We all understand the need to generate creative, exciting ideas that people remember. But how do you come up with them in the first place? Romy Craig shares five tactics for getting the creative juices flowing.
The idea of ‘being creative’ can be pretty daunting. There's that sense of pressure that you need to magic up new ideas that are engaging, exciting, entertaining and will wow your colleagues and captivate your audience.
Where do you even start?
And how do you get yourself in the zone when you need to generate that gem of creativity?
Here are five tactics to help you out...
1. Find the people that think differently
It’s not always easy to admit that you’ve just not got any ideas (or that you don’t think the ones you have are that great). But there’s really no shame in it, it’s actually the case for most people!
Find your creative partners. They might not be in your immediate team, they might not be in a creative role.
Look for people who think differently and ask what they’d do. Ask the ones who always have outlandish ideas and see if there’s a nugget of inspiration in their crazy concepts.
Go to people who champion ideas, or who really know your audience, and see where they might take the idea you’ve had but aren’t convinced by.
2. Look at what your audience likes
What have other people done to communicate with your audience? Are there any themes or approaches that have really worked, and what can you pick up from those to spark your creative ideas?
Or is there anything that hasn’t worked but you can learn from by trying the opposite?
This type of inspiration doesn’t just come from your existing context. Try looking outside of your professional 'box' for ideas that will appeal to your audience. Perhaps you'll find things that are familiar and popular from outside of the work context, but that feel fresh and fun when used in a new way.
What does the audience engage with outside work? Are they TikTok addicts, anime lovers, compulsive completers of the Times crossword? Is there anything there that gives you a new angle to think about?
3. Take the challenge for a walk
Sitting at the same desk day after day may not help your mind to go anywhere particularly inspiring. A change of scenery can really help, so pop on your shoes, leave your phone at home and head out.
Being in a different environment and away from desk distractions can help you think more freely and with focus on your subject. Your mind will make sense of things in a new way, different connections will appear and you may just find that hook that drives your creative concept.
4. Use ideation techniques
There are many techniques out there to help you get those creative ideas flowing.
At Acteon, we use Design Thinking to shape solutions for lots of our projects, in which the 'Ideation' stage generates new ideas that can then be filtered down towards prototype solutions.
A simple Google for ‘ideation techniques’ will bring up a plethora of exercises to try - just find the ones that most appeal to you. The simple process of taking a minute to think of the words, songs or even TV characters that you associate with the thing you’re communicating can be very effective!
And unusual techniques such as thinking of the worst possible thing you could say or do can be a fantastic way to disrupt your approach and take it to somewhere unexpected.
5. Ask the professionals
Hi! That’s what we’re here for. There’s a lot of creativity flying around at Acteon and we can help with any stage of the creative process.
Whether that’s gathering and distilling insight to help you understand what might resonate with your audience, developing creative concepts and messaging, or calling in the skills of our studio team to design/create/animate/film, get in touch with your creative challenges, we’d love to help!
Drop us a message on firstname.lastname@example.org.