Vision and imagination in marketing

We live in such a fast-changing world that the time needed to invent and initiate new experience becomes pressured and limited. Yet new is what the world demands – over and over. How do we constantly renew our experience of what is around us, what we already know and feel, and what we demand to be changed? How do we capture fleeting attention spans already confused in a cacophony of sound, light, colour and action?

More than ever, today’s customer expects experiences that will impact and be memorable. We want to be entertained, amazed, emotionally touched. Technology is one way that we do this – but the other is innovating how we would like messages to be perceived. We want ideas that will not only meet expectation but cut through to surprise and engagement.

The power of the idea

Nothing happens in the world – no product is made, no road built, no solutions found, no design brought forth – without the initial mental process of an idea. The interesting thing about ideas is that they generally arrive singly in a single moment, and to a single brain. The power then drives from one person to the next like the ripples in a pond from a single stone flung onto a placid surface.

What is that curious and sudden awakening in one person’s mind that will sometimes change lives, affect thinking and re-engineer life as we know it? How can we find a formula for it, capture its elusive brilliance and make it our own? Because without the idea and the imagination to bring it about, we’re not developing influence, we’re not inspiring or evolving our ability to lead through thought and action. We’re not creating anything.

The muscle of imagination

If ideas do not come naturally and easily to you, you need to start consciously thinking – you need to exercise your mind. The mind can be trained to become more analytical through games such as chess and puzzles – but imagination requires something deeper – something that comes from inside of you, because imagination is always and utterly unique and original in everything it seeks and devises; your imagination is rarely like anybody else’s but can be shared through enthusiasm and motivation.

  • To develop imagination means firstly, you learn to relax. The mind, when it lets go of daily trivia, is given the opportunity to wander.
  • Look at quiet things: clouds, trees, open fields, artwork – even pictures in a magazine. This sets the mind to prepare for new experiences.
  • Day dreaming is the engine of the imagination. If you need to find creative energy, find time every day to day dream. This exercises the inventive muscle of your mind. You recreate something from memory or envision the future. And you create in pictures.
  • Think of ways to do things differently – even if your concepts are way out – just picture the change. See the results in your mind.
  • Think of opposites, the unexpected, the element of surprise. Design change, visualise it, imagine it in action. Fill your head with the sense of possibility.
  • Learn to visualise negative space, the space around an object. Not only does this spark new ideas and concepts but it trains you to look at things in or out of context, expanding your view of the world around you.
  • Learn to play with scale. Looking through a microscope at spores could give you some incredible ideas for a branding environment or instore design, if you scale what you see by a thousand times.
  • Nothing is what it seems. Looking deeper into things allows you to push the limits of your imagination and create scenarios that may be unique, even if they might be far removed from the truth.
  • Ask lots of questions. The more you know about something or the better perspective you have on things empowers you to make change happen more effectively and come up with a variety of unique, exciting ideas.
  • Climb out of the box; take your tie off in a meeting, wear brightly coloured pumps or kick them off in your office, drive a different route to work or the gym, ask the tea lady for some ideas or visit a gallery during lunch instead of the donut store. You will be amazed at how these seemingly insignificant actions can spark your creativity.
  • Keep a sketchbook next to your PC and doodle. Always doodle!

If you do this on a regular basis, you will find your mind becomes more sensitive to new perspective and alternative views. You are putting your imagination to work instead of waiting for inspiration.

The need for ideas in marketing

Life for most people is a matter of routine. That is how we cope, how we control things and create a sense of security. But still the mind yearns for entertainment, escapism, to go elsewhere. That is the fertile ground where an imaginative marketer can grow inroads and apply strategic influence. A good marketer has to have ideas that will inspire his customers and move them to action.

The most powerful human influence is our imagination, our ability to have ideas. It’s the way civilisation has developed. But despite this, the world is full of worn-out concepts. If you want to make an impact on customers, you need to have a nose for making an experience more personal, more astonishing, more exhilarating. Definitely different and more shareable. And to do that, you need to develop a lateral-thinking mind. Some people are more naturally talented in this regard, but there’s no reason the mind cannot be trained to view things differently, to think differently. And if you want to be in marketing, you need to have the ability to do this.

When an idea is born

From a single idea, we often need to engage a team to drive the creative energy forward: designers, art directors, writers, creative technologists and creative strategists, among many others, work together to connect the power of an idea with a customer’s attention. Today’s marketer can utilise an array of interactive technologies which, together with innovative marketing techniques, can create transformational experiences for all types of customers.

To ignite your customer’s imagination, you need to know and understand your market; how to create experiences that your customers will love, react to, and remember. So you need the demographics and the insight. But you will also need the imagination to constantly keep them entertained, enthralled, and returning for more. That is why ideas and imagination in marketing are fundamental to success.

Engineering creativity – when imagination means business

Gawk Visual Engineers create visual branding solutions to meet the requirements of marketing campaigns across a broad range of applications. Our versatile product range, coupled with cutting-edge in-house design, development and production capability, and a reputation for continuing innovation, has made us a vibrant and sought-after supplier in the industry.Find out more about us at: www.gawk.co.za

Find out more about us at: www.gawk.co.za