How to Turn Creativity Into Business Value and Growth

July 11, 2017 TAKE OUR 30-DAY CREATIVITY CHALLENGE! We all have ads and campaigns that stick with us. They’re clever, entertaining and memorable. But does this mean anything to anyone outside of marketing? Turns out, it should. McKinsey & Company recently used a quantitative measure that looked at the connection between creativity and business performance. To do this, they developed …

11 Brutal Truths About Creativity That No One Wants to Talk About

June 22, 2017 by Carla Johnson Creativity is a funny thing. People tell me they want more creativity in their life. They’re itchy to stretch themselves with new ideas at work. They yearn to work on amazing projects that become the envy of their peers. And they have a hankering to get out of the mind-numbing routine of their everyday …

Unleashing Creativity & Avoiding Group Think

June 6, 2017 by Michelle Smith It’s hard to find a leader today who isn’t aggressively calling for growth and innovation within their organization and hasn’t clamored for more creative, original thinkers to make those goals a reality. But where do we find all this creative talent – and how do we harness it? Is the ability to be an …

34 of the Best Non-Marketing Books for Marketers

May 30, 2017 UPDATED: January 5, 2022 A few weeks ago, Jay Acunzo asked me how I felt travel affects creativity. He certainly hit a hot button for me, because when people ask me where my best ideas come from I tell them, “on the road.” But then he asked, “But if people can’t travel, where do they get great …

Human-Centered Design: What It Is And Why It Matters in Marketing

April 6, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve been watching the backlash to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad this week. According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, digital content engagement around Pepsi has increased significantly (366 percent in just a day), but 43 percent has mentioned Black Lives Matter, 31 percent has labeled the ad as “tone-deaf” and 10 percent has tagged …

Human-Centered Design: What It Is And Why It Matters in Marketing

April 6, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve been watching the backlash to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad this week. According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, digital content engagement around Pepsi has increased significantly (366 percent in just a day), but 43 percent has mentioned Black Lives Matter, 31 percent has labeled the ad as “tone-deaf” and 10 percent has tagged …

How Creative Are You? Take the Test.

March 28, 2017 by Carla Johnson A Harvard grad, Dr. Donald W. MacKinnon was a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley who researched creativity. In 1949 he founded The Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR). After his retirement, he was a visiting fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership. Throughout his career, MacKennon dug deep into …

If LEGO Built Your Brand Experience, What Would It Look Like?

March 9, 2017 by Carla Johnson Marketers love massively creative work. We hype Super Bowl ads. We study the most innovative companies. And we follow curious minds. But that’s where much of our inspiration ends and reality sets in. We have bosses who would never go for such wild ideas. Budgets that can’t stretch that far. There’s too much bureaucracy. …

Design Thinking: What It Is and Why It Matters to Marketers

May 2, 2017 by Carla Johnson When people hear the word “design,” it conjures up images of architects, graphic designers and maybe a programmer. These are the people who stereotypically take an idea or concept and bring it into the real world. They put different pieces together, many of which seem unrelated, and ultimately solve problems for their clients. But …

17 Famous Quotes on Creativity to Inspire Your Marketing

January 26, 2017 TAKE OUR 30-DAY CREATIVITY CHALLENGE! One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is that they don’t have what it takes to be creative. To clarify, they aren’t saying that they, themselves, aren’t creative. In fact, I think most people are massively creative. No, what they’re saying by ‘it’ is…that they don’t have the budget, interesting …

The Secret Phrase that Jump Starts Creativity

January 12, 2017 by Carla Johnson Great ideas seem to be a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. Are companies fertile with fabulous ideas because they woo creative people? Or is it the creative people who create the culture? Companies that consistently crank out innovative work have learned how to streamline the process – even the parts that allow for uncertainty and chaos. But …

Play Your Way to More Innovative Customer Experiences

December 6, 2016 by Robert Rose In January, Facebook held its 50th hackathon, a 24-hour Red Bull- and coffee-infused get-together where coders work on innovative applications or new features for existing products. These kind of events are legendary in Silicon Valley, of course; Facebook isn’t the only company to conduct them. Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and just about every open-source organization …

Why Empathy Matters in Storytelling and How to Use It

December 6, 2016 by Carla Johnson In his book Down and Out in Paris and London, author George Orwell (of 1984 and Animal Farm fame…) tells the story of penniless British writer Eric Blair and his adventures on the streets of…you guessed it…Paris and London. It was Orwell’s first novel and in good part, autobiographical. Although he came from a …

22 Storytelling Rules Everyone Can Master

November 8, 2016 by Carla Johnson I’m often asked by business people how to tell better stories. I always tell them to learn from the masters, which is rarely other business people. The best places to go are often outside your industry. Those skilled in the art of storytelling but who work with different constraints. Because that’s how you begin …

How to Convert Customers’ Passions Into Inspiring Content

December 1, 2015 Western Union banks on its customers’ passions to inspire remarkable content. Laston Charriez, the company’s senior vice president of marketing for the Americas, explains how it innovates in a conservative industry. Few brands have been household names as long as Western Union. Launched in 1851 as the New York & Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company (the company …

Simplicity and Brand Experience: Margaret Molloy on the Siegel+Gale Simplicity Index

August 4, 2015 “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, is creativity.”– Charles Mingus The biggest challenge that enterprise B2B organizations face is how hard it is to talk about what they sell in simple language. There’s few resources to help B2B companies maneuver through this quagmire, which is why Margaret Molloy, Global CMO and Head of …