My blogging schedule has fallen apart and I haven't posted anything in ages. Many little reasons (busy, lack of focus) but the biggest is I've been grappling with is Creativity, and positioning it in a changing marketing landscape.
My roots are creative. When my skillset evolved to a brand strategist five years ago, I was different from others because I'd show clients how a strategy I'd developed might sound or how it looked. I developed brand strategies that moved forward with great results for client adoption because they demonstrated brand presence with personality and executional messaging that made sense to people and included a collaborative workflow that I brought from my experience as a creative director. My issue is an identity issue: as a marketing consultant I've been creating presence as a strategist for clients in the digital realm that rely on creative execution. Meeting with new people in new sectors recently, I'm concerned how I'm not fitting into any convenient compartments. The square peg/round hole thing.
My issue isn't isolated, valuing creativity where digital marketing is heading. So my challenge with creativity is not how to find it and use it as articles in Inc., Forbes and others coach the corporate world – but how to position creativity to people who value look-like templated solutions and easily tweetable '7 Best Ways To [insert dream]' -style lists as part of strategic planning in marketing and branding.
By looking at a brand, marketing or communications challenge as a creative opportunity rather than a business problem, I think it inherently increases the chances of developing the kind of presence and authority that sets one brand apart from the pack because it hasn't followed the logical steps that have made so many companies look like shades of the same thing. Read this article by Jim Carroll of BBH London about intelligence actually being the biggest threat to creativity. Which is to say, the value proposition for creativity in marketing isn't logical but the chance of a better outcome is bigger.
I've included this piece, which is part of a storytelling campaign I did as an example of creativity. Hired as a marketing consultant, I took a nonprofit client through a strategy that wrapped event planning, media awareness, digital and social presence together with documentary films in a creative execution. The photograph by Alexei Rebrov became a signature or icon for the campaign and used abstraction in a sector where logos, portraits and recognizable artifacts are more commonly used. It was a creative solution that strategically helped the event stand apart from other fundraisers.
Brenda van Ginkel
Every great brand that's making a difference to people or the planet deserves to stand out and be noticed. I write about creative direction and brand strategy for entrepreneurs and those supporting them, packaging concepts with messaging for growth and audience engagement in a crowded, noisy digital space.