What do Saatchi & Saatchi, Wieden + Kennedy, Levi Strauss & Co and Diesel have in common? Nothing anymore. But each one of them used to have this unique brand embellisher, a creative leader, a marketing expert and a great visionary whose creative mind reaches another level, the divine one, the one yet undiscovered by us mortals.
Scott Morrison used to be the marketing and commercial director at Diesel. With 20 years of experience with global agencies and brands, he’s recently set up as a Business Accelerator – facilitating outstanding business acceleration by helping organisations focus on the right things and the right people in their business. This is delivered through a mix of strategic insight, commercial creativity, strength-based leadership and the unleashing of talent within organisations. He agreed to motivate Netocratic readers to unleash creativity and talent as well as to explore the challenge of creative discovery.
A collision of creative world and the reality of commercializing
Being a massive believer of commercial creativity and the power of great ideas, Scott says it is possible to unleash a creative talent at commercial issues and for the outcome to be just as beautiful as someone putting paint to canvas. The ability to look at a commercial problem in a new, innovative and disruptive way can often bypass the staid, traditional and risk averse approach of those overly familiar with the situation.
The creative output must encompass the commercial objective and the marriage of these 2 attributes in turn deliver outstanding creativity that isn’t afraid to be measured in business terms. I love great ideas. I love it when people share something that quite clearly they have put their heart and soul into. There’s a misguided belief, however, that somehow there is this great chasm between the creative world and the reality of commercializing something. They are quite often seen as awkward bed-fellows and each area can have an unhealthy disregard for the other (think about the stereotypical relationship between sales and marketing directors).
The process of discovering your team is essential
Psychology and understanding people he works with is what Scott finds important before starting a creative process.
Feel the energy of a powerful team. One that is self-aware, playing to the strengths of each other. One who has had its talents unleashed. In order to do that, all leaders need to be clear on their strengths, build on those in the team and inspire people to action.
The best way of discovering your team is to stay close to them, understand them and help them understand themselves. Scott’s advice is to never fear the process of discovery because it is the ultimate tool to empower.
Brand-oriented vs. business-oriented
Build a strong brand with a clear message backed with a powerful product offering and the business will come. Chasing business means you lose sight of what you started out to achieve.
Embrace a Yin and Yang discipline for better results
Scott has recently talked about the FMCG approach and fashion for which he explained it’s a discipline in which FMCG sector meets the traditional flair of the fashion world.
The best performing fashion brands have a really clear understanding of this Yin and Yang – they seamlessly marry the disciplines for outstanding results.
Balance between magic and logic
Being a part of Diesel, Scott once said that the great thing about Diesel is its balance between magic and logic. What it takes to shape a mix of both?
You should be absolutely sure that great ideas have a strong mix of both. There always has to be enough logic to give the team a briefed real business context and sense of vision to be achieved. The magic (creativity) is what separates great ideas from good. They become inspiring, engaging, powerful. They make you sit up and pay attention. The magic is what gives you goosebumps or makes you cry.
Involve consumers into your brand
Keep finding ways to actively involve your consumers with your brand. Listen to how they’re evolving your brand, how they seek inspiration from you, the impact it has on their lives and find a way to enhance that, actively empower it or accelerate it.
At Diesel, Scott found ways to give the consumers a chance to experience the brand. Whether it was through Diesel, U.Music radio or the pop-up store on Regent Street, events across the world to celebrate the 30th birthday or Diesel School of Island Life, they were able to inspire them to play a part in shaping their experience of the brand.
Apply creativity to your business solutions
If you have a creative framework then you can apply to anything. It’s about applying creativity to the solutions that you need to bring to a business. It’s about frame of reference. If you’re able to explore the challenge of creative discovery, dig deep into yourself to unleash your own talents then you are closer to understanding the effort it takes to develop outstanding creative ideas.
When you are doing something you love, your creativity shines through and you’re able to build your strengths and your passion on it to deliver outstanding results. You’ll be solution focused because it’s all you know. You will approach anything and everything with a creative frame of reference and that breeds positivity. Nothing is impossible.
If what you’re doing happens to be what you do every day, then you will apply this framework to your role and be an outstanding performer, Scott adds.
Nourish your brand’s authenticity
According to Scott, brands need to remain true to themselves. They need to stick ruthlessly to their DNA and remain authentic. He claims it’s easy with all the various channels and marketing opportunities to veer off track or think that no one will see something that you’ve done if it’s slightly off brand.
The consumer has the opportunity to be more fickle than ever, has more access to brands than ever and is more vocal than ever. Brands should not feel threatened by this. Reframe your thinking so that you see this as an opportunity – discuss it as a group and see how powerful and inspiring it can be to turn this into tangible actions to make your brand stronger.
Unleash your talent under a powerful vision that drives the authenticity of your brand. Give them the power to develop ideas and strategies that will drive the brand. Give them the opportunity to come up with commercially creative ideas – the most junior members of the team to the most senior.
A brand advice by Scott Morrison
Looking into a future where the recession is finished and everybody’s back on track for the new, fruitful economy, Scott’s advice about brand’s authenticity steers focus into keeping its credibility and staying strong, but also into retaining one of the most important parts of your brand: the talent.
More about brands, marketing and creativity by Scott Morrison will soon be presented live. Don’t miss him at the soon to come Marketing Rock stars in Graz. Also, we’ll bring him back to you. He’s got more advice for all you brand lovers, creative directors and marketing experts. Stay tuned!