Creativity is at the heart of any successful venture, from starting a new business to renovating a home or planning a wedding. It is the solution to difficult problems, the answer for how to make a brand more memorable, and the way forward when making future plans.
No matter the type of business you run, creativity is often your best asset as it gives you a tool to help you look at things in a different way. This could be for finding a way to cut down on costs without affecting your product quality, to reaching new audience groups, to coming up with new ways to better serve and add value for your existing clients.
How creativity benefits your business
One of the biggest benefits of creativity when running a company is found in innovation. Creativity will help you to innovate with fresh thinking and ideas, which will keep your business moving forward and ensure you’re always offering new products and services to your clients.
For example, imagine if Blockbuster had been creative enough to move with the times and offer an online movie rental or streaming service instead of sticking with their brick and mortar business plan. Had they innovated, used creativity to move their business ahead, they could have been as successful as Netflix is today.
Creativity is also often the answer for difficult business problems. Issues often arise when traditional ways of problem-solving do not solve the dilemma, which leads to an impasse.
Here, looking at the problem from a new angle and getting creative can solve it in unexpected ways.
For example, think about New Zealand’s ‘Cookie Time’ brand. They sell delicious cookies, but often end up with broken cookies that they can’t sell in their standard packs at supermarkets. Instead of solving this problem the traditional way (by finding ways to break fewer cookies), they got creative, and started offering discounted packs of broken cookies to ensure the broken bits didn’t go to waste (and in doing so, gave their customers a great new product!).
“Creativity and innovation are about finding unexpected solutions to
obvious problems, or finding obvious solutions to unexpected problems.”
Rei Inamoto, former Chief Creative officer at AKQA
How to be more creative
Creativity is a skill, which means that even if you don’t count it amongst your strengths right now, it is something you can practice and improve over time.
To start, you can come up with more than one solution. Instead of working with the first solution or idea that you think of, try to think of three, of five, or 100. This will force you into looking at things from different perspectives, and you might just find a better fitting solution than your first option.
You can also boost your existing creativity by working on a personal project on the side away from your usual work. This will give you mind a break from thinking about business all the time, and let you simply enjoy your hobby or interest which can leave you feeling refreshed and inspired to get back to your brand.
It’s also a great idea to build a network around yourself of trusted friends and industry contacts. You might find them at industry events, via LinkedIn, or even in coworking spaces, but these people can be great resources for bouncing ideas around, learning about new innovations in your field, and inspiring you to keep working, thinking, and innovating.
Another way to be more creative is to look at things from different perspectives. Consider how a child might try to solve the problem, or how a teacher might better communicate with your audience, or how a mathematician might approach a marketing strategy. The answers themselves might not necessarily prove fruitful, but they will get you thinking out of the box!
We can’t forget either how regular exercise offers many benefits, including boosting our creativity. Many studies confirm that working out, from simple walking to high-performance training, releases endorphins, helps with quality of sleep, manage stress, etc, which promotes proper brain function, makes us feel more energy, more inspired and more creative.
Finally, one of the best ways to be struck by a creative idea is to know everything there is to know about your industry. The more you learn about what’s happening, what’s possible, what people want, what works and what doesn’t, the better informed you’ll be, and the better you’ll be able to find a nugget of creativity amongst it all that moves your business forward.
For creative thinking for your branding and marketing, get in touch with the team that’s so creative, it’s in our name.