Creativity is what differentiates and amplifies brands today. It generates an emotional response, creates a sense of community, and injects your brand with an authentic personality that people can relate to. So how do we bring these human elements into our marketing?
Creativity in marketing creates perception and exhibits a brand’s personality and “humanness.” Being “sold” something is synonymous with inauthenticity and no one likes it. Creativity as a practice in any organization provides many clear paths to avoiding that cold feeling that can come from a hard sell technique. We tend to connect creativity to consciousness, which adds more layers of value for the customer to track and relate to. Creativity comes in to weave these value layers into a story that your customers want to be a part of.
Our client Ahnu Footwear is a great example of a brand that used a human touch and storytelling to demonstrate clear value to the customers they wanted to attract. We created a 90 day social campaign to help them launch their new hiking boots at REI. By creating a bright and colorful display showcasing the boot and creating a Facebook contest aimed at a younger audience, we boosted Ahnu’s social fans by 525% in just eight weeks. But even better, the contest “In Living Color” focused peoples’ attention on the beautiful colors of the shoe by asking them to submit their own photos of colors found in nature. This was a concept that both nature and style enthusiasts could relate to.
But the win here wasn’t just about increasing “likes” on a Facebook page. The contest helped Ahnu make a connection with their current and potential customers and helped foster a sense of community. It inspired people to come check out the shoes in person, and the result was total sell-through of the boot at REI. A creative campaign does more than just look good, it can inspire reciprocal creativity in your target audience.
Creativity also insinuates change and moving away from the status quo. Many organizations fear that adding creativity to the value structure could reduce efficiency and create distractions as opposed to generating more positives. Yet creativity is, in fact, the best thing for your business. When executed well and delivering on a strategic goal, creativity drives sustainable, measurable results.
Marketing campaigns should aim for that creative “sweet spot” in the middle of the spectrum where you have obvious and campy at one end, and artsy and over everyone’s head at the other end. In a world where we’re being marketed to every second of the day and on more platforms than ever before, it’s that much harder for a brand to gain a threshold above the rest and make a genuine connection. Brands that do this well make customers think, “Wow, they really get me!”
Creativity reflects a brand’s own personal connection to its product or service, establishing something beyond profit as direction for the brand and its supporters. Another one of our clients, Bonterra Wines, demonstrated this understanding of its customers with an ecologically focused campaign that highlighted the sustainable farming practices they use to grow their grapes. This collaboration between Formium and Bonterra’s creative team resonated deeply with people who viewed the ads and billboards.
People fell in love with the ads to the point that they were writing Bonterra to give praise, thank them, and offer support for their mission of creating organic wine out of sustainable farming practices that do not damage the environment. By creating an emotional connection that rang true with their mission, Bonterra spread positive brand awareness that also resulted in increased sales of their wines.
Brands can’t afford not to value creativity and creative thinking. Fostering the right environment and practicing some fundamentals can optimize the chances of finding the most engaging creative solution–one that connects your brand with your customer and drives your business. There is no magic formula or prescribed recipe for creativity. However, there are proven ways to ignite imaginative and innovative thinking in any organization. Download our whitepaper below to get actionable tactics on incorporating more creativity into your business.
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