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Brands win by being more creative

With such a strong link between creativity and financial performance, the more creative the brand, the more they win hearts and minds, and inevitably, sales.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, everyone has seen the ingenious ways businesses have had to adapt with everyone being at home and online.


From Michelin star restaurants selling home delivery boxes to something I came across recently, a luxury retailer selling everything from paintings, sculptures and cars in a virtual reality shopping experience. The bottom line, creativity in all aspects of a business is the route to future growth.


Whether it’s your new business model or an innovation in how you get your product to market. Creativity is especially important when creating any form of brand communication.


The more creative the content, the more it gets talked about, the more it gets shared. Inevitably leading to more awareness and not always, but typically more sales. There is strong evidence to support the most effective campaigns are due to the creative.


Going back to the virtual reality experience mentioned earlier, almost everything could be bought in the house. Well they call it a house but it’s more like a mansion. You start outside and can explore everywhere at your own pace. From the cars on the drive to the art on the walls. Even the piano as you enter the building. Each piece linked to a shoppable product page.


That was only in a browser, but layer in a VR headset and people can experience what you sell and interact with anywhere in the world. It’s as close to real as possible, not just a few pictures on a page and a price. It’s creative approaches like this that embrace more people spending time online. Brands will have to get creative and find new ways of delighting their audience to keep them coming back for more.


Even in a post COVID world, behaviours will change and more people will continue to be more comfortable spending large sums online without ever seeing a product close up.


So, how can brands embrace creativity in this new landscape?

Make a brand experience digital

Dior repurposed content from an exhibition and hosted it online. Within a week, accumulated over 350,00 views and more than 10,000 likes. Brands should find ways to talk about their heritage and show how they have evolved.


Embrace Virtual Reality

Patrón Tequila created a VR experience from the perspective of a bee taking customers on a personal tour of its distillery and headquarters. This kind of experience shows you behind-the-scenes. You become less of a product on a shelf and more invested in the brand story.


Engage followers with fun, challenges

There has been a trend towards using hashtag challenges which works in two ways. It encourages user generated content that can be republished utilising others channels as well as your own. The holy grail being, they go viral. But more importantly, actively engages followers with your brand. When a sense of belonging is at an all-time low, if people can find belonging in association with your brand, the emotional connection is priceless and the effects will be long lasting.


Focus on the creative, not on the expensive production

Lockdown has shown us when it’s harder to create new assets, brands are having to be more creative with how they market themselves. Teenagers in their bedroom are getting more virality than well trained marketers scared to do something different or embrace new platforms. Create something meaningful and loyal followers will get behind you.


The one thing that always cuts through is delivering an engaging message in the shortest time possible. Right now, brands still have a huge opportunity to capitalise on such an increased demand for media consumption.


It’s the brands that find new, creative ways to engage their communities that will come out on top once we are back to normal. They will have built brand affinity.


On the flipside, poor creative will limit your effectiveness regardless of how much you spend on it, how good your targeting is and how hard you push it.


Remember, creativity always wins.


Embrace it.

 

By Alex Colley

Founder and Creative Director of ikon, a Boutique Branding & Creative Agency in London helping brands engage affluent audiences. Clients include Cartier, Westfield, Porsche & F1.

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