10 Resolutions to Get Creatives Through The Slump

There are few industries not hit by the slumping economy. We may be bottoming out. We may not be. Who knows. Bottom line, the economy is sour, and may remain that way for quite some time. Let’s not cry about it. Let’s do something about it. Now is the time to focus on your brand and your brand strategy.

Please raise your right hand and repeat after me.

1. I Will Bust out the Bar Napkin

In advertising, marketing, branding, and design, it’s all about the big idea. Without one, strategies and media platforms mean nothing. So, if your message lacks a big idea then task your team to put a pen to paper and create smart, ownable ideas worthy of your marketing dollars.  Do this anywhere, any place, at any time. 
Jolt the Creativity for Your Next Brainstorm

2. I Will Brand From the Inside Out
Texas-based success stories like Whole Foods and Southwest Airlines work hard to synchronize their brand personality, values and corporate culture. Do your employees understand, embrace and reflect your brand message? They need to.
Check out “Building a Brand from Ground Zero”

3. I Will Police My Brand
Everything that touches your customer must have the same look and feel. Create a Brand Guidelines Manual and refer to it often. Make sure colors, fonts, tone and voice are always in sync.
Avoid these Brand Traps

4. I Will Utilize Every Touch Point

Nantucket Nectars puts fun trivia on the bottom of every bottle cap. Burger King serves up “Have it your way” messages on everything from tray liners to trash cans. You need to use all available touch points to spark a dialogue and build a relationship with your customer.
See Before and After Identity Projects

5. I Will be Media Agnostic

We recently had a client come to us “needing” a radio campaign. Our first question: Why radio? As it turned out, what they really needed was a targeted mix of print, online, direct mail and only ONE radio spot. Lesson: don’t fall in love with any single tactic. The media landscape changes daily and what worked yesterday may not work today.
How to Be Social Media Savvy

6. I Will Set Aside Personal Biases.
Sorry, it’s not about you. Or me. It’s about the consumer. And all creative decisions should be made with this end user in mind. You may not like the Jonas Brothers, but if demographic research shows that your consumer does, you best tighten your lips and hum along.
Don’t Shoot the Client

7. I Will Increase Search Engine Marketing.

This is the most cost effective way to affect low hanging fruit. Invest more into it and you’ll see measurable results in real time.
Optimize Your Site

8. I Will be a Smart Email Marketer
Simplify your offer, strengthen and segment your list, fight spam and create a consistent distribution schedule. Such improvements will make email marketing an even stronger ally throughout this economic downturn.
Best Online Self-Promo Practices

9. I Sill Serph
Set aside a few minutes every day to use Serph, a search engine that allows you to track online buzz in real time. Search for your name and company. See where people are talking about you and then join in on the conversation.

10. I Will Commit to the Long Haul
Branding is a long-term investment. And the more consistently you invest, the better the payoff. Companies like Nike, Apple and Target embrace this concept. Smaller companies with less brand equity need to embrace this even more. There is no quick fix. But a long-term, dedicated program will yield powerful results that will benefit you for years to come.
Check out Successful Projects and Profiles

Prentice Howe is Creative Director / Principal at Austin’s Door Number 3, an independent branding shop that has unlocked and unleashed its unique style of advertising and marketing since 1994.