3 Keys to Original Thinking In A Cookie Cutter World
What happens when you hire a company to help you improve your brand, or increase the flow of traffic to your website or your business? What’s their process? Once a client approaches us to work with them, we think it helps to understand what creative agencies do when they begin the work of developing a new advertising or marketing campaign. Since these new campaigns have to be unique as well as creative, we find that there are 3 main keys to ensuring original thinking.
#1: Who Is The Client?
We can’t tell any company exactly what should be done to accomplish their goals through marketing and advertising until we thoroughly understand a few things. Let’s start with who they are–meaning who they think they are, who they want to be, how they are really perceived by the public, and do any of those match. It takes some significant probing and prodding to get a sense of this, but our clients appreciate it. They get what we’re after.
#2: Begin The Brainstorming!
There is much more we need to learn before we can devise a real plan of attack and the necessary weapons to employ, but let’s skip that for now and jump to the process of brainstorming. It’s fun and challenging at the same time. In our group, we tend to take the information we’ve extracted from our clients’ heads, then sift through it independently. Allowing individual thinking first, without the influence of others, pushes our team to think for themselves. That’s a good thing.
When we do come together in a brainstorming session, it’s a free-for-all by design. I don’t want us hung up on the how-to or the inherent silliness of an idea, at least not at first. If we’re not laughing hysterically at some point during a brainstorming session, then we’re probably not unearthing the best ideas. When you let diverse minds interact with a singularity of purpose, but with total freedom to dream up anything they want, it’s amazing what comes out of it! Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” and I listen to what he says.
#3: What Are The Best Ideas For The Client?
After the frivolity of a brainstorming session or two, we switch sides of the brain to zero in on the best, most feasible ideas for a client. Then we fine-tune them, and organize them in terms of priority. Next step, present to the client.
“You think we ought to do what?” It’s not an unusual first comment from a client when we sit down to review our ideas. That’s okay. If we don’t surprise them with something they haven’t considered before, then we haven’t earned our keep. That’s not to say that our sole objective is to shock the client with some crazy idea, but they’re paying us to think differently than they do. They ought to get their money’s worth. Besides, there’s always a method to our madness, a strategic logic behind our crazy ideas, and typically some precedent of prior success.
This is phase one of the process we follow with our clients. Phase two is defining budgets and timelines for implementation; more on that later. In the meantime, my advice to those seeking brand enhancement or advertising help is to look for a company that isn’t afraid to ask you hard questions, and then tell you what they think. It helps if they’re a little off their rocker, too! Just a little.
Larry Roy is the President and CEO of Point 3 Media, a Creative/Production Company based in Nashville, TN that specializes in Video Production, Advertising and Marketing Services. Please call us at (888) 298-3036, or visit our website to learn more about our services!