1.  Take a step back 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with new projects and briefs, or to seek salvation in the familiar. First things first, pin down your objectives and the ultimate end goal.  Are we changing perceptions, growing market share, seeking new markets, appearing in new spaces? Define what success will look like before you begin.

  1. Become the audience

Before exploring the minds of the consumer, tackle your own perceptions and criticisms before you move onto the consumer.

  1. Horizons

Look for pastures new.  Brands in demand these days seek reference from outside of their category. Who else targets the same audience? Don’t imitate them; learn from them.

  1. Get the balance right

People generally make a purchase decision emotionally, and then justify it rationally. Your rational v emotional balance needs to be right.

  1. Revisit the past

Although it’s important to move ideas, products and brands forward, there is no harm in looking back on successful campaigns for insight. Evaluating the way these have been executed is a strong foundation to work from.

  1. Profit trap

It’s important not to get blindsided by profit. Although this is undoubtedly an important factor, this shouldn’t be the sole purpose of a project. In short, brands that are based solely on a profit imperative tend to fail. If you append profit with ‘passion’ then you are on to a winner.

  1. Collabo-create & crowd-source

Creative development is not an independent venture. By collaborating with other like-minded individuals, it allows you to see a project or idea from another angle. Sparking a debate through conflicting thoughts can lead to some of the best ideas.

  1. Focus on the C-word

Challenge your thinking versus the consumers, the category you are involved in and what is influencing growth and change, the conversations that take place between you and your audience and the content needed for each marketing channel. 

  1. VAT

Value added thinking should never be taxing. If you are asking too much of your audience, or you find your ideas too taxing or confusing, chances are your audience won’t get it either. Always come back to value added thinking that is easy to grasp and easy to fulfil.

  1. Focus

You must simplify choice for consumers in an oversupplied market. The have too many choices from too many brands, with too little time. Find the most minimal way to say the maximum thing, in a way that clearly stands out.