Sometimes its not easy being a creative agency. One of our greatest challenges is working with a cross-section of types of clients with more or less idea about their brand, their competitors and their stakeholders. So we asked ourselves 'what is creativity and brand strategy and can they play nicely together?". The result was digested down into how we look to help clients through our creative process.
Take a look and tell us what you think...
Most often, it is an evolution rather than a revolution that needs to take place. With this in mind we have developed a process to dovetail creativity into a brand strategy.
The creative process and design output
Phase 1. Clarification
Know the client and their brief: The first step in developing a brand design is to ensure that all aspects of the briefing process are fully understood and agreed upon. Even the most prescriptive briefing document and process can leave some room for interpretation.
Know the clients stakeholders: Identifying the key stakeholders that are important to an organisation’s success is critically important for the design process. Inevitably their work will be the subject of corporate communications strategies and it is essential that stakeholders’ needs are considered throughout the design process. Identifying and understanding those needs are a critical success factor for the commencement of the design process.
Competitor positioning: It is important to know visually how your competitors have positioned their brand in order to create a differentiation in the pool.
Phase 2. Inspiration
In order to generate a pool of different ideas you need to be: spontaneous, risk-taking, intuitive and improvisational. In this mindset exploring and pushing the boundaries of the brief more fully. We will present the research and three sets of concepts, for each of the following approaches, compliant, evolved and impactful.
At this stage designs are presented to a ‘core’ team before sharing with multiple stakeholders.
Phase 3. Incubation
It is essential to leave the work for a period of time for reflection and consideration. You must expect difficulties, trust yourself to find a way round them, and not be panicked into adopting a weak solution. Few people realise that some ideas take time to hatch, and see difficulties and indecision as a sign of failure.
Phase 4. Distilation
In order to choose your best ideas from the inspiration and incubation phase you need to be positive, strategic, and intrepid. That is Judgmental, but optimistic about where each idea might take you. Clear about where you want the ideas to take you, and daring enough to take on original ideas. You need to be realistic but ready to take on challenges. Common mistakes are to choose ideas which are familiar and well worked out instead of those that will best achieve your intentions.
Phase 5. Evaluation
In order to improve earlier work you need to be critical, positive and willing to learn. Self-critical but positive about your vision of how the work could be, and your ability to do this. You must see weaknesses as opportunities to improve, and to learn.
When the core team is satisfied with the design concepts then more template examples are developed and made available for presentation to ‘buy in’ workshops and from here, into the finished assets.
We know the above is not a one size fits all solution, but we hope it gets us and our clients to think about what we need to deliver exceptional results that deliver on their business needs.
First published by us in Feb 2014