by Tony Fannin, President, BE Branded
In my blog, I’ve addressed branding and advertising from a business and marketing point of view. I not only believe strongly in marketing and branding, but I truly love the game. Business is exciting to me. I want to start addressing, ever so often, the other side of marketing, the creative part. This is truly what sets one marketing firm from another and one brand from another. Creative talent is hard to duplicate. It’s unique. It says a lot about what an agency stands for and their philosophical approach. It also says a lot about the brand.
Creative is subjective and that’s why it is hard to judge what is good and what is great. Spotting the bad ones is fairly easy for just about everyone. The separation of the upper levels is more difficult to discern. Here are a just few principle I personally adhere to:
• Don’t clutter – if it doesn’t have a marketing reason to be there, don’t put it in. Just because you have white space, you don’t have to fill it. If you do that without real thought, it’s just filler (And we all know about fillers in food. It makes it cheap.) Also, don’t add “design do-dads” just because it’s cool. My feeling is that if you cannot truly explain, from a marketing standpoint, why it’s in there, don’t add it. Design for the sake of design is a waste of space and your customers’ time. P.S. – this also goes for copy. Too many marketers keep adding specs and verbage until the ad looks like a spec sheet from an engineer.
• Create appropriately – too many marketers develop creative concepts that may be funny, cool, or some other emotional quality they like, but if your customer can’t see why your marketing is relevant to them, you’ve missed it. Instead of appealing to their emotional hot buttons, you just entertained yourselves. Many use the benchmark of, “If I like the ad and my wife does, then it must be good.” I’ve often said, my job is not to please my clients. My job is to please my client’s customers. If I make them happy, I know my clients will be. In a blunt way, I don’t care if clients like the creative or not, but I do care if their customers love the idea.
• Creative is not just visual – creativity comes in many forms. Sometimes, the creative solution to a marketing problem a unique approach to the media strategy. Sometimes, what not is said becomes the creative spark. Other times, it’s finding an interesting way to communicate to your audience.
Creative is the fingerprint of a brand. It’s the part that’s hard to duplicate, and if it is, imitations are rarely as good as the original. Creative ideas, concepts, and applications are what helps make brands unique and unforgettable. As with many other things, if it’s hard to duplicate, it becomes unique. And if you’re unique, you are not a commodity.