👥 Why creativity matters with Jo Bird
Read time: 4 minutes
Jo Bird is simply amazing. She’s a concept-maker and art director with ten years industry experience. Until recently, she was working as a Senior Creative at Gymshark, but has now hung up her lifting gloves in order to work with more creative and fabric briefs as the Creative Lead at Lounge Underwear.
Jo brings pure positivity and creativity to everything she puts out, and this webinar is no different. She shared baby photos, brand case studies, creative techniques, and so much practical advice on how to bring more creativity into your business.
You can watch the whole thing back yourself, or read on for the key insights. Let’s go!
🧠 Creativity is a mindset.
Most people confuse creativity with art. If they can’t draw, they shy away from labelling themselves as creative. Jo shares that whilst art certainly is a part of creativity, it’s not what creativity actually is. Creativity is about working with what you’ve got and making something of that.
Any person can be creative and any business can be creative, because creativity is just a mindset.
💸 If creativity and empathy aren’t part of your business strategy, you are missing out on opportunities, innovation, and sales.
❓Utilising creativity within your business just means putting people first and asking what if?
You can become a human-centred business by:
1. Adopting ‘design thinking’ as a creative process
‘Design thinking’ is an amazing tool to have in your back pocket to help you create something that empathises with your audience’s challenges.
“Design thinking is an iterative process in which you seek to understand your users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions which you can prototype and test.” – Interaction Design Foundation
2. Turning boring business problems into human problems
The trick with creative thinking is to switch up our perspective. When we rethink business problems from the viewpoint of our customers, we can solve the brief in a more insightful, fun and human way.
For example, instead of asking, ‘how can we lower the number of calls to technical support?’, we could ask, ‘how can we keep our product from frustrating users?’
3. Thinking divergently
When you’re in the ideation process, it is easy to slip into the trap of suggesting ideas that;
- You’ve done before
- Someone else has done before
- You know will get signed off
This makes sense when it comes to commercial brainstorms, because we’re usually on tight deadlines, with limited resources and lofty targets.
But divergent thinking is writing down all those blue sky ideas that don’t follow the same path that you usually follow. The ones that will probably never see the light of day, but would be really cool if they did. The key is to take those wild ideas and start to pair them to your business objectives and themes, and ask what if?
4. Following your gut
There is no guaranteed formula for creative success. Something that works once, might not work again because creative decisions are best led by feelings and not facts. Jo explains how this is the right way to think about it if we remember that it’s our job to listen to and empathise with humans, not machines.
👐 As marketers, we’re in the business of people. And that is only going to become more and more important.
We’re moving from a world of brand recognition and into one of brand love. Audiences are looking for brands with the same values as them, so it’s time to flip the switch on how we think about brand building.
Instead of focusing solely on our ‘return on investment’ we need to think about our ‘return on involvement’. Do we represent the people we seek to serve? Are our customers actively involved with our brand? Brands who just broadcast out news and products won’t last forever, because the brands of tomorrow are co-creating with their audience. By involving your people in the creative process, you can bring them on the journey with you, and capture their hearts along the way.
🤖 Prioritise human rhythms over algorithms.
Jo is so passionate about empathetic work and design-led thinking. She explains how data can only guide you so far. When you make sure that creativity is in the room, your business, brand, and people will thrive, and you’ll unlock a whole new world of possibilities.
Jo’s recommended resources
- Creative Confidence: unleashing the creative potential within us all by David M. Kelley and Tom Kelley BOOK
- Fast Company’s podcast with Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky on why more creatives should lead major companies
- What is Design Thinking and why is it so popular?
Do check out Jo’s full talk here. We’d love to know what it gets you thinking about.