Brand – May, 2024

Brand, research and the creative process

Can brands arrive at a successful creative conclusion based only on thorough research? Systematic and careful research can shape and inform but should that be the main thrust? We know sound research is very good and enlightening about what people already think and feel in the current situation, but can it provide enough to deliver future success?  While thorough research is an important aspect of creating a brand, arriving at a successful creative conclusion requires more than just research. We don’t believe this can be achieved through research and testing alone. The most successful results in brand identify creation alway occur when using the minds and bodies of the best creative people and implementing with courage, enthusiasm and humility. Good creative people are the key. And, clearly this is not limited to the field of brand. Music literature, theatre and cinema, product design etc all require creative talent, inspiration and courage. It is not a science, and much as creatives would like to be able to look at tables and a graphs to show a brands likely success, it can only really be manifest through conviction and courage.

Here are a few things describing why human creativity and determination are important in brand success.

Creativity and intuition:

Human insight: Research provides data and insights, but creativity involves interpreting that data in innovative ways. Intuition and human insight and experience play a crucial role in translating research findings into compelling brand stories and visuals.

Emotional connection: A successful brand exercise often involves creating an emotional connection with the audience. While research can identify emotional resonances, the creative process is needed to craft messages and designs that evoke the desired emotions.

Originality and innovation:

◦Unique perspective: Research might lead to similar conclusions for different brands in the same industry. Creativity ensures that a brand stands out by bringing a unique perspective or novel approach to the market.

Being different: Sometimes, the most successful branding strategies are those that break away from conventional wisdom. While research informs the groundwork, creative thinking can lead to breakthrough ideas that set a brand apart.

Aesthetic and artistic value:

Visual appeal: Branding is not just about messages; it’s also about aesthetics. The look and feel of a brand – its logo, colours, typography and overall design – require artistic skills that go beyond what research can dictate.

Brand voice and tone: The way a brand communicates – its voice and tone – needs to be crafted creatively to ensure it is engaging and consistent across different platforms.

Cultural sensitivity and relevance:

Cultural nuances: Research can highlight cultural trends and preferences, but creatively interpreting these nuances ensures the brand is relevant and respectful in different cultural contexts.

Trend adaptation: Trends evolve rapidly and a creative team can quickly adapt and incorporate these trends into the branding strategy, often in ways that research alone might not predict.

Iterative process:

Prototyping and testing: Creative conclusions often go through multiple iterations. Prototyping different ideas and testing them (a creative process informed by research) ensures the final branding is effective.

Feedback loop: Continuous feedback from creative experiments can refine and enhance the brand. This iterative process combines both research and creativity.

Holistic experience:

Brand experience: The overall brand experience encompasses more than just what research can define. It includes the intangible aspects of brand interactions that are crafted through a combination of research insights and creative execution.

Brands, research and the creative process. While thorough research provides the necessary foundation and direction for brand identity and strategic brand design, creativity is ultimately the most important ingredient for interpreting these insights and transforming them into a successful, compelling brand. A synergy between research and creativity typically yields the most effective and resonant brand identify and associated strategies.

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Posted by Jack Owen