What’s the secret to “creativity”? There isn’t one – except to say that creativity by definition means breaking the rules.
What we can give you is this simple set of guidelines to get you thinking about this business of corporate communication.
1. Always communicate personality. What they’ll remember about your company is what is different and distinct about it. Remember, the quality and message of the ad/brochure/TV spot/website reflect the image of the your company and its products. If it’s junk, that’s the message. If it’s carefully thought out and well executed, that also is what customers can expect from your company.
2. Be clear and simple. Don’t brag. Your target audience doesn’t care about your corporate aspirations for market domination, or the fact that you think you’re better than your competition. They want to know what’s in it for them. Tell them that.
3. Be honest. Yes, honest. It’s amazing how a little humility and sensitivity can shine through the immense quantity of corporate conceit, B.S. and irrelevant hype to which we are subjected daily.
4. Try to incorporate a benefit in your message. If nothing else, doing so shows respect for your target market, who won’t have to work hard to get the point of your message. It also happens to be a great technique for making an interesting, compelling ad.
5. KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. Simplicity is courtesy, elegance and class. Don’t talk about great service, free parking, beautiful hostesses and the best selection of widgets this side of Podunk if you’re writing a sale ad. If possible, find one item and focus on it. Or make the point of your sale in an interesting, compelling, succinct way.
6. Make it fun. Remember, getting the whitest and brightest wash is not the foremost objective of 90% of the population. Just about everyone could use a lift. If you’re the one who gives it to them, they’ll thank you — maybe even by trying your product. So before you tell them that your brand is preferred by 30% more male Caucasian truck drivers, ask yourself if anyone will really care. If you do have a dynamite USP (unique selling proposition), project it with class and good humour. If you’re unlucky enough to have a parity product (one with no distinct benefits), create a niche for yourself by projecting your clear, distinct personality.
7. Find ads or brochures you like. Ask yourself why you like them. If you can, try to deliver your message in a way that no one’s ever done before. Otherwise, emulate a style you like and tailor it to your business. Good communication is largely a matter of knowing who you’re talking to and what you want to say.