Creativity is not something we automatically associate with a business mindset. But according to the respected business magazine Inc., creativity is vital to sustaining good business practices:
"A 2010 study of 1,500 CEOs indicated that leaders rank creativity as No. 1 leadership attribute needed for prosperity. It's the one thing that can't be outsourced; the one thing that's the lifeblood of sustainable competitive advantage."
Inc. names diversity as a primary factor in nurturing creativity in the workplace. Both forces combine to bring about a vitality that uplifts a successful branding campaign.
Studio Haus's diversity comes not just from the types of clients taken on, but also from our collective life experiences. Many of the clients I have worked with over the years are doing things in the world that directly influence areas of mutual interest. However our individual perspectives are what bring the diversity to the process. Embracing and welcoming these other perspectives is what creativity is all about. It creates an inspiring challenge.
Diversity can also be found in the promotional mediums used for clients. Digital media is called for, of course, and certainly a web site is still a good place for a company to distribute information about itself. But now it's as important as ever to supplement a client's message using several appropriate mediums. Diversity gives us many means by which to capture the ever-shrinking attention spans of customers.
And here is where a creative approach to strategy comes into play: making sure all these diverse mediums support each other while offering their own unique benefits. For instance, you can't just set up a web site and expect visitors to find it without also promoting through social media, ads, and yes, even print.
As we all know, digital has reduced some of the need for print, and print and its distribution can be quite costly. But those costs can yield significant benefits. Print lends itself to a longer "shelf life" in the minds of customers (as long as it doesn't end up in the trash can—better make that piece stand out!). How many times have you been handed something as simple as a unique and well-designed business card on really nice paper, maybe with an interesting printing technique that made a positive first impression on you? Print can engage the senses like no other medium. The power of touch can have a lasting impact. There's a tactile quality to a real object that just can't be found on the web.
Digital clearly has its own advantages. Tracking what customers respond to is so much easier with web sites than in print. It's more accessible to customers seeking specific information. Web landing pages can be targeted and specific in messaging. Use of Google analytics can be a guide to what is most successful on any given day by gauging the number of clicks and on a site. These analytics can also show you where a message is getting lost due to lack of clicks, and even the more recent important detail to watch: time-based measurement—the amount of time a user spends with content.
Blogging, social media sites, and smart placement of digital ads are ready options. Social media interaction, and the proper placement of ads in publications and on web sites frequented by your target market can reinforce a business’s brand with more frequent, targeted messaging. Let's not forget about video, audio, signage, and even outdoor boards. (By the way, YouTube ranks higher than Facebook and Twitter for converting customers.) And creative partnerships with other businesses can open up opportunities for reaching a new segment of the population with your message.
With the high costs of distributing large quantities of marketing materials, advertisers are looking for other creative avenues to get their messages out there. The important thing is to think creatively and unexpectedly: Pepsi MAX's bus shelter, for example, caught and held people's attention and got them to engage with the brand through its environmental graphics, solidifying Pepsi MAX in people's minds for years to come through a new and unique experience.
Intelligent approaches coupled with good creativity can make all the difference with your marketing plan. They reinforce your presence in the world and show you are actively working out ways to better your services. Staying visible to your customers in a diverse number of ways builds trust in your business and can lead to return visits from customers and a stronger presence for your brand.
Do you have questions about creating more diversity with your message? Contact me at Studio Haus. It's what I love to do!