Strategy or creative? Chicken or egg?

A match made in communications heaven

Much akin to asking which came first, the chicken or the egg, the majority of marketing masters have asked the question: what is the key to great marketing communications, strategy or creative? While we can’t speak to the chicken and the egg, we do know that when it comes to great advertising, it’s a marriage of strategy AND creative in perfect harmony. One does not exist without the other.

While it’s simple enough to check a box and take strategy for granted, it’s not a table stake in the process. In fact, it’s vital to identify that, at its core, great creative comes from a springboard of dynamic brand differentiators, truths and insights that great strategies unearth. And to create a great strategy requires hungry and skillfully-lead deep dives into the hearts of brands and their products – and the consumers they seek to woo. The bottom line is, when it comes to strategy, good is truly the enemy of great.

Determining a brand’s unique and differentiating qualities and how they are going to make a consumer’s life better are the building blocks of great creative. And regardless of a product having tangible differentiating qualities and benefits, like cars and laptops, or more ubiquitous products like beer and deodorant, a proper strategy must identify or create those unique differentiators.

Only when a brand and agency agree on these precious gold nuggets of information is there a solid foundation for the creative ideation process to begin. Without it, a dangerous pitfall of using creative to determine what a brand “wants to say” can too often rear its head. And if you don’t know now, trust us, the “we’ll know what we can say when we see it” syndrome is a disastrous recipe for inefficiency and second-guessing.  Like the adage “measure twice, cut once,” great strategy takes messaging guesswork off the table – and allows creative to be solely judged by how well it delivers and showcases the strategic inputs.

At Unbound we are strategic wizards. We live and breathe mining the depths of brands’ rich veins, in order to unearth precious gems of differentiators, truths and insights. With over 100 years of strategic planning and marketing expertise, paired with powerful research tools like our proprietary customer targeting process, we ensure great strategies that inspire great creative.

We’d love to set up some time to talk about what strategic differentiators, insights and truths we can help unearth for your brand. Give us a call at 816.589.3333.