That’s actually not something I usually want to hear. That is unless the brief said “make something that looks great.” We all have to believe in something: I believe in the brief. No one knows the business better than the client. Do the work to understand their expectations, the root issues you’re tackling and what success looks like for everyone. Coming in with your standard pitch to unique problems is a great way to lose the room.
I also make a case for creativity first and optimization second. Marketing leaders need the skills to give creative direction that uses the insights you’ve gathered and your creativity to deliver the brief. Your role is to help creatives identify the pain points and deliver solutions to give your customers a final identity that breaks through and creates goodwill.
Everything is dynamic. Brands included. In which direction is your creative execution pulling your brand? When it was time to refresh the 20-year-old catering and event design company Bold Catering & Design, the mandate was clear: Build on their legacy of distinction, elevate the brand with a timeless new icon and a focus on what we do best.
Following the rebrand efforts, which included new creative identity, a digital transformation and suite of sales tools, Bold enjoyed three consecutive years of record breaking sales, including their highest event, wedding and per person check averages in the company’s history, and their first ever Catersource ACE Award!
Now, that is elevated positioning!
With Bold Catering & Design the brief was clear: Create an identity that more accurately reflects the level of work they execute to help drive their elevated positioning and positively affect check average.
When I worked with Wasserman and IHG to rebrand the PGA TOUR stop at Colonial Country Club (the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial), we were recognized by the PGA TOUR for our use of players and overall tournament community engagement.
When we wanted to integrate the BMW Motorsports brand iconography into our IHG summer promotion, it was all about marrying our two identities and finding the right promotional mix that was additive for their audiences and ours.
When you’re working with a beloved brand, change can be daunting, but with tailored, targeted brand strategy, these icons can shine even brighter than before – with boosted metrics to boot.
For my old personal brand guidelines or when we were telling the story of the biggest refresh in the history of the industry with Holiday Inn, it was all about maximizing your investment and staying nimble. With Crowne Plaza, it was about creating brand campaigns that told an aspirational story and engaging with well known personalities to help.
TV is always fun and I have been lucky enough to be a part of a dozen commercial shoots during my career (and not just featuring Rickie Fowler). I’ve managed the client side of straight forward brand commercial shoots like this one for IHG and shoots with well known partners including these in partnership with Callaway Golf.
Clearly, no two creative executions are the same and your approach should be flexible. Creative is paramount but always evaluate your final product with the brief in mind.