Category Archives: Innovation

Creativity is a virtue of the stupid

Think about that for a second.

The process of logic can (and does) deliver great outcomes that make significant economic and social impacts.  People who just get things done through running the logical process to its end are more often than not thought of as being smart.  So by definition, someone not following logic is stupid (the opposite of smart), right?

However it’s from illogic that most real creativity flourishes, so isn’t creativity then, a virtue of the stupid?
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“Come fly with me…”

Being remarkable and memorable involves deliberate steps.

Change the scheme.
Alter the mood.
Interrupt the routine.
Be unexpected.

Need an illustration and example? Watch how this (now famous) airline steward does just that during the usually mundane cabin announcement before the tragic experience that’s air travel in the now times.

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A marketing tip from Agent J

There’s a scene in the movie MIB that offers a valuable piece of insight.

When Officer Edwards (Will Smith’s character) of the NYPD turns up for his MIB recruitment interview, the competition is hot. The best of the best (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) are all in the room vying for a single position in the MIB.

The recruits face a series of tests (or two, so a short series).

Edwards gets the job.

Why not one of the highly-educated, combat-experienced and government-trained members of the military elite?
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Move the box

The concept of thinking outside the box has been around a long time and it’s valid.  Just because you’re thinking outside one box though, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t made another one.

Wouldn’t it be better to keep shifting the box, or even do away with the box altogether?

That’s the real bedrock of creative thinking and a spirit we should all be getting into.

“Won’t bind your legs”

ActionJeans_ChuckNorris
Have you ever had one of those days where you learned absolutely nothing, gained no knowledge at all?  It feels empty and incomplete.

A day without gaining any knowledge at all is a day wasted, no matter what else happens, because knowledge is currency and one day you might need to draw on it.

Whether it’s trivial or mountain-shifting, edifying or entertaining, there’s always something new to be discovered. Learning a single piece of something can also start you on a trail of discovery that can uncover a whole series of thoughts, ideas and insights, which in-itself is always exciting.
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All of something or a little bit of everything?

So, you’re cracking along with 2010 and a new decade, sitting down to plan the marketing & promotional assault that’ll see your brand, business or franchise climb higher.

Money’s a bit tight, confidence is still a little weak and so you need to stretch your marketing budget (because you have one, right?) as far as possible and invite consumer engagement with your thing.

In the past you run some ads, maybe some PR, product sampling (giving stuff away for free), maybe a sponsorship and tried out two-for-one or % discount offers but now you can’t really afford to do everything you did in the past (while you can’t really afford not to; the great business balancing act).

There are plenty of creative, production and media agencies who’ll willingly take your money, but who should get it?  Does what you’re doing still invite and entertain your market?  Are your customers still engaged and motivated?  What strategy and tactics will attract the most attention in the future?  What stories should I tell?

You’re faced with a dilemma; do I cut down a little on everything or stop doing something altogether?

I’d always suggest thinking twice about killing something altogether.  It might be like unhooking the link of a chain; you’ll find the machine doesn’t work at all and a good marketing strategy should make use of several channels.

Before making any decisions, look at your market and how it’s changing, what’s changing and where you can have a louder, clearer voice that matches your brand position.  Talk to your agencies and service providers about your ideas on what to do and where.  Make sure they (and you) understand what you want to achieve.  Above all, know your edge because that’s the one thing nobody else can own.  It’s hard to go wrong marketing your edge.

Do that and the decision on where and how to spend your marketing budget will start to become a whole lot clearer.