Sometimes we say we know creativity when we see it but do we?
Certainly, we know which ideas excite us but we need to take care that they don’t mislead us. They may stimulate us even though they’re not right for the target audience. After all, exciting marketing or advertising people is not the same as exciting the customer, is it? We need something more evidence based, don’t we?
In today’s digital world, we are driven by the ability to measure so much more of what we do. Effectiveness is therefore both demanded and expected. Creative ideas are expected to deliver, not flatter to deceive!
A simple definition of creativity is the relevant unexpected. The unexpected is the exciting part but without relevance it is at best art. To have commercial utility it must be relevant.
Sometimes this is assessed simply (e.g. will it get more people to visit our website?) However, in the context of branding it’s more complex. Creativity is there to serve the brand (i.e. to build it, change it or maintain it) but since a brand exists only as thoughts and feelings in the minds of customers, it is the effects on mind stuff that must be measured (NB This is very different from what people think and feel about a creative stimulus!).
In short, if creativity is to be evidence based both objectives and measurement should be separated from the stimulus and framed in terms of the responses it produces. True creativity should never stand apart from its goal!.