What Can We Do to Be More Creative Today?
After all, we are not in the sales-avoidance business. Our digital cloud measurements and corresponding algorithms are harbingers of product sales results across all our stores. In essence, we know more about your product’s ability to succeed versus your competition than you do, Mr. Brand. And although it took you 10 months to bring this product to market, it took us only 10 minutes to realize your brand’s and product’s future value, or lack of, for our consumers.”
Whoops! Why did this happen? How did we get here? Should we blame price? Should we blame packaging? Should we blame the factory? The CMO? Our sales organization? No, we should blame our lack of competitive creativity through each and every touch point of the brand promise: the pre- and post-life cycles from early product research, to architecture, to cosmetics, to creation, to packaging, to pricing, to positioning, to competitive market targets. The fun philosophy and actions of creativity empowers the sober resultants of forecasted demand. The flow and dreamy aspiration of profitable creativity is the heart of any brand, any product, any department, any work group, any enterprise, any company that intends to make or take a market.
In essence, I do profess the most successful brands beat their competitors because of savvy kinetic creativity: their core measured fuel throughout product development, throughout sales and marketing deployment. Highly successful brands treat the flow of creativity as an important component of supply-chain management. In supply-chain management, we know increases in productivity deliver increases in profitability. In the language of creativity across product construct and market activation, so, too, goes the creed: “Increases in creativity deliver increases in brand and product profitability.”
Does this sound like a fleeting glimpse of the obvious? Methinks not. Want proof? When was the last time you were invited to an internal company meeting titled “Creative Advantage?” Or a meeting titled “Creative Ways To Win?” When was the last time your cross-functional team members stayed late at night together and entered the “whacky room” to throw creative thinking, ideas, brand and product ideation up against the wall to smell, taste and command weakness, strength and most importantly, creative opportunity? Creativity is not a solitary art form. Creativity lives, survives and thrives in stimulating product demand crafted to take or make a market.
Absence of and/or simply good creativity through the 10-month cycle of product development creates a learned company disability if not corrected, promoted or demanded as a viceroy brand philosophy and policy. Without intense best-of-breed creativity, digital measurements and smart algorithms will mirror back the bad news in a mere 10 minutes. Your brand and product will then be placed in an ineffective competitive bulwark shelf posture forced to cut price, guided to add a profit draining bundle: spending more to gain less: winding up in a large museum of failed products.
If the Cat in The Hat can have so much profitable fun through smart and jaunty spirited creativity, so can your brand, products and team members. In our new, evolutionary age of instant-metricized-accountability, I emphatically suggest in order to fuel brand demand, to gain iron-clad product command, that during every day of the 10-month product-development cycle, during every product-factory, engineering, sales and marketing gathering—even every conference call—that the dialogue begins lively and ends seriously with, “What can we do to be more creative today?” n