‘The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain.’
Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek
Too many of us follow the crowd. We stick to the rules. We conform.
Yet, we know that creativity makes the difference between a mediocre business and a great one. The difference between success and failure.
A culture of creativity at home and work encourages better problem solving, more innovation, greater happiness and competitive advantage.
‘Creativity is the crucial variable in the process of turning knowledge into value.’
John Kao (Harvard Business School)
Most of us work in highly competitive markets and there’s too much focus on price competition. The less developed world is catching up and it’s taking our jobs. We have to innovate to survive, thrive and stay ahead.
We’re exposed to more than 2,500 adverts a day. But, can you remember any from yesterday?
Most of us become immune to advertising messages because most don’t engage, inspire or interest us. This is why creativity is so important in your marketing.
How and in what channels you deliver your message is as important as the message itself, if you want to persuade and achieve cut-through.
A powerful creative idea makes your communications stand out and significantly increases response rates. It won’t just generate more business, it will save you money, increasing your return on investment and make your marketing budget, no matter how small, have the impact of a much bigger one.
You must work with the hearts and minds of your customers. Emotions drive rational behaviour. Rational communication isn’t enough.
What’s your brand story? Put it at the heart of your marketing.
Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.
William Blake, Poet
Some of us don’t see ourselves as creative, but it’s a skill that can often be learnt. It may simply be down to the rules you’re forced to work with or self-perception. Creative people see themselves as creative and give themselves the freedom to create. Uncreative people don’t.
Creativity is about listening, looking and reading a lot on a particular subject to find that germ of an idea that inspires you to act and change. Creativity needs to be fed with information and learning. Absorb, grow and be inspired.
Learn to harness the power of your right brain. Generate seed ideas. Leave them in your head for your right brain to process. How often have you gone to sleep with a problem and woken with the solution?
Bounce your ideas off colleagues. Escape to the hills. Go for long walks with friends. Create space. I often come back from a long weekend or a holiday full of new ideas.
Stress and fear are the enemies of creativity and innovation. Taking breaks is healthy; holidays free-up the mind; unnecessary routines, like the 9 to 5 straight jacket, breed mediocrity; excessive red tape and bullying behaviour box us in. Change the rules. Banish the blame culture. Give your staff space and flexibility. Encourage initiative and collaboration.
One of the best sources of creativity is ‘mind-chatter’ that comes into your head when you’re doing something else.
Creativity is about surprise. It’s about thinking beyond the rules and not being constrained by boundaries.
One crazy idea can lead on to something amazing. So, keep your mind open.
However, you don’t have to come up with the next big thing. A lot of product development is based on iterative steps, small improvements to existing products or services.
Start by doing some personal brainstorming. Contrary to popular opinion, many of the best ideas come from brainstorming on your own. Only then run a group brainstorming session. You could consider using Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats technique, which encourages everyone to think in the same direction at the same time.
However, don’t just generate ideas. Execute your best ideas to test them out. Often it’s action that really forces you to be innovative. In the end, it’s all about taking action.
Don’t just apply creative thinking to your products or marketing communications. Apply creative thinking to all areas of your marketing, right across the marketing mix: to your products, pricing, distribution, communications, processes, people, positioning and budgets.
Change in the environment is constant and businesses need to innovate to thrive and succeed. What are your competitors up to? What are the trends affecting your industry?
Some people say ‘follow your gut’ but that can be wrong. Next time you’re presented with a creative idea don’t make a quick decision because gut instincts can mislead. Sleep on it.
Exact numbers aren’t needed to realize that we spend too much time with those who poison us with pessimism, sloth, and low expectations of themselves and the world. It is often the case that you have to fire certain friends or retire from particular social circles to have the life you want…
Western thinking is too full of criticism. Our cultures and schools breed analysis and negativity. Good ideas hate environments where there’s criticism, narrow-mindedness or personal attacks.
Courtesy of Christopher Lamotte at Real Marketing Specialists.
One of the earliest marketing lessons talks about market ‘saturation’. Usually, market saturation means success. But what about when it comes to digital advertising? In this case saturation has led to digital ads becoming ‘white noise’ or wallpaper to consumers.
We like to think that everyone has an element of creativity but how it is executed is the challenge. Having a microwave doesn’t make you a chef.
Clients will often have great ideas that are a starting point for a campaign, but a designer’s job is to make that idea come...
Time is money so the saying goes. It’s an old phrase but it’s still relevant when we talk about an online presence.
Do you know how long do users stay on your website? Recent stats tell us it’s less than 15 seconds on average.
We have long said content is king. That has not changed over the last few years; however, it gets harder to create content that engages with your target audience. Do you continue to churn out content or do you look at getting the most out of what you already have?
Edinburgh’s most trusted plumbing & heating engineers, Scott Findlay approached us earlier this year as they wanted to create a video to let customers know what to expect from their team.
“There is one more thing – it’s been emotional…” 10 points to those who can name the film that comes from?! *
It’s December folks which means there’s a deluge of Christmas advertising – which actually started right after Halloween.
January. Already. Time seems to be flying in as quickly as marketing trends are evolving.
2020 and 2021 saw brands re-evaluate their activity, ensuring online activity became a priority in order to reach their customers...
It started with BetaMax and VHS. Remember them? Fancy machine with a black cassette that you carefully marked with a black marker to make sure no one recorded over your recording. And now we video on our phones and upload to websites. No video rental stores here.
Collaboration - the action of working with someone to produce something.
cooperation • alliance • partnership • participation • combination • association • concert • teamwork • joint effort • working together
There’s new ‘c’ word this season… Collaboration. From fashion to medicine, customers are realising collaboration is the way forward.
Rather like the important ‘c’s’ when looking at diamonds, collaboration has it’s own ones. They are the basis for any good...
Winner of the Luxury Chocolate Easter Egg Announced. Thank you to everyone who entered our Easter Egg Hunt. For those of you that were struggling to find all 6, we can reveal that they were on the following pages...
So we’ve said ‘so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye’ to 2020 and we’re now staring down 2021. There has been a sea change in marketing activity, with businesses across the globe embracing digital like never before.
Brand love – is that really a thing? Think Coca-Cola vs Pepsi, Android vs Apple. There’s some hardcore loving from some of their customers. But those brands have spent a long time creating the fundamental requirements for a relationship – trust, loyalty and respect.
“A logo? Why do I need to pay a designer to create a logo? It only takes 5 minutes. I can save money and do it myself”
Yikes! We’ve heard this a lot over the years. Just as well we’re not sensitive souls here at Platinum HQ...
The EIE (Engage, Invest, Exploit) virtual conference took place in October this year. As a key sponsor, MBM Commercial is there to help businesses grow. We worked with the team including Managing Partner Stuart Hendry to create a video, discussing the importance, now more than ever...
A 404?! It’s the page your server displays when it can’t find the URL requested by the user. It used to be the stuff of nightmares. We would throw our hand up in horror then re-direct people to the homepage. Surely that’s how we deal with it? Actually no. That’s the opposite of...
Launching a website is always an exciting time. You’ve put in all the hard work – now you get to show it off to the world and start receiving visitors.
However, it can also be a stressful time. How do you know that you haven’t forgotten something important?
With over twenty years in the jewellery business, Clare Blatherwick is one of the most experienced jewellery professionals in Scotland. Before launching her business in 2017, Clare spent 10 years as Head of Jewellery in Scotland for Bonhams, one of the world’s largest auctioneers.
Video production has often been perceived as an expensive marketing communication. However, video content can be created in your living room (and may well be until we get back into office life!). Think about YouTube and podcasting – these are easily created and uploaded.
Every great project or campaign should start with a great design brief. But this is not always the case. Over the years, we’ve seen some brilliant briefs and some not-so-brilliant briefs. Every project aims for success and by putting the right brief and processes in place at the start, it should...
B2B – Back 2 Business? But not as we know it. These last few months have taken their toll on industries across the globe. But many businesses have taken the opportunity to take a step back and review, reset and recharge their marketing activity.
A year is a long time in politics apparently. But it’s also a long time in terms of websites.
If your website is anything over one year old, then it definitely needs refreshed. If it’s over 2-3 years old, it may well need revamped entirely.
Who remembers Google's logo before 2015? Really? Animation was starting to creep into marketing and in 2015 Google introduced its new animated logo marking the beginning of a shift change in online branding. Since then, there has been a steady increase in the use of animation.
‘Old’. It’s not a particularly positive word. Old, irrelevant, out of date. We’re always looking for newer, better, faster. But what if we stop for a minute and consider ‘old’. When it comes to content, old isn’t always bad. It just needs repurposed and refreshed.
18! That means we’re grown-ups now right? We like to think of it more that we started out as a fledgling business and we have matured and evolved over the last 18 years. It’s been a great journey so far – in fact, we still have our first client that came on board 18 years ago.
Well this has been an interesting / challenging / what just happened (delete as appropriate!) few months…
But we are seeing a glimmer of light of what we think is the new normal.
Hands up who’s heard of Albert Mehrabian? To be honest, neither had we until we started looking into various types of communication.
Content is king we are always told. Luther Vandross would tell you there’s ‘Never too much’… although maybe he wasn’t actually talking about content.
Pandemic. Global crisis. Self-isolation. These are powerful words. We’re in unprecedented times. However, in these challenging times, we are seeing great human spirit and positivity. This is what we need to focus on. Helping each other until we get through this.
Don’t panic, we’re not channelling ABBA. Well, not today anyway.
We were recently approached by a new client, looking to change their company name. Ooh that’s a bit risky we hear you gasp. Well yes. And no.
Blue. It features a lot in all walks of life – eyes, sky, sea, shoes, feelings to name a few. It’s uplifting in a calming way. Your choice of colour is connected to how that colour makes you feel and can impact many of your purchasing decisions, without you even really realising.
Bruce Stevenson has been one of our longest standing clients and we have evolved the look and feel of the business over the last 8 years.
Having created and implemented a brand refresh in 2018, it was time to update the corporate brochure to reflect the...
You’ll know by now that Team PC love a stat – and the bigger the numbers the better. So here goes…
By 2023, there will be an estimated 4.3 billion global email users, according to Statista. That’s a lot of users. It won’t surprise you then, that with that...
All we’re hearing today is about blue Monday and how it’s the most depressing day of the year. Pah!
Based on ‘cool blue’ being the pantone colour of the year we’ve decided to sack off the connotations of blue Monday being depressing. Here at Platinum HQ...
We were approached by this family run paint and wood finishes company based in Glasgow. The business started out 1877 as a producer of the highest quality of wood finishes. It has since evolved and is also now a commercial paint supplier.
As we head towards 2020, we look to continually evolve the business and embrace best practice. As such we have been looking at our approach to sustainability and our recommendations to clients on ‘environmentally friendly’ projects. Some of our clients have...
We’ve talked about the value of investing in a slick, user friendly website. But looks aren’t everything. Scratch the surface and you may find that underneath, your site isn’t as good as it looks. What you wanted to create was a site that engaged visitors but how do they find you in the first place?
Ooh we love typography! It lifts a brand and gives it a simple but modern look and feel. Using a simple typography in design then lends itself to being decorated with a host of creative elements. Known as artistic typography, this trend is expected to flourish in 2020.
Have pen, will travel. Think about it, how many times have you been given a pen by a supplier or client? Or how many times have you inadvertently picked up a pen and popped it in your pocket after using it? Not in a kleptomaniac sort of a way – but more as it’s an automatic reaction.
“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice”
Anton Chekhov must have known a thing or two about knowledge graph panels. Or maybe the 19th century was a bit early…
We find that many of our clients aren’t...
Not Duran Duran. But content, a necessary but difficult part of website creation and management. Your website needs it, but how do you get it, who writes it, and how much do you really need?
You may have noticed in our last insights article that we shared our love of print. We’ve spent years understanding the process of print and learning more about finishes and stocks. But, for the uninitiated, it can be daunting to try and work out what print will work best for your project.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that print is a dying industry.
We can all hark back to the days when direct mail became the scourge of marketing. Customers were overwhelmed by the amount of ‘junk mail’ they received through their letterboxes or in...
It’s been over 40 years since the first email was sent. No one could have predicted the effect this would have on the way we work. Email marketing exploded in the mid-nineties and it remains one of the most effective ways to engage with, and generate revenue from your customers...
Easter egg hunts are always fun. Being on the hunt for, or managing, several agencies to work together is definitely not fun.
The advent of digital saw many clients start to work with separate creative, design, advertising, marketing and digital agencies. There has been much...
The explosion of websites in the mid-noughties was unlike any other marketing initiative we had seen. At the end of 2018 there were a reported 1.8 billion websites in the world. Of these, less than 200million are active.
Here at Platinum HQ there’s a lot of things we love. Cake, a cold beer on a sunny day, more cake.
But we’ve always also been firm believers in loving what we do. For over 16 years we’ve spent time crafting great design and it’s been fantastic.
Founded in Edinburgh in 2003 by Nigel Kennedy, Appetite Events has grown in size and reputation, developing into a business with a wealth of experience and a depth of knowledge essential to running a successful events company.
A rather famous brand campaign once said ‘Good things come to those who wait’. But as a generation of time-poor individuals wanting the best results in the shortest time possible, patience isn’t really top of our agenda. It’s a bit like baking a cake for half the required time and expecting...
A lot has happened over the last 130 years – not least the creation and evolution of St. Georges School in Edinburgh. From their humble beginnings in Melville Street with only 50 pupils to the present site at Murrayfield with both domestic and international students, the school has...
Suits you! We were approached earlier in the year to ask if we would work with Andrew Brookes Tailoring to help raise the profile of the brand in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland. We were lucky enough that they’d seen our work and really liked it.
By Royal appointment (sort of!) The Royal Collection Trust (RCT) planned to refurbish and restore various buildings within the grounds of the Palace of Holyrood House. They needed to ensure there would be minimum disruption and inconvenience to the general public and the Royal Family...
We were approached by The University of Edinburgh to design and produce a series of wall graphics to display within the newly refurbished Estates & Buildings department and the end results were very impressive.
Up to the ceiling that is. We were commissioned to help restore the lovely illustrations that surround the ceiling within the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (Vaults, Edinburgh). Unfortunately the beautiful illustrations that had been created by Bob Dewar...
Design isn’t just about your logo or how you decorate your office, it’s a way of thinking and allowing your business to thrive, creating new products and developing relationships with new customers.