Tag Archives: experience - Page 2

Inspiration is right in front or behind you

Inspiration is one of those things that’s always looked right on through or around.

Sometimes it’s our rational left brains brains that get in the way, dismissing it as folly almost as quickly as it’s discovered.  Sometimes it’s the simple distraction of other tasks that need doing.  In marketing communications & strategy, that often translates as trying the same thing over and over, because it’s familiar or had good outcomes in the past.  In business it can be doing things easy that cost less and have outcomes equally as boring or the same as your competitors or worse still, taking expedient shortcuts in creating memorable customer experiences.

Inspiration can create the most unique differences in a brand, a marketing strategy or tactic, or the way a new venture is created and yet, for all there is in the world it’s all too often missed.  It needn’t be so hard; all that’s needed is an open and inquiring mind.

I read a fantastic example of drawing inspiration from the most unlikely place just today in an article on the new Toyota sports car concept unveiled at the 2009 Tokyo auto show.  Evidently, the chief engineer has admitted that the colour for the car was inspired by a Japanese monkey’s bum.

Now who knows what lead a chief engineer to look on in amazement at a monkey’s butt and think that it’d be a good colour for a car, even to provide the pop for a concept car.  Or the pitch he made when asked by the top brass before sign-off “so, what inspired that colour?”

None of that’s the point though.

The point is that, no matter how well-hidden it is or how far removed from what you thought you were looking for, inspiration can come from anywhere if you keep an open mind.

Be detailed about your brand, if nothing else.

Working through a brand launch project with a client very recently, I received some feedback that made me think (not do, which should be an aim of most feedback anyway, but that’s for another post).

We were working through a new website specifically, but it’s in the context of a brand launch.  He told me that I was a detail guy; that I had a proverbial “eye for detail”.   That raised an eyebrow (mine).

See, if there’s one thing I’m not great at it’s detail.  It’s not my strength.  My strength is seeing the broader picture, how things are interacting together to send a single message, and whether that message fits or is right, in the context of a brand.  I’m a visionary thinker, at a strategic level (meta, macro & micro).  I’m a right-brainer, and details are like clowns; they frighten me and when it comes to executing details, that’s best left to others.

When I thought about it though, I came to a realisation.  When talking about creating, building and sustaining strong brands & mind-blowing brand experiences, I AM a detail guy.  Say it loud, say it proud, and so should you be.

After the truth-finding mission, it’s the details that I get concerned with.  The look and feel, sure.  But it’s also the customer processes & experiences, staff (and owner’s) attitude, sensory elements including the graphic design, font styles, copy style (length, depth, how technical or descriptive, fun, serious or somewhere in between).  Every invitation & interaction between you, your market & your customers has to be rooted in your brand, and if getting anal on those things makes me a detail guy, then a detail guy I am.

See, you can have the most fantastic analysis on strategic position ever done, the greatest, most memorable name in the world, a logo that drops jaws and ads that stop traffic.  But it’s the little things that will de-rail (even destroy) your brand if you let them, and take you from memorable to forgotten in a gasp.