This Is Not A Drill: You NEED A Creative Concept
Real talk? The chicken crossed the road to finally find its creative concept. After all, it’s something that every single person already has tucked away in their (designer jeans) back pocket, and it makes all branding and business decisions a total no brainer. Plus, by implementing your concept like a champ, you’re essentially guaranteeing that you’ll stand out—and stay—in the eyes of those who matters most. (Hint: It’s your customers.)
Once you have the be-all, end-all, almighty concept, the world better watch out. (It’s a powerful thing, this creative concept. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.) At its core, it’s all about attracting your customers to your cohesive, developed brand, making the sale seamlessly, and being memorable to boot.
THINK OF YOUR CREATIVE CONCEPT AS THE BINDING FORCE THAT CAUSES EVERYTHING ELSE TO CLICK INTO PLACE.
(YEAH, IT’S THAT BIG.)
So now that I’ve talked a big game, what exactly is this glitter-encrusted magical unicorn of a creative concept? It’s the thread that becomes the fabric of your entire brand, from top to bottom line (wink). When it’s good, your CC is the equivalent of a really great bra, lifting and separating you from your competitors while making your life a whole heck of a lot easier.
IT’S ALL ABOUT HAVING A HOOK TO HANG
YOUR HAT (AND BUSINESS DECISIONS) ON
Once that overarching, unifying theme is in place, you’ll be able to whip up on-brand campaign emails, calls to action, social media, headlines, taglines, photos, product names, graphics, and that casserole your Aunt Rosa is famous for. (Okay, so maybe not that last one.) But your CC becomes woven into the DNA of every business decision you make, all while effortlessly calling forward all of your people.
Humor? Good. Drama? Perfect. (Gasp!) And action, of course, is always welcome. Ultimately, you want to define the very core of your company so you can talk about your major messages in a way that matters.
One of my past clients wrote a blog post about her creative concept, and said it best:
It’s a fine line to walk between a hook and a gimmick [but if you] think about some of your favorite internet personalities, they have a hook that helps them stand out from the crowd.
● Marie Forleo is the hip hop business coach.
● Leonie Dawson is the business advisor for woo-woo hippies and unicorn lovers.
● Erika Lyremark is the ex-stripper business coach.
They all do (roughly) the same thing, but they all have VERY different hooks to get you thinking about them and remembering them. But none of these are gimmicks—they’re all an integral part of who each woman is and how she got to where she is now.
For a few other great examples, scope out The Coveteur and Man Repeller. While The Coveteur is all about voyeuristic, clandestine glimpses into the closets of coveted fashionistas, Man Repeller hilariously encourages “sartorially offensive” clothes that repel men—or at least according to their Dick-shun-ary. Sure, they’re both two blogs that talk all about fashion, but their hook—their spiiiiiiiin—completely shifts the context and makes them unique.
A great way to think about it is like having the Midas touch; whatever your creative concept touches, it turns into unified, recognizable, memorable gold. (Unless you prefer silver, in which case it can be that, instead.)
SO WHAT HAPPENS ONCE YOU PIN DOWN YOUR CC?
EVERYTHING BECOMES CRYSTAL CLEAR.*
*Waterford crystal, for the record.
Decisions ranging from web design and copywriting to what in the actual hell to wear are seemingly magically simpler to make, all while your clients are getting the clean, direct experience they’ve been lusting for.
As an example, let’s look at us—Public Persona—as an example. (We like to walk our talk, all in a pair of 3-inch nude stilettos.)
Now for the background:
Yes, I’m a creative director and brand expert, but I’m also a fashion stylist, working with people who spend their time as the (stunning) face of their business and strutting confidently around in the public eye. Because of who I am, I’m able to combine strategy, design and styling in order to develop cohesive brands for the show-stoppers.
I fashion people’s brands from head to footnote & top to bottom line. See what I did there? By zeroing in on a part of my story that sets me apart, I have immediate guidance for upcoming business decisions.
I have a veritable unlimited lexicon of fashion terminology that lets my audience and clients easily recognize me with a quick flick of their well-adorned wrist, like:
“off the cuff”
“skirting around the issue”
“in your back-pocket”
“step by stilettoed step”
“up your sleeve”
“button up your business”
(And that’s just the tip. I could go on and on—like long legs—for days.)
Now let’s focus on our naming process:
When you think of fashion, your brain is immediately flooded with couture and haute couture, which immediately gives me names like Privé, Holy Chic, Haute Brand, or even Tete-a-Tete. (I also talk about a brand’s Ensemble. I can’t help myself.)
I did a shoot for my brand with a fashion model, because when we’re talking about fashion and style, aspirational sells, and it’s what made sense with my creative concept.
Obviously, there’s no rule that says you need to make constant puns or cheeky asides, because no two themes are alike. But if you remember one thing about creative concepts, make it this:
IT’S NOT ABOUT BLOCKING OFF POSSIBILITIES FOR
YOUR BRAND. IT’S ABOUT FINALLY OPENING YOUR
BRAND UP FOR BUSINESS (AND GROWTH).