It always frustrates me when I work on, with or for a business and they have an aversion to creativity, yet have concerns about their business' sustainability.
The old marketing fable by Seth Godin still stands. The biggest risk in today’s world is to be safe! The biggest risk is to take no risks. I say, go super with your marketing, or go home!
I don’t dispute that taking a decision to drastically change how you communicate or the content of the communications can be a buttocks clenching moment. As the guy who suggested to the Director that we should turn ourselves into superheroes, I understand buttocks clenching. Doing something new, something bold and something that is a game changer takes courage. Risks can pay off, but only if you take them and dare to be different.
Where do you start when developing a creative idea?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this, but for me I start with a bit of gold ol’ fashioned research on the target market and finish with something that I personally would find engaging in some way, whether amusing, interesting, shocking, insulting or a combination of the above.
Often in marketing comms, we find a joke, pun or angle and base a whole campaign just on that. It develops the emotional appeal of a brand, whilst the product/service quality develops the rational attribute related appeal. Emotional will give you more scope for creativity, comms content and is proven to maintain top of mind brand recall.
Assuming you are knowledgeable about your market, the business and/or the sector in
some way, look for a strong point of differentiation from competitors, a usage situation or even a customer response. I ran qual research for a Tea brand years ago, and during observational research, a respondent finished a cup of fruit tea, then sucked on the tea bag because it was so good!
This gold dust moment would then fuel a campaign based on the statement that the tea is so good, you’ll want to suck the tea bag after, and could be integrated across multiple communications tools, channels and media, but with an objective to create demand from consumers which puts the pressure on the big retailers to stock it.
A beauty brand I worked with explained that their problem was trying to go up against the Hair Colouring giants such as L’Oreal and Garnier who had vast advertising budgets. The challenge was trying to attract sales from the Tesco aisles when the competitors had so much more brand trust in them.
My suggestion was to take birthday card sound module technology (you know, the things that make birthday cards play music when you open them) and apply it to the packaging of the hair care products, so when opened, the consumer is greeted with a radio quality 10-second sound byte introducing the brand and communicating product quality. Would it make people open the product in the shop? Yes. Is that a big problem? No, as once we open something, we feel compelled to purchase.
You may be wondering why you’ve never seen either of these campaigns. Well, my opening statement explains it all!
Go super with your marketing or go home!