By Katja Schindler, Creative Director
August 22, 2018
When I attended the HOW Design Conference last year, there was much learning that I brought back to our agency. One statement I heard, in particular, really struck a chord with me, “a creative culture is an uncomfortable culture.”
People might find this to be a surprising sentiment about creativity. After all, doesn’t creativity bring us beautiful paintings, inspirational music, lyrical language, even humor? Yes, indeed, creativity contributes much to the richness of our everyday lives, and when applied in our industry, it’s the fun and cool part of the marketing communication business.
So what’s with the discomfort?
Well, we all know that artists push limits with their expression and interpretation of the world around them. It might seem to come to them with ease, but I think if you ask any artist about their process, you’d hear that it’s challenging, too. Often, creative output comes of tough times, like loss, or is an expression of emotion, like love. At the core, though, creative output also comes from an innate curiosity to understand or explain something, a questioning, a “why?”
This need to dig deeper, to push beyond the obvious or expected, is something we bring to everything we do. We challenge our own assumptions and solutions, asking “why” at many stages during the process. And we have that same curiosity when it comes to our clients. We’re constantly asking questions, like: “What’s at the heart of your business?” “What makes it unique?” And, perhaps most importantly, “why should people care about it?” As a client, you might even find our constant probing to be annoying at times…but it is the foundation of our mutual success. We are creative seekers, and we want more than your elevator pitch; we want the nitty gritty. We truly want to understand your business so that we can express your business in unique and meaningful ways that will resonate with your target audience. Asking questions helps us define what we are “selling,” who we are communicating to and what makes them tick. And, truth be told, getting to the bottom of that can, at times, be un-nerving.
I guess you could say, when it comes to creative exploration, we consider it our job to make our clients a little uncomfortable. Even if we already know each other well and have shared beers and brats together, we’ll keep asking the questions. We’ll do it for every project, because while your product might remain the same, the world keeps changing, and our creative output needs not only to reflect that, but to stay ahead of that.
So please, make yourselves uncomfortable, and get ready for the ride. Because once our creative juices start flowing, you’d better believe our ideas will start pushing beyond the comfort zone, too.
Looking for an agency to make you uncomfortable? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get the conversation started.