Pumping Passion into the Creative Process
Ever wonder how creatives do it -- go from a vague idea to a beautifully executed final concept? A few tips to get you and your team going in the right direction:
1) First things first: Lead with passion.
Many startups fail to grasp one simple concept: a brand should embody the passion of its leadership. A successful brand conveys vision, connects intrinsically with its consumer base and emphasizes the company’s value.
2) It all starts with an idea.
You have to believe in the idea and validate that it has reason to exist for particular target markets. If it's a viable solution to a pressing problem, chances are it will succeed. The next thing to do is present it properly.
3) Bounce the idea off others.
Share the concept with friends, family and team members. Go further to crowdsource first impressions via social media. Remember that honest feedback is key; there is always room for improvement.
4) Absorb best practices.
Innovation is all about making existing solutions better. Take the time to learn about what's already out there and how this new idea offers a unique alternative to options that tackle similar problems on the market.
5) Create (obviously)
Start anywhere and make the idea into something real. Whether it's an online service or a tangible product, give it an identity. Brand it.
6) Face fear
There is always a chance of failure. That's part of what makes entrepreneurship exciting. Do not be afraid to fall flat on your face; it's all uphill from there when you get right back up.
7) Change mindsets.
Focus on something else for a while and let the idea in progress soak in all that genius. Don't leave for a month on a trip around the world, but a day or so to let the mind relax and then see the project from a fresh perspective is incredibly helpful.
8) Be open to constructive feedback.
Ask direct questions about specific elements of the idea that may seem unclear. Leaving a blank slate open for feedback on anything and everything will confuse audiences and their replies risk being irrelevant. Never just say "What do you think?" or "Do you like it?" If it's the color of the buttons on the site that are questionable, ask for suggestions about better colors and cumulate a vote on the top choice. If it's the shape of the package that looks funny, seek alternatives. Well-formulated questions lead to useful answers.
9) Put it all together
Launching a new idea is like putting together a huge puzzle with hundreds of tiny pieces. Keep track of notes, lessons learned, aha! moments and take action on the most feedback. Eventually, the pieces come together and the big picture becomes ready to present to audiences.
10) Capture [dwindling] attention.
Don’t be afraid to promote your message through multiple channels, because you never quite know exactly where your target audience’s attention will be at a given moment. A few people could be scrolling through Twitter feeds on their smartphones while waiting in line at the store, another could be sneaking a peek at Facebook during break time at work, one may be flipping through pages of a [tangible!] magazine while waiting for an appointment, one glued to the game on the big screen at the gym during a workout. Online and offline presence must be coordinated in order to give due recognition to the result of your creative process. You’re proud of your work, so tell as many people as possible about it!