The terms ‘innovation’ and ‘creativity’ have been overused and then some more in the traditional business world and global creative industry. Beyond being strong words that potentially elevate the public image of businesses or individuals, creativity and innovation are powerful tools that can transform those who use them wisely.
These terms are commonly used interchangeably, but not appropriately. The Word Web dictionary describes innovation as the creation or invention (of a new device or process), resulting from study and experimentation. The same dictionary defines creativity as the ability to create.
As such, you cannot be innovative without being creative. Also, innovation is only effective with constant study and experimentation. Succinctly put, a business that consistently innovates unique ideas or tools in its processes is creative.
This article will explore the role of innovation in the big picture of every business, why, how, and when you should innovate creative solutions that can make your brand stand out.
Innovation: The Canvas For Painting Your Business’ Big Picture:
Have you ever wondered how big brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi stay relevant? These brands are 136 and 129 years old respectively, and although they’ve had their rough seasons, and smaller yet strong competitors keep rising, they are arguably undefeated.
Even if a brand like Coca-Cola loses the trust of new generation consumers, it can always gain it back because the brand is always innovating creative concepts without losing sight of its consistent brand message.
For Coca-Cola, the big picture is to permanently attach a happy image to the word Coca-Cola in the mind of consumers, but it also ensures to arrive here by building individual innovative branding strategies, such as its top commercials of all times, that consistently portray happy experiences for consumers.
Note: innovation doesn’t always mean discarding existing processes, but sometimes, it means breathing life into dying practices that can still give results.
While the end goal is to be at the forefront of consumers and even critics, successful brands play the long game.
According to a Forbes’ survey of brands on social media, one out of four people buy from brands they follow. This suggests that certain attributes keep about 25% of social media users on the platforms of their favourite brands. Successful brands are not quick to change their products, services, or processes on a hunch.
You should understand that trends come and go and that you should innovate, but also maintain the brand experience that won you your customers in the first place. You should also stay focused on the big picture (long-term goal) that inspired you to create that brand experience.
How To Standout As A Creative Business
1. Get Creative Advisory
There is a reason why effective brainstorming sessions are necessary before business or brand owners make concrete plans. It is because getting unique ideas from different people expands your initial ideas and gives you so much more to work with.
Most importantly though, getting suitable creative advice from seasoned creative professionals will make your business stand out.
There are many good consultancy agencies you can consult to get and implement innovative ideas. However, if your goal is to increase brand engagement and sales, it is best to consult an equally creative agency like Talku Talku that adopts result-driven innovative branding and marketing strategies .
2. Ditch ineffective graphic designs
Graphic designs will never go out of style, but you do need to get creative with the designs that portray your business and the products or experiences it offers. A detail as seemingly inconsequential as your brand’s font can determine the frequency with which your audience opens or interact with your online content.
The colour scheme you adopt for your product packaging can also determine how fast the product sells. This is why you must work with an excellent graphics designer who understands that every detail matters.
3. Give your images life
Do you hope to get increased engagement on your website or social media platforms? Then, you might need to innovate how you present information to your audience. If you have been using only still images or graphics, it’s time to introduce your audience to enhanced graphics.
Try using 2D, 3D, motion graphics, or animated images, to tell your brand stories. Computer-generated imageries (CGI), such as this animated logo from Talku Talku, are usually very short but compelling enough to capture your audience’s attention. Such flash storytelling methods will get you better results than still images.
Another innovative approach that can make your business stand out is video marketing. Including video adverts, explainer videos, and even behind-the-scene videos can fast-track the buyer’s journey.
For example, a potential buyer will quickly conclude a purchase if your video clearly explains the features, benefits, handling, and price of the product.
4. Let your message speak for you
Whatever form of innovation or creativity you want to employ, you need words. From scripting for videos and podcasts to copies for graphics and social media captions, you need to use the right words.
Identify your brand’s objective, goal, identity, and voice to guide how, what, and where you write. Whether you’re a growing or established business, you should have a great in-house, or contract professional that develops content or copies to ensure that your brand message is well-portrayed to the public.
5. Adopt smart and environmental-friendly options
A creative business adopts smart approaches that make buying processes smoother for its customers. A good instance of smart innovations is ‘TT Digital Menu’ which allows restaurants or food services to present their customers with constantly updated menus.
This digital option has an additional benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that occur during the process of producing paper for physical menus. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, you can digitalise your processes, and make transactions easier and faster, while also contributing to environmental sustainability.
6. Put your eggs in a damage-proof basket
One of the hallmarks of a serious and trusted business is having a website. If your social media providers fail, your website is a damage-proof basket that will protect your eggs (content, products, services).
A good website is an innovative solution for your business, especially if it portrays all you offer in a simple and visually-appealing way. You don’t want your audience struggling with retrieving information on your website, so be sure you have a quick and responsive website like ours.
7. Identify a cause and wrap your brand story around it
With its Short Tori niche, Talku Talku aims to project incredible African storytellers and their incredible skills way ahead of their breakthrough in the global creative space. We use podcasting as a tool for creative storytelling, entertainment for our listeners, and credibility for our writers.
This is an innovative approach that serves us and creative writers. To adopt a similar method, list societal causes or projects, highlight relevant organisations or individuals you can partner with, and identify the best digital form to project the cause.
Yours might not be podcasting like Talku Talku’s Short Tori; it could be a mini-series that promotes gender equality. Just ensure that the course aligns with your brand’s core objectives.
When Should You Innovate Creative Solutions In Your Work Process?
1. Consistently, every day
Remember that innovation doesn’t always mean new ideas or new projects. The most successful businesses and individuals are people who show up consistently; through failures and successes. To always achieve significant progress, you need to implement new and existing innovations daily.
Whether you’re a new or established business, you can’t post once a month on your business TikTok account and expect to get 10,000 followers within a year. Your content does not have to be consistently stellar, they only need to consistently push your brand message.
Summary: show up when you have something special to say or when you want to remind your audience of what you’re offering.
2. When you want to introduce a new or special edition product/service to the market
It goes without saying that a new product or service requires an excellent campaign to sell massively. You need to innovate and adopt creative marketing ideas to reach your audience faster than before.
For instance, instead of going with the same format of using beautiful still images and catchy captions for your social media campaigns, you can hire an animator to create an unforgettable virtual experience through motion graphics or a video editor to create a detailed short video.
Your potential customers can view different angles of a product or step-by-step processes of the service you’re selling.
Summary: a novel product or solution deserves a creative marketing approach. Adopting innovative campaign methods leaves an indelible mark on your brand and a remarkable memory for your customers.
3. When you’re rebranding
Being consistent should not make you the leopard of your industry. You shouldn’t be rigid about evolving practices and times. Your competitors will remain aggressive, and if you’re to stay relevant, you should be way ahead of them. Rebranding is one of the ways to achieve this.
You can also rebrand temporarily for specific marketing campaigns or societal impact purposes. A good example is the viral 2022 Bournvita campaign, #FaithnotForce, created to encourage parents/guardians to allow their children/wards to choose their career paths.
The caveat to a cause-based temporary rebranding is that you will need to continue creating a good brand experience for your customers. Just as it is not ideal for a beverage drink (Bournvita) to be packaged in a detergent container, ensure that you do not choose a cause or project that is at odds with your brand.
Summary: an occasional rebranding is good for your business, but always maintain consistency in your brand features so that your audience/consumers will not lose their attachment to your business.
Now that you have a contextual understanding of how innovating creative ideas and processes can improve your business and marketing goals, it is time to implement these ideas. You can do this by consulting freelance creatives or hiring a creative team.
While hiring individual creatives to implement innovative concepts will still get the job done, it can be time-consuming and costly. Working with a creative agency ensures access to a team of creatives, easy accountability for the project’s progress, and cost-effectiveness.
Whichever option you choose, the most important thing is that your creative business is ahead of industry trends by constantly innovating creative ideas in its processes.