Dear Creatives, co-created tools are the ones that get implemented

Greg came back from a talk he gave a couple of weeks ago where he presented about bringing word of mouth marketing and identity development together. Having world-class designers in our midst (I’m not one of them, so I can brag on them, okay?), we’re always curious to see how other creatives react to the idea of co-creating online and offline materials/tools for a word of mouth movement.

And, ultimately, the question arises: “How much of what you present gets actually implemented and produced?”

Creatives ask this question because most traditional shops are used to presenting all these great ideas and all these great designs…and then they start to get picked apart. For a number of reasons, really. But eventually, unless you have one of those clients that “gets it,” the concepts and accompanying designs get “dumbed down” and what you end up producing looks like everything else out there. It’s something that’s a constant struggle for a lot of shops.

So what was Greg’s response? That the overwhelming majority of our concepts and designs get implemented when we help ignite a word of mouth movement. Why? Because it’s not coming from a creative team that works in a vacuum. It’s being co-created with the people that will actually use the stuff. (Note that I didn’t say crowd-sourced here, okay??!?)

When you co-create, subjectivity goes out the window, since items are based on conversations with the customers. So how do we get around the brand police? By showing them not what we want, but what the customer wants. It’s a co-created movement. Shared ownership. And it comes from courageous insight.

But you have to be ready to accept the truth. Because true participation in people’s lives through courageous insight opens up opportunities for deeper connections.

So do you want your ideas and creative concepts to see the light of day? Then don’t start with the customer in mind – but actually WITH the customer. When it comes straight from their mouths, it’s hard for anyone to refute.

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