Being creative in a changing world: 10 tips

18 May, 2018 Share socially

1. Design for brand experiences

When selling brands relied solely on visiting a shop, packaging design was all about standing out on a shelf (and shouting louder than the people either side).

But today, consumers experience brands across multiple channels and touchpoints, often never stepping into a store. Being creative when thinking ‘experience’ means thinking about the connection between a brand’s objective and a consumer’s need. The strongest brands embrace this. For these brands, the transactions are seamless and the value exchange is unquestioned. We can learn a lot from service brands (think Uber, Google, Airbnb) but the exciting moment comes when FMCG brands start embracing this behaviour.

So what: Let’s walk in the shoes of our consumers, understand what they value and use creativity to design brands and experiences that are fit for purpose.

2. Create a listening culture

Creativity is by nature extrovert. It’s about showing off, flaunting your wares. But extroverts can kill great ideas in pursuit of their own agendas.

So what: Mix up your teams, making sure that the introverts get as much voice as the extroverts. But ultimately, that the ideas get listened to and not just the egos.

3. Analogue thinking in a digital world

It’s no secret that our lives have become both easier and more complex through technology. But in the pursuit of great creative ideas, analogue thinking can give us the breathing space we all require.

So what: Let’s combine the best of both worlds. A digital-first business like Facebook still finds time and space for allowing analogue craft and artists in residence to help create conversations and time to think in a fast-paced world.

4. Getting to the right brief

You only get what you put in. But it is as much the responsibility of agencies to draw out a great brief as it is for a client to think through their challenges.

So what: As agencies, let’s not moan about poor briefs. Let’s help clients write the right briefs. It’s all about rolling up your sleeves, making the process inspiring and adding value. You might even find you get the brief you never expected in the end.

5. Some skills never die

Sure, the world is changing. Branding and design is not as two-dimensional as it once was. But some skills, like craft, never die.

So what: Create teams that are a mix of skills and experience, who will ultimately create work that will travel across ecosystems. Crash together analogue and digital thinking. But let’s not forget that emotion and craft are still at the heart of great ideas and great design.

6. No more siloes

Agency siloes used to exist because agency specialisms where so distinct. But technology is blurring boundaries. Agencies need to think differently, broaden their skills or better collaborate if they are to remain relevant.

So what: Let’s break down the siloes of advertising, marketing and design once-and-for-all and think about how, as a unified force, we can get our great, joined up ideas to consumers by making a real difference to their lives.

7. Magic dust

Sure, there’s a time and place for managing portfolios, harmonising assets and saving cost. But it’s our jobs to sprinkle the magic where ever we can – and sometimes when it hasn’t been asked for.

So what: Whatever the task, let’s also use design to move people, even if the brief is seemingly functional.

8. Body clocks

Apparently, the worst time of the day to visit a hospital is after 2pm. Logical really.

So what: Understand when you work best. Let’s take this thinking and be creative when we are at our most creative – and it’s not the same for everyone. Let’s rethink our working day and not assume ‘one size fits all’.

9. Design isn’t about selling, it’s about creating desire

If advertising is about selling things that people don’t want, then design is about creating things that people do want.

So what: Let’s think of good design as creating a seamless ecosystem (that people are drawn to use) as well as being about beautiful look-and-feel.

10. The power of print

Last but by no means least, digital print. New technologies are allowing old technologies to hyper-segment their audiences. Minimum order quantities and master artworks are yesterday’s news. Segments of one are the future.

So what: Let’s look to digital print to make design truly creative and truly bespoke.

At FutureBrand, we create brand experiences for a connected future.

If your world is changing around you fast, more agile brands are eating your breakfast or you’re simply tired of doing the same things and expecting different results, we’d love to show you how we work.

Jovan Buac - jbuac@futurebrand.com