Christian Retailing

CREATIVE THINKING: extraordinary creativity Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 12:58 PM America/New_York

In the feature film Limitless, actor Bradley Cooper plays a struggling author who is given a pill that activates his brain from 20% usage to 100%, when everything starts to make sense to him. If you are lacking clarity and creativity, consider the following ideas and concepts:

Build your own creative leadership ability as an inside-out/outside-in thinker. That means looking outside of the industry for patterns and themes that can benefit your store or company. As in Limitless, business becomes the art of making sense of the lives we influence.

Think about a survey that was conducted with 1,300 publicly traded companies that found that only four broad, creative ideas accounted for 80% of break-out growth: supply-chain management to bypass costs; power retailing; megabranding; and standardization.

When aiming to attract consumers, keep it simple. Consumers are in need of “uncluttering” and appreciate a simplified purchasing process. Remember, they have 500 choices on cable television and another 8 billion on Google. Reintroduce humanizing transactions through great customer service by putting a voice behind dehumanizing technology.

Consider a singular marketing plan to encourage word-of-mouth invitations from one customer to another—viral marketing. Ask a satisfied customer to tell a friend. To that end, we should all be charged with the responsibility of creating true believers of what our stores and products can do for consumers.

Restart a movement of putting more faith in our people, in our communities and even in ourselves. Faith in your team is necessary for any great marketing plan or idea. The very best marketing plans will convey faith outward, which eventually seeps through to your store guests.

Remember that when you or your team comes up with the next big idea, it’s the context that counts. The idea does not have to be brand-new, but it could be new to your store or products.

And a creative tip for the month, consider our 2 million kindergarten-12th grade educators in the U.S. They have their own particular needs currently underserved by their school districts. What if you identified their needs and started to meet them with products or services? It could be as simple as discounted printing or lamination services.

It only takes one or two great ideas to spark the bonfire.

Rick Tocquigny

CEO, Artbeat of America

Publisher, Gracefully Yours greeting cards