The approach below includes four critical cornerstones —Research, Strategy, Development, and Execution— They help outline the framework required when working on projects with multiple teams.
RESEARCH
Through different questions, discovering what vision a company has for the next five or ten years is a crucial practice with innovative research. This makes it easier to build a healthy context for the development of future work. Asking questions gives a greater understanding of expectations and creative knowledge so things can be presented most appropriately throughout a project.
Each project is approached individually to discover hidden truths and pinpoint unique opportunities. Though projects vary, the main systematics repeat, such as long-term developments identifying the megatrends and the business environment setting through analysis to include customers, users, competitors, and comparable brands. Details are recorded through a mix of primary and secondary hand research.
Forecasting and highlighting relevant trends —companies can see change as a risk, though solid research and positioning in terms of what they stand for now and in the future can establish a great foundation.
STRATEGY
This is essentially about a clear message built from the research, laying out the narrative needed to make the user journey happen.
Brands come to life with an honest story that encompasses their purpose for existing and their place in the audience’s lives. When companies capture how the brand will tell that story, the personality and behaviors that the brand will need to adopt for that to happen successfully, and potentially, the communication themes that will hold the narrative together. Defining the brand’s internal and external scope of influence and weaving its DNA into a message will create interest and impact.
The outcome is an executable strategy with a target to determine what is appropriate, obtainable, and makes sense. A typical question is asked... what are we trying to accomplish? The strategy should address existing problems, current benefits and successes, unmet audience needs, behaviors and attitudes, emerging ideas and trends, and opportunities to differentiate.
A good and effective strategy is simple and understandable, even when the objective is not. Defining the above components communicates the strategic value and a clear message to the specific audience.
DEVELOPMENT
It all starts with enjoying the creative process and trying different options and methods in new ways. Encouraging creative development improves decision-making skills, asking open-ended questions to stimulate creative thinking and provides opportunities for brand expression.
Many ideas or concepts are explored, though evaluating and combining theories uniquely or making functional associations among ideas is necessary. All the tools available must be used to get strategic value across all channels. Just one or two options are expected to be presented —never more than three.
Feedback on how everything aligns with the project goals is necessary, and there is always scope for revision. When the work is driven by a defined strategy, there are rarely any significant objections.
EXECUTION
Call it unconventional or unorthodox, though execution - which can be all these things - is designed to guarantee the creative process is well imagined, accepted, and embraced by everyone, that it almost ensures a successful outcome, even against the odds.
Open, candid dialogue must promote the creative process encouraging people to take the initiative and break established norms. Only then can clear roles and accountabilities be shared with clear guidelines, standards, and expectations for each execution stage.
Decisive action enhances the momentum and propels the new direction, reinforcing the research, the strategy, and the development. It is necessary to maintain the common focus, keep track of execution milestones, and create a positive culture to be continued by a visible leader, now or in the future.
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