Creativity a necessity

As the story goes, Sam Goldwyn of the famed movie studio Metro Goldwyn Mayor (MGM) was listening to a team of his managers lamenting the disastrous state of the movie industry in the depression of the 1930s.

When they were done talking, he responded with the line: “Gentlemen, there’s nothing wrong with this industry that a few good movies can’t fix.” He was right then and I’d say he would still be right today and not just about movies but in other areas too, including branding.

The only thing is, with branding, the line would go something like: ‘There’s nothing wrong with our brand that some good creativity can’t fix.’ In fact, if there’s one thing that’s a constant in the world of branding, it’s the need for creativity.

You could say that branding is mainly about communicating information about your product or service to your target audience in such a way that they don’t dismiss it or get bored. That can be a tough thing with audiences in modern times, when attention-spans are so short. So, creativity is not an option, it’s a necessity.

Finding ways to be creative is a never-ending problem for most organisations, and in the world of the edible oils business creativity seems to have received a small fraction of the attention it is due.

There is the widely held point of view that most consumers don’t find the world of oils that interesting, and that might be one of the reason that the edible oil producers tend to not focus on creativity. Let’s face it: many customers aren’t that brand loyal, and a large number buy on price. In comparison to products like the latest PC, mobile phone, iPad or motor car, edible oils just ain’t that sexy.

But hold on a moment. What about big brands such as McDonalds or Burger King, where the product, for the most part, is just burgers and fries? Come to that, what about two of the biggest ever drinks brands: Coca Cola and Pepsi? Their products are just types of fizzy sugary water. I mean, how exciting are these products? Not very. But they are all beautiful examples of how marketers create interest, and they create that interest with creativity.

There are many reasons to think that the edible oils industry can follow suit – the first being the never-ending appetite (if you’ll pardon the pun) of the general public for cookery shows on television. Next, take a look at the number of cookery books on display in bookshops. Those are just the food-based opportunities. With the latest nutraceutical products that are coming along, branding opportunities will come along too.

Learnable skill
The next question is: OK, I’m into the idea of being creative, so how do I do it? Fortunately, because it’s such a big question, a lot of super minds have been working on it for many years, and in my seminars I’ve found that creativity is indeed a learnable skill. Here are a few steps that I have found to work. I’ve divided them into:

  • You personally (generating your own ideas); and
  • Working with other people for better creativity.


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