It happens, the dreaded moment when you are stuck with a creative project. The business owners want one thing, the marketing department sees another and the creative director hasn’t met the mark due to so many multiple directions.
What do you do? How do you break through the confusion into clarity? How do we get everyone on the same page?
Step 1: Creative Brief
Don’t forget to complete the creative brief. I know it’s one more step in your busy world, but I promise it will be well worth it. The creative brief is the basis of any project. It’s an organized list that makes you think and gives the creative personnel direction. If you don’t start with a creative brief, I can just about guarantee you’ll see that project again and you’ll go through numerous revisions and changes that wastes everyone time.
Step 2: Get Everyone in the Same Room
Often when a snag appears in a creative project it’s because we haven’t invited everyone into the same room to discuss objectives, creative ideas and the vision that everyone has. We spend so much time via email, telephone calls, instant messages, but nothing takes the place of in person collaboration.
Step 3: Focused on the Wrong Things
I often find that if a creative project isn’t going the right direction and the business owners aren’t seeing what they want it’s because they are too focused on giving input on elements and less focused on the emotion they want the project to invoke with consumers. Focus less on the elements and more on what you want to achieve. What do you want people to feel? What do you want them to do? What do you want them to think? Now, be open and trust our creative director to make that happen – after all that’s their expertise.
Step 4: Be Open to Negotiate
The end goal is to come up with a solution that works for everyone. That sometimes requires negotiation. All parties must be open to negotiate when you’ve reached a roadblock in order to get passed it. Find the commonality between everyone and agree on the goal. Write the goal down, this will make it easier for everyone to work to accomplish that goal. Get away from personal choices, opinions and stubbornness so that you can move to a solution by being focused on the end goal and what it will take to achieve it.
Step 5: Find Inspiration by Revisiting the Competition
If you find you are still struggling, find inspiration together. Go ahead, look at your competition. What are they doing? How are they reaching out? What elements do you find that are common? This doesn’t mean copy what they are doing, but rather review what they are doing and do it better. You can even go outside your competition to see what’s being done to accomplish your same goal. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find and the ideas that will be cultivated. We can all experience a creative block and this can often help to push through it.
Step 6: Scrap It and Start Over
If you find you just aren’t achieving what you need to as a team, don’t be afraid to scrap it and start over. Staring with a blank slate, fresh ideas and input can get you where you need to be. It doesn’t mean you are giving up, but rather that you are willing and open to explore other solutions.
Step 7: Stay Optimistic
Don’t lose faith coming up with a solution, be optimistic that you will get there. Remind yourself that this is just part of the creative process in order to get to the best solution for everyone. Stay positive and optimistic, this way the creative energy isn’t stifled and everyone’s stress level is escalated. Optimism will help in getting to that end goal.