entity, cause, issue, individual, or even themselves. It can offer proof, create desire, or stir an emotion that imprints the message. An idea can reframe a conversation, do social good, taunt a competitor, empower, motivate, endear the audience, or simply entertain.
Put an end to pedestrian ideas. Because no one will take notice of uninteresting messaging.
My hope for you, dear reader, is that this knowledge will be your strategic advantage, equipping you with a secret superpower—Strategic Creativity. Please feel free to invent your own code name.
Robin Landa is a distinguished professor at Kean University (her Walden’s Pond) and a globally recognized ideation expert. She is a well-known “creativity guru” and a best-selling author of books on ideation, creativity, branding, advertising, and design. She has won numerous awards and The Carnegie Foundation counts her among the “Great Teachers of Our Time.” She is the author of twenty-five books including Strategic Creativity: A Business Field Guide to Advertising, Branding, and Design.
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