The Importance of Process

How a good process can lead to better creativity and more effective marketing.

Diana Lillicrap 6.19.19

Most people don’t think about process as an essential ingredient to creativity. They assume people are either creative or they’re not. This is a false assumption. Good creativity and effective marketing rely on process more than you might realize. Here’s why.

There’s a reason it’s called the creative process

Design thinking is based on something called the creative process. It’s the notion, like the scientific process, that to get to the best end result you need to allow for trial and refinement. The creative process starts with planning—a step where you discover, learn, and gather as much input as you can about your audience, your problem, and the market. Then, using that input, you come up with creative ideas or approaches to solve your problem. From there, you implement an idea and watch and learn what’s working and what’s not (in marketing this is often done with data analysis about sales, customer behaviors, etc.). Once you’ve tried something and learned from it, you adjust your approach and try again. Scientists and designers alike will tell you it’s an ongoing exercise of learning, trying, adjusting, and trying again. It’s the most effective way to get to the best outcome and you can be confident in your marketing approach because the process provided proof to support your actions.

We all get better with practice

It’s an old adage, but it’s true. Practice is the only way to hone your skills and get better at anything. Having a process is just formalizing the way you practice what you do—be it creative thinking, brand development, or marketing tactics. Creative people aren’t born with creative ideas. They’ve just mastered the process of creative thinking. It might seem unattainable to people who don’t do it every day. But like any mastered skill, it takes practice to get to excellence. A good process makes it easier to thoughtfully go through all of the steps necessary for creative success. And following that process consistently will ensure you stay focused on your goals, allow time for each important step, and prevent you from making false assumptions along the way.

There’s value in the journey

Our clients often experience unexpected value as we take them through our creative process. They learn more about their brand, their company culture, and themselves as a result. And of course, knowledge is power. An effective process embraces opportunities to dig deeper, question norms, and explore the potential of “what if” ideas. What’s more, it’s energizing to engage in a process that assumes everyone involved has something of value to add. It builds morale while capitalizing on the creative power of the full team. In the end you’ll have better marketing and internal advocates that understand how it came about and will support it going forward.

Consistency is king

Last, but not least, when it comes to branding, consistency is key. A detailed process is all about following a consistent path. It factors in time and steps to learn, test, and adjust. It plans for a comfortable way to be objective and inclusive. And it ensures that you have thought through every scenario and created tools or tactics to support your goals. Following a process means that in the end your brand can confidently move forward with consistency as well—something every brand wants.

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