Soul searching for brands – The need for a Chief Brand Officer

The brand is not what it used to be.

Over the centuries, the brand has been on a series of steep climbs up the career ladder. This rise of the brand calls for a new definition of branding; we call it “Absoulute” branding. We believe the brand is becoming the soul of a company and, as a result, is becoming the driving force behind – and filter of – everything a company does. It is synchronizing all departments; almost creating a tribe.

That way of thinking positions a brand as not just a valuable asset, but the ultimate expression of purpose1, 2. It is the human personality (or personification) of a brand that faces the consumer, it is the spirit and energy behind the internal culture, it is shaping the relationship with suppliers and the environment, and is the essence of employee branding, providing both a reason to join and a reason to stay. This is vital, especially in a world that is driven by social media, and in which future employees are millennial.

When a brand becomes this important, and impacts on all departments of an organization, its care cannot be left to the marketing department alone. The brand is on the rise, and as such should be sitting at the table of the executive committee, next to the CEO, CFO, CIO, and COO. Hence the role: Chief Brand Officer.

By now some signs of this new role should visible. No, but at the same time, more and more brand managers are appointed, but it’s often unclear what role they should play and how they tie into each other.

Pretty weird when you consider that the brand is and will become increasingly important for companies. How come the brand not really getting a foothold within organizations? Of course there’s a number of reasons, but it is interesting to see how the brand developed over time first and then come to a conclusion.

 

The dimensions of a brand through the centuries

In a way the role of a brand is closely associated with technical and societal change and as a result growing from zero-to-non-dimension in to a multi-dimensional entity. Let’s walk through the centuries and see how the brand became what it is today.

Marker (Identifier)

The term branding comes from the Old Norse “Brandr” which means to burn. Cattle, slaves, timber and crockery were burnt or branded with the markings or symbols of the owner using a hot iron rod. The concept of branding was essentially to depict ownership, in particular the things that had value. This practice is dating back to 2000BC.

Nominator 1910’s

When the industrial revolution kicked in, more products hit the market. In the beginning it was just one of each, like Ford who created the car. Back then people were not affluent, so the main question was “Do I have the money to afford a car”.

Differentiator 1925’s

When the people grew wealthier and more brands introduced the same kind of product, it became important to differentiate versus competition.

That was was also the time the Unique Selling Proposition saw the daylight together with claims like “washes whiter”, “drives faster” and “so fresh, it floats on water.

It also was the the when advertising agencies were hitting it off.

 

 

Lifestyle 1950’s
By (overly) promising the gain of social prestige beyond a product’s functional benefit, marketers tapped into extrinsic motivations. That opened up a whole new playing field of positioning and marketing brands for their social currency.

It became about putting brands in aspirational contexts or situations to create the impression of them leading to or at least having the aura of a more sophisticated, desirable life. The big concept of lifestyle branding was invented – and hasn’t left us since.

 

Identity 1980’s

While the 50’s and 60’s were pretty social and about ‘we’, in the 70’s and particularly in the 80’s we entered the me-era. Think of Madonna, Wham, Duran Duran. Brands weren’t just badges anymore; they became building blocks of sense of self.

It was then when Nike just did it, or the adventurous Marlboro man looked down from the bill boards and not to forget the famous 1984 ad of Apple.

It is also was the start of the change of ‘ownership’ as consumers were the one in control creating the meaning and value of the brand “Show me who you are and I tell you whether I like you or not” or better whether it fits me or not. The Brand as a guide for (marketing) communication. It was also the time big ambitions were locked into the brand. Not with the intention to live up to it, but just to create an impression, making the brand often colorful but with an empty shell.

Storytelling 2000’s

2000 was when internet reached the mass and the start of movements like Napster, Wikipedia, Google, CU2 (frontrunner of Hyves), Skype, Digg and YouTube. And of course the iPod in 2001 (1000 songs in your pocket). It was the liberation of choice (of entertainment). At the same time, the world became more transparent. Consumers started to talk back and took things in their own hands. This created a completely new situation for brands.

First of all, it created a two-way street. Not just pushing messages to consumers but the start of living up to that promise as well. A new territory. One angry customer could instantly turn into a blazing tsunami on the world wide web, causing (sometimes irreparable) damage to the brand.


Secondly, brands needed to fight for attention and become really interesting. Brands couldn’t just force their way into existing content, they had to start creating their own content, using their own media, becoming attractive enough to connect and engage with. Suddenly small brands with little budgets became competitors as well. All it took to become a hype was a great story or an intriguing product or service. Marketers weren’t (and sometimes still aren’t) up for that job. At the same time brands like Nike, Adidas, Coca Cola, Apple led the way in becoming great story tellers.

Soul 2010

True liberation came with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. The world wide web in your pocket and all the apps you could think of to facilitate life. Uber, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Instagram, Waze, AirBNB cannot exist without smartphones.

Apple created the market. Without Apple the worldwide spreading of smartphones would never have been this big. Founder Steve Jobs turned into an icon rigidly clinging on to his own vision.

There’s an interesting similarity with youth friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in their first Ice shop in a rebuild gas station. They only used fresh and natural ingredients. Two years later, in their Volkswagen Van, they started supplying local restaurants and supermarkets. The rest is history, Americans would say.

Having said that, a lot of recent founders/starter-uppers (Amazon, Facebook, Tesla, Snapchat, Google,…) are still on as a CEO (or influencer), keeping the original soul in the company, still inspiring the whole culture of the company.

Somehow they’re able to keep the authenticity alive. Almost like as spiritual presence within the company. Brands founded with this spirit are generally appreciated more positive and more successful. The creators or founders follow their own course and are not constantly adapting to the changing wishes and needs of he consumer. They set the scene.

In fact it’s the brand itself through the founder that is in control, and not the consumer. Research shows that these kind of brands even have a longer life then brands controlled by consumers. As long as they stay authentic (true to self), with managers that are passionate and dedicated to their product and loyal to their own intrinsic motivation.

Remember Apple who was in trouble when Steve Jobs passed away (and some believe still is in trouble). Part of the magic and authenticity was gone, even though Tim Cooks is doing a great job.

 

Four pillars of absoulute authenticity

Recent research shows that while customer orientation is accepted as a core marketing principle, but there’s an opposing orientation—product orientation—that may offer an advantage.

The research suggests that brands perceived as authentic are evaluated more positively. Brand authenticity here is defined as the extent to which consumers perceive that the brand’s managers are intrinsically motivated in that they are passionate about – and devoted to – providing their products. The model proposes four pillars of brand authenticity that influence trust and expected quality. These aspects are:

  1. Unicity: the extent to which consumers perceive a brand is showing unique behaving, compared to competition (beyond pre-conditions).
  2. Scarcity: the extent to which consumers perceive the brand is not widely available or accessible.
  3. Longevity: the extent to which the perception is that the brand has been around for a long time.
  4. Consistency: the extent to which the perception is that the brand consistently over time and in relation to the way it behaves to various cues.

 

Managing an absoulute brand is in its infancy

In a world that is driven by social media, the soul behind authenticity is the key to survival and success. Being truly social is all about people, human beings, so how does a brand have to behave? Yes, like a human and with the right intentions, and that goes much further then just branding and storytelling. It actually means living the brand, and that has to come from the inside, out.

 

There’s still a lot to be done. Marketing, communication, organizational and management professionals are still largely working alone, or on their islands and disconnected from each other.

Although it appears the brand is growing in influence, the question is: how can this transcend into a holistic approach that impacts on everything a company does? Answering this is a key step towards putting  absoulute brands at the heart of organizations.

There are promising developments. There are organizations in which the brand has managed to transcend the communications department and become a more holistic entity. Done well, this will boost “purpose” in the way BrandZ defines it: “Making peoples’ lives better”. Look at the Indonesian Top 10 this year, see the brands that feature, and it becomes clear what the impact of elevating the role of brand in a business can be. This takes effort and commitment, and needs to be ingrained in a company’s culture. In general, however, the brand is still treated more like a business asset to be administered, rather than the sole – or soul – driver behind everything a company does.

 

Tough job, but someone’s got to do it

Absoulute branding paves the way for absoulute companies, with the brand as a guideline for all actions an organization takes. As the concept of a brand changes, so too must companies change the way brands are managed.

Delivering what you promise as an organization will remain one of a company’s key priorities in the coming years, but the organization itself is becoming more core to sustainable success. A relevant and distinctive communication message is one step, but moving the whole organization towards an absoulute brand is a discipline in itself, that requires a strong, holistic leader, seated at the table of the executive committee.

This calls for a Chief Brand Officer, and it’s a tough but rewarding job. It takes a “whole-brainer”, who is able to oversee all operations of the company and the impact they have on the entire ecosystem.

This requires a new way of working and thinking as an organization, and a new way of dealing with brands. She or he needs to use absoulute brand thinking to fulfil that brand promise to all customers of the company: employees, their families, suppliers, the community, the environment and even the world.

Embracing absoulute branding means scoring significantly higher on net results, net sales, operational income and growth, and having happy, loyal employees3, 4. Think of brands such as Traveloka, Sariwangi and Pepsodent in Indonesia, or more globally Google, Patagonia and Zappos). Not bad. Time to do some soul searching.

 

Literature:

  1. Booz Alan Hamilton (2004) Managing brands for value creation
  2. Kantar Vermeer Millward Brown (2015) Brand Value Creation in a World of Accelerating Change
  3. Mats Urde (1999) Brand Orientation: A Mindset for Building Brands into Strategic Resources
  4. Label (2005) – Brand orientation index – A management tool for building strong brands
  5. All images are from the internet and I thank all of the photographers. If your want me to take the image off, let me know and I’ll do it immediately.

 

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Soul searching for brands – The need for a Chief Brand Officer

The unusual suspects: Smartphones, are we smart enough with consumers?

Indonesia is the e-Walhalla

Phones

It is hard to imagine that it’s only 10 years ago Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, the first real smartphone. The whole world in the pocket of our jeans or purse. Especially in Indonesia seems to love the smart phone. The country has more than 100M internet users, it’s projected to become the fourth-largest internet market (based on number of users) by 2020,1 and smartphone penetration has more than tripled—from 14% to 43%—between 2013 and 2016.2

With US$ 1.93 per month for “unlimited plan”, Indonesia has one of the cheapest Internet packages alongside the United Kingdom. Furthermore, mobile phone offering in Indonesia is getting much cheaper and varied than before. Needless to say that the ‘mobile’ in Indonesia is the ‘Walhalla for (e-)marketers of all kinds.

Along with influencing consideration, smartphones have changed the way Indonesians actually make purchases—59% of consumers make online purchases weekly and 39% do so at least monthly, while only 2% say they’ve never made a purchase online1. eMarketer estimates that retail ecommerce sales in Indonesia will reach $3.22 billion this year.

Search intent is more important than demographics

When Indonesians are ready to shop, what they want matters much more than who they are. A report of Google/TNS, “Connected Consumer Study looked at a few key elements—smartphone usage, frequency of weekly online shopping, and YouTube usage—and found very little variation in online behaviors across age and gender demographics2.

That’s a great opportunity, especially targeting the older generation, who have sufficient money and time on their hands and are good for business. It is essential that brands and retailers move quickly to ensure that their own mobile presence and marketing efforts align with the current and future habits of this target market.

Old people

But there’s a catch. Penetration amongst seniors is low. Main reason? They are less comfortable using the full range of features that smartphone provides.

Smartphones are too smart.

Smartphones and apps are mainly made with young people and tech savvy people in mind and as they’re already using them, it’s easy to adapt and learn along the way. They are ‘applitterate’ and get more savvy every time they buy a new phone, install a new app or use the ones they have. Over time, the ‘savvy gap’ between young and old is getting bigger and bigger.

Research confirms this; it turns out Ease of use (70%) is the growing and main criterion choosing a smartphone for older people. For them smartphones are too smart and they don’t want to look stupid. It is way more important then price (which is second).

Probably smart not to buy a smartphone

GraphOlder generations are used to the experiences of the ‘old’ days, where technology was minimal and they learned it by doing.

With that mindset, older people perceive smartphones as intimidating. They have no idea how to use this new technology and what value it adds to their lives and as result and have become frustrated, angry and discouraged. Let’s face it, would you pay money for something you do not know how to use, with what purpose?

But then again, there’s lots of things senior people could do, or would do, or like to do, when they know how. Looking at the top mobile activities, it is pretty normal people stuff we do and did back in the old days. It’s the smartphone that’s the barrier.

The 81 year old app developer

The story of Mazako Wakamiya  an interesting example. She’s an 81 years’ old woman and used to be a banker. She recently launched her first smartphone app, which took her half a year to develop. Her reason is simply. She felt compelled to do something after noticing a shortage of fun apps aimed at people her age.

MazakoMazako Wakamiya snd her app Hinadan

She asked a number of people to create games for seniors, but no one seemed to be interested. So she took matters into her own hands and created a game called Hinadan. She achieved something many people half her age have not done. The game by the way is a success in Japan and getting a 5 out of 5 rating.

Work harder (and smarter)

If we believe seniors are an interesting target group, we have to get them to buy and use a smartphone. It is a different kind of role marketers (no not smartphone producers) and agencies need to play, but when played well, it’s very inspiring and can be very successful. The only catch is: We won’t sell our products directly to them, we have to follow the indirect route. But then again, we add value to their lives, which is particular important to consumers in Indonesia, according to BrandZ.

In his book “The hidden logic that shapes our motivations” of Dan Ariely, he points out that giving meaning to any task instead of financially incentivizing is real power behind motivation. Not only will people work harder, they’re more proud of the results as well.

Adding meaning to smart

That’s in interesting territory, so let’s see what we can do to get senior people into smartphones, by adding purpose for them. There’s plenty of things they like, looking at the top 11 things people do on a smartphone. Just a couple of quick thoughts on what we could do:

Show the meaning
Focus on connecting with friends, family (children and grand children) and how joy full that is. Taking photos, sending messages or finding long lost friends (when they’re online).

It is a win-win for their children who might worry or feel that they’re neglecting them. They could be the first ambassadors or teachers.

Apps made simple booklet
A very simple book in Sesame street language that explains how to install Apps and en explanation of the top 10 relevant for senior people work, The booklet includes an 11th App which has more Apps that are explained simple. It’s combining their ‘old school skills’ helping them learn new technology.

Smartphone lessons
As Indonesia is a very community driven society, why not organize (branded) workshops in which senior people learn how to use a smartphone. It could be sponsored by a smartphone brand.

Simple Apps
As said, Apps are getting too complicated and multi-functional and as a result more complex to use by older people. Why not introduce simple apps. Apps that have big buttons and focused usability. Shopping, medicine, texting, social networks, games, basically anything is possible.

And here, we don’t have to re-invent the wheel. There are many existing apps doing this job for us.

BigTake Big Launcher is a meta- app that make things big and easy. The grid layout provides access to calls, messages, cameras, galleries, and SOS right from the home screen. Customizable layouts: adding new buttons or changing their position as they see fit. The only thing we need to is partner up, or put it in Simple booklet, so we make easy more easy.

The unusual suspects: Get the movement started

And this is just the beginning. It’s the good thing is as well when we get this senior movement started. Older adults are similar to the younger generations because they can be empowered through their own peer networks and be the catalyst among other older adults through sharing knowledge, inspiring them to see the value and need for a changed attitude by creating opportunities to educate them.

By sharing will not only give new knowledge but most importantly, it will give confidence among these elder people that they are not alone facing difficulties in learning new technologies. If we want old people to use smartphones we have to put some effort in it. We can’t expect they have the same savvy tech mind set as we have.

I recently read an article. An American science team recently published the results of a study into the remains of a primal elephant, which puts our understanding of American history to its head.

History may have to be rewritten. Until recently, the oldest clues for human life in America were about 15,000 years old, and the archaeologists could not believe their eyes when they saw the result of dating: the mastodont found in 1992 lived 130,000 years ago.

If that’s right, we need to add more than 100,000 years to the period when people live in America. Perhaps we should stop chasing primal elephants, but focus on the scratches on their bones.

Gerard Hoff is Strategy Director at Geometry Global Indonesia

 

Sources:

The Jakarta Post, “Indonesia, SE Asia’s Digital Powerhouse,” August 2016.

Google/TNS, “Connected Consumer Study,” 2016, APAC.

Google/Ipsos, “Consumers in the Micro-Moment Survey,” 2016, APAC.

December 2014, Euromonitor International

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/make-any-android-easy-enough-to-use-for-grandma/

http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/02/technology/81-year-old-woman-publishes-iphone-app-japan/

Older Adults Should Not Be Left Behind, Jennell Williams-Zahir

http://theageofhappiness.com/posts/masako-wakamiya-81-launches-her-first-mobile-app/dhd8hb2aeaf

http://mymodernmet.com/masako-wakamiya-hinadan-app/

The unusual suspects: Smartphones, are we smart enough with consumers?

Thin line between shock and surprise  

 

Traffic Lights

Although new ideas are needed, it is definitely not a guarantee new ideas are embraced. People are in the operating modus and as a result have the tendency to rely on routine. New ideas are out of the ordinary, have the tendency to brake routines and often take time to be implemented and, most importantly, make money.

That’s why new ideas often are perceived as a shock and that creates resistance. So the challenge is to make the idea come as a uplifting surprise. I made a small analysis of how ideas can be embraced:

How it is told
Most importantly it is the way the idea is told. Actually, it is better not to explain the idea. The best way is to define the problem, translate that into an opportunity and describe it in am inspiring way, so that people discover the idea almost by themselves. Words that help selling the idea are ‘imagine’ of ‘for example’,

Who’s telling it
Resistance can be a result of ego or focus and as a result, not anybody in an organisation can be the bringer of an idea. So the idea maker has to be tactical in choosing people to share the idea with. That also means the idea maker has to set aside his or her ego and focus on the added value it can bring to many.

When is it told
Interestingly enough, ideas are more embraced when others have already done it. Especially when it’s been successful. Problem of course is that it’s not original anymore and is actually not a new idea, but a copycat.

Actually the latter is the proof, that when you’re able to create the right story around a new idea and are able to tell it in an inspiring way, the biggest change people embracing it one creates.

It reminds me of a quote of David Ogilvy:

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman”

Thin line between shock and surprise  

Social media bravery

thumbHow come a lot of brands or companies are very boring on social media, while they know it’s very important and high on the agenda?

Their not brave enough.

And the funny thing is that marketing people making these decisions are the same people, together with thousands of other people who will laugh, like and share the same stuff that needed lot of bravery.

It is interesting to think about it.

What does it take to do, what you actually would personally like and share as a marketeer?
Is it becoming more creative, is it becoming tougher? Or create a greater understanding about social media? What is that wall between what you like and what you should, have to or must do as a marketeer?

I’ve been in many situations where great, creative ideas scared the living sh#%t out of people, but when they saw the kind-of same idea somewhere else or much later in time they liked it.

We all know the Apple baseline, Think different and it still makes sense (when you live up to it).

Our brain is trained to spot the differences, not to see  what we see al the time. That’s logical, because getting aroused about things that don’t need an immediate action and run away like hell (yes it is our limbic system, the same as a lizard has) will cost a lot of unnecessary energy.

It is the stuff that stand out that will make sense (when relevant (funny, interesting, touching, stimulating, …)) or better said, reach our senses.

I found a great presentation and good examples of a Belgian Advertising Agency called Duval Guillaume, showing bravery. Be inspired, become more brave!

 

 

 

Social media bravery

The 3 storytellers

time-travel2-photo-courtesy-of-junussyndicate-on-deviantart

I recently read that storytelling is going to be the marketing trend in 2015 and that is funny, because storytelling is as old as the first humanoids learning how to express feelings (actually it started with drawing on the walls of caves). It’s our brain that since then has been so over-developed with the neo-cortex, that we forgot most of that and are focusing to much on words and bullet points as the way to get a message across.

The neo-cortex, pfff that’s a game changer! We learned to think rational instead of using our instincts and gut feeling. It reminded me of my son of three. He wanted to walk on a wooden beam but kept falling off. When I told him to look at the end of the beam and just walk over there, he forgot to look at his feet, didn’t think and didn’t fall off. Instinct won it from ratio.

Back to the storytelling.

The reason we like story telling is pretty simple, it is because, when we were children, lots of stories have been told to us. And boy did we like to listen to them! And as it is part of our childhood, it is also programmed deeply in our brain and we probably get an instant good feeling when we hear somebody tell a story.

Storytelling is very graphical and that sticks; good storytelling creates images in our minds when we listen to them. That way you don’t have to process the words, you just look at the images as the story continues. That’s the power of paintings as well, they tell a story without words, so we can absorb it, without thinking.

Actually, doing the reverse, is telling a story. Think of an image or scene and describe what you see. That’s a good way to tell stories, and it is amazing how the show in your brain works: If someone tells us about how delicious certain foods were and our sensory cortex lights up. If it’s about motion, our motor cortex gets active. Scientists found that the brain sees no difference between thinking about it or actually experiencing it. The same parts of the brain light up! Just imagine what a story can do.

Telling stories also means putting effort into it as a proof you want to make the other understand (it’s investing in the listener). That is the most pure form of engagement. The true meaning of engagement is occupy, attract, or involve (someone’s interest or attention) or engage someone in (cause someone to become involved in a conversation or discussion). But there’s more, whenever we hear a story, we look for relations to one of our existing experiences. That way we can much quicker understand a story. At the same time the brain of the teller and the listener synchronize, becoming a bit as one…

That’s why metaphors work so well with us. While we are busy searching for a similar experience in our brains, we activate a part called insula, which helps us relate to that same experience of pain, joy, disgust or else. Besides, it makes it easier to understand, no effort’s necessary, no decoding.

Telling stories, instead of giving solutions, works so well because of this. The relating to stories and the synchronization of brains, makes that telling the context of an idea as a story makes that the listener is creating the idea himself as part of her of his own experience (leave your ego at home and don’t try to claim the idea).

Words without a story makes are our brain becomes very busy trying to decode decoding words into meaning. And because of it after that it stops; nothing really happens after that. It’s like the bullet points in a PowerPoint. In the end the only thing you remember is the bullets… (besides it’s a mnemonic for lazy storytellers).

Long time a go, around 850 BC an Arab goatheader named Kaldi noticed how his goats acted strangely. When he looked what caused it, he saw they were eating certain berries. Intrigued by it, he tried them himself and was excited by the effect it had on him. It didn’t take the Arabs long to figure out how to dry and boil the berries in what they called “qaghwa a shortening of qahhwat al-bun ‘wine of the bean’.”

After that the Turkish used this brew as well and with them it travelled to the French who give the brew the name “cafe” and from there it was picked up by the Dutch who named it koffie and were responsible for making it enter the English language as “coffee”.

From now on chances are, you’ll remember this story when you drink coffee and probably tell it as well. This would not be the case when I had presented it in bullet points in a power-point-presentation, that’s for sure.

Now I hear some people say: “I am not good at it, I cannot tell stories” but then I say “You can”.

Try to imagine the idea, the point, the scene, the thing you want to make as a destination. Go back to where you are/stand and tell the story as the road to that destination. OK, 3 bullet points, but told as a story. A good way to become a storyteller is by:

  1. Experience stories, listen to them, be open for new ones and ask questions and
  2. Imagine the story. Think in images, not words but most of all
  3. Learn to tell, by doing and observing the listener.

 

And remember:
“Don’t be the traveler but focus on your listener being a passenger”.

The 3 storytellers

9 Quantum Creativity Strategies

Increase Your Creativity

If the brain is a muscle, and in a way it is, it is possible to train it or even to stretch it. But remember, being creative is hard and continuous work.

Here are some interesting ways to train the brain.

 

Strategy 1. Take Some Creativity Risks
The fear of doing things different is a killer of creativity. Overcoming that fear and turn it into a willingness to take risks is at the very heart of creativity.

No creative person succeeds without first failing – as failures are part of the process of testing one’s assumptions. There is simply no creativity without failure.

To experience major creative breakthroughs, it’s important to become comfortable taking risks. Each failure you encounter will actually supercharge your creativity by generating new information. If you’re unwilling to take risks and deal with what ordinary people call failure, then you cannot expect to become a great creative thinker.

Modern neuroscience has shown that our brains are literally rewired each time we learn something new by making a mistake. The brain is designed to learn through the trial and error process. Makes sense, doesn’t it.

Brain

Strategy 2. Embrace The Problem
There are many opportunities to expand your creative thinking skills. There are zillions of them, you just need to see them. It is important to define the problem in a positive way as the discrepancy between the current and the wished for situation.

The bigger the distance between current and wished for situation,
the bigger the number of creative opportunities.

One of the most fundamental skills of creativity is the ability to recognize an opportunity and seize it.

Such opportunities present themselves daily at home, while driving to work, during meetings or lunch – or while just hanging out with friends.

When you’re aware of ‘the problem’ you’ll see them. Write them down.

Strategy 3. Challenge Your Creativity Assumptions
It’s natural and necessary to make assumptions about the reality of our everyday world. We would otherwise spend all of our waking hours performing unnecessary mental analyzes of ordinary things

But, as a result, many times we see only what we expect to see. Our analysis of a situation or a problem is based entirely on assumptions based on our past experience or accepted knowledge. Besides assumptions can become so deep-rooted it doesn’t cross our mind to challenge them.

Challenging your assumptions is an important component of creativity. This allows you to look beyond what is obvious or already accepted. And it leads straight to the creative breakthroughs you’re looking for.

Truly creative people in all fields of interest tend to automatically challenge both their own assumptions, and the commonly accepted knowledge about a problem.

This mental attitude is the true source of all of the world’s great inventions and businesses. The moment you choose to challenge one of your assumptions as possibly untrue or incomplete,” you are on the way to discovering something new and different.

 

Strategy 4. Use Alternative Thinking
To come up with a creative idea; you will often need a new point of view.

Creating a new solution to an existing problem, for example, may require looking at the problem from a fresh perspective.

Additionally, a great way to kick start your creativity is to look at your problem from the vantage point of another profession.

If you are a mechanical engineer, for example, how would an architect view your problem? Or if you are a product designer, how would an interior decorator approach your problem? This approach can lead to some remarkable creative breakthroughs.

 Strategy 5. Accept Ambiguity
In general people don’t like things that seem to be vague, or could have more than one meaning or application. As a result they tend to be rigid and highly predictable thinkers. Not creative.

Daring to think ambiguous during the idea generation stage of the creative process has the power to bring out genius-level ideas.

People who can think ambiguously are fluid and flexible thinkers. The ability to think ambiguously can yield amazing creative insights. This is ability is experienced (and built) when you indulge in wordplay or humor.

Strategy 6. Expand Your Vision
An excellent way to build your creative muscles is to read and explore outside your normal area of interest. This can be especially useful when you are struggling to solve a creative problem. Read comics, Science Fiction or just magazines. Stroll the Internet. Keep the ‘problem’ in mind and find these creative solutions.

Strategy 7. Walk a mile in their shoes
We have the tendency to project things on ourselves and our own experiences. By changing your point of view in a literate way and putting yourself in the shoes of the other, creates a complete new perspective of things.

I often use my mother and try to look at the problem or solution from her perspective, but in general, just don’t think as yourself.

Strategy 8. Massage your brainwaves
Creative thinking best occurs when your brain is in certain states called alpha and theta. You are in an alpha/theta state when your brain is producing a predominance of slower brainwaves, as opposed to the faster beta brainwaves associated with normal waking consciousness.

Alpha /theta brainwaves are the reason many people have creative ah-ha experiences during a nap, a stroll, or some other mentally-relaxing activity.

But be aware the reason for creativity: The Problem or Problems. And don’t forget to remember them or write them down.

Strategy 9. Supercharge Your Brain
The one thing that robs you of creative energy more than anything else is stress. Get rid of stress (it isn’t good anyway) and you will raise your (Creaitive) IQ, develop clear mental focus, study and learn better, and increase your creative output.

9 Quantum Creativity Strategies

Cold exaggeration

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Every now and then it’s morning already colder and the gloves, scarves, hats and thick coats come out and put on.

But if you pull everything out of the wardrobe,
what will you on when it gets really cold?

I think it’s better to wear ‘normal’ clothes as long as possible and sparsely put on more or thicker clothes. That way your body gets used to the cold and you always have enough left in your wardrobe to put on when it gets really cold.

In marketing, it is often the same. When something goes wrong, every mean is used to turn the tide. In most cases it’s better to use just the second best idea and keep the best for when it gets really cold.

 

Cold exaggeration