“Creativity is great for selling sketchbooks.” “We are in insurance, not creativity.” Just some random remarks you get when talking about creativity. But whether you think it fits your company profile or not, creativity is a social trend that allows you to reach your target audience.
Just to get it out of the way, creativity as a trend does not mean you ought to ditch your pinstripe for a red suit, nor does it mean your business cards should now be done by a graffiti artist. The trend in creativity means that people love to be creative themselves. It also means they appreciate an organization that has a creative edge to their products.
Within this trend, the best ways to reach people is through challenging them to be creative with your product or around a theme that fits your products or services. A great example of this would be a coffee chain that would ask people to take pictures of their favorite place to drink coffee and post them on a Facebook fan page. In return the fans can win a chance to have coffee there with 30 friends, muffins and other extra’s included.
Another option would be to ask people to help you develop a new product or service for you. In the Netherlands crisps maker Lays did this when it asked people to suggest new flavors for their crisps. Out of all the suggested flavors three were chosen for the final test, selling them in the supermarket. The sales of the three chosen flavors even exceeded the sales of all the time favorite crisps flavor. Brand awareness over the campaign period even went up to 80%, which is a big improvement over the 60% normally measured at Lays. The huge success of the campaign can be attributed to a couple of other trends as well, but unleashing the creativity of people to create new crisps has been one of the major factors in the success of the campaign.
Adding a creative edge to your product or service from within your company can be one of the toughest things you could want. However, people will appreciate it once you have got your edge covered. The edge you are looking for is something which makes your product remarkable. Something that is just a little bit different, but which changes the feel of your product or service enough to surprise people. It might be incorporating a local flavor in the product you are selling. Like the baking tin that was created by an artist based on an old button used in the traditional dress in Zeeland, the Netherlands. At first she wanted to make a limited edition of 2010 baking tins for the area. Four months later, she has now sold over 8000 tins in 30 countries and she is looking to expand with a new series of recipes from around the world. Another way to make a change would be to give your service a twist. You could be the world’s first socially responsible and environmentally focussed accountancy firm. But it would have to be in the genes of your organization. This would mean that all employees only wear organic suits, they only use electric vehicles to visit their customers and the office should be as paperless as possible. At the office fair trade and organic products are chosen for every solution possible and every employee can spend a couple of hours every week to provide a charity with their expertise. It can be done and it will pull a new group of clients towards you. A group that will choose for the best solution for themselves as well as the world around them. And when that choice is made in this way, the price is no longer the main issue at your negotiating table.
Creativity can be the trigger to involve people. Whether that is involvement with your organization, your goals, your product, your projects or your services. It can be one of the decisive factors in the choice your target audience makes. And that is not the only way you can benefit from creativity. The creativity of your target audience can also help you to explore directions that you would even have considered otherwise. And the good thing about that is that if your target audience leads you to new grounds, they also follow you to be your best customers and ambassadors there.
This post is part of a series on 10 social trends that can help you get your point across. For more information or a tailored advice on what could be your opportunities, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org