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The Creative Business Idea Book: Lessons Learned from Ten Years of Breakthrough Thinking

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In 2000, as the advertising industry embarked on a new century of marketing communications, Havas Worldwide (then known as Euro RSCG Worldwide) made a promise to our clients: In every office around the world, in every discipline, we would maintain a single-minded focus on delivering breakthrough business ideas—ideas so powerful they have the capacity to transform businesses and revitalize brands, create entirely new categories, and alter consumer perceptions. We called this offering Creative Business Ideas® (CBIs), and CBIs have since become our mantra, our mission, and our mandate.

In the years since we established this new point of focus, Havas Worldwide has grown to be the largest agency in the world by number of global clients. We have been named Global Agency of the Year by Advertising Age and Agency Network of the Year by Campaign, and we have seen years in which we held more spots in The Gunn Report’s annual list of top 10 campaigns than any other agency, large or small.

In 2011, we marked our first decade of Creative Business Ideas with a gorgeous coffee-table book celebrating examples of the brilliant thinking the agency has produced for clients since 2000. Intended for creativity-focused people inside and outside our own industry, The Creative Business Idea Book: Ten Years of Breakthrough Thinking showcases more than two dozen campaigns created for clients around the globe and in industries ranging from finance to publishing, automobiles to FMCG. It includes fresh insights into the future of marketing communications and business in general, exploring, among other topics, the vital importance of the smart use of social media and the business benefits to be gained from driving social change.

The Creative Business Idea Book is available on Amazon.

Published in: Marketing
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The Creative Business Idea Book: Lessons Learned from Ten Years of Breakthrough Thinking

  1. 1. Lessons Learned from: TEN YEARS OF BREAKTHROUGH THINKING
  2. 2. Find Your Prosumers
  3. 3. Find Your Prosumers
  4. 4. Prosumers Are Vital to the Development of Creative Business Ideas By understanding what matters to members of this group, the trends they’re driving, and their changing attitudes and behaviors, we are able to forecast how mainstream consumers will change in coming months and years.
  5. 5. PROSUMERS ADOPTION 6–18 monthsInstigators Prosumers Mainstream Laggards 10–20% Prosumers Drive Trends Across Markets
  6. 6. Lesson Learned All consumers are not created equal. By developing a way to identify and segment a category’s or brand’s most influential customers, strategists can make highly informed decisions based not on where markets are now but on where they’re headed. For our agency network and our clients, Prosumers are a window to the future. Find Your Prosumers
  7. 7. Get the Buzz Going
  8. 8. Get Consumers on Board
  9. 9. Give Them Something to Talk About
  10. 10. The fact that anyone, anywhere, can create the next Internet sensation that goes viral through social channels creates an environment where brands have to push further and more deliberately into the world culture.
  11. 11. Lesson Learned The power of viral marketing lies not in building buzz but in making consumers feel more deeply connected to the brand. The best campaigns offer a sense of ownership that ties consumers in emotionally and makes them feel they have a genuine stake in the brand’s success. Get the Buzz Going
  12. 12. Cast Your Net Far & Wide
  13. 13. Creative Collaboration Is Vital in the Intangibles Economy In another era, a nation’s most valuable assets were its natural resources—coal, say, or amber waves of grain. But in the information economy of the 21st century, the most priceless resource is often an idea, along with the right to profit from it. —International Herald Tribune
  14. 14. Open Windows and Doors
  15. 15. Build Collaborative Partnerships
  16. 16. Lesson Learned Today’s demand for constant innovation requires a mix of collaborative contributors who can shake things up and deliver together more than any one of them is capable of delivering alone. That makes it imperative to cast a wider net to bring in more thinkers, partners, and outside influences. That applies to companies and agencies. And it applies to brands. Cast Your Net Far and Wide
  17. 17. Make It Meaningful
  18. 18. The Search for Substance
  19. 19. Dulux: “Let’s Color”
  20. 20. The new consumers are ready to play the ‘brand game’ to the full, which means that simple, unidirectional, repetitive communication is over for them. Precisely because they are closer to brands and understand them and their role, they want brands to do their job: keep in touch, keep alive, keep being meaningful, keep making a difference, keep the entertainment up, be a good citizen…This makes it really interesting, does it not?
  21. 21. Lesson Learned It is our job as marketers to help clients understand the triggers that will be most successful in attracting customers and building brand loyalty. In this new era, these triggers are connected not to the outdated archetypes of hyperconsumption but to the traditional values people have begun to crave, including community, simplicity, sustainability, and rootedness. Make It Meaningful
  22. 22. Keep Moving
  23. 23. Electric Typewriter, Meet the Mac Image credits: Chris Campbell@flickr.com; apple.com
  24. 24. A new brand is all promise and vision. Then a market develops and the brand builds trust by delivering on its promises. But the natural cycle of brands means that, left alone, it cannot maintain momentum. In the absence of innovation and dynamism, it ceases to meet the needs of its customers. Brands require tending. A static brand is a dying brand.
  25. 25. Goodbye, Nursing Homes; Hello, Nightclubs
  26. 26. Lesson Learned To retain and gain market share in any category requires constant innovation and repositioning (sometimes subtle, sometimes major), building on people’s trust while also relentlessly pushing the brand forward in new and fresh ways. In this new environment, “business as usual” leads only one place: a dead end. Keep Moving
  27. 27. Don’t Let Your Brand Be Boxed In
  28. 28. Going, Going…
  29. 29. Think Bigger
  30. 30. Generally speaking, the broader the brand values, the more room there is for a brand to grow.
  31. 31. Evian: “Live Young” EVIAN’S “WE WILL ROCK YOU” SINGLE SOLD 600,000 COPIES WORLDWIDE
  32. 32. Lesson Learned Rather than cling to old business models, constantly reassess what category and industry you’re in, whom your target customers can and should be, and how you should be conducting business. This will keep you a step ahead, always moving forward rather than scrambling to follow the lead of upstart competitors. Don’t Let Your Brand Be Boxed In
  33. 33. Utilize Your Inner MacGyver … or where there’s a will, there’s a way
  34. 34. The Golden Age of Advertising? Image credit: Paul-W@flickr.com
  35. 35. The technological revolution has fragmented the audience and made it extremely difficult for brands to reach their targets. This has forced brands to interact, to engage further with their audiences, to deliver experience, to focus on building loyalty with their current customers—in other words, to produce a more valuable and involving content beyond what their products and messages were traditionally delivering.
  36. 36. Mortein: “Modern-Day Ramayana”
  37. 37. Lesson Learned Never be limited by the tools at hand and what others already have done. In emerging markets especially, reaching a target through existing channels may not be possible. If a communications channel doesn’t exist, invent it. If the brand clutter seems impenetrable, find a way to get consumers to come to you. This is the golden age of advertising for those with the creativity and drive to make it so. Utilize Your Inner MacGyver … or where there’s a will, there’s a way
  38. 38. Don’t Be Afraid to Cede Control
  39. 39. Collaboration Over Control
  40. 40. TckTckTck: Campaign for Climate Justice Image credit: Greenpeace Switzerland@flickr.com
  41. 41. To make a difference there had to be one message, and everyone had to own it.
  42. 42. Lesson Learned The impenetrable divisions that used to be rife within the corporate world are crumbling. Businesses are learning that collaboration and sharing can accrue benefits unattainable under a traditional structure. More and more we’ll see that the strength of a creative idea lies not in how well it can be controlled but in how widely and rapidly it can be shared. Even the very best ideas can’t get terribly far with clipped wings. Don’t Be Afraid to Cede Control
  43. 43. Be Social
  44. 44. Everyone Connected
  45. 45. Share This
  46. 46. Up until recently, traditional media were the main vehicle with which to attract potential customers. It was mainly one-way communication. Now the wired consumer is keen to engage with the brand and other consumers, through social media, before he decides to espouse a brand or a product. He wants the brand to be a statement about his personality, his beliefs, and the social group with which he affiliates himself.
  47. 47. Lesson Learned For marketers, it’s no longer a question of whether to use social media, but how and to what extent. Being part of the social conversation is essential in every consumer- facing category. No one can say with certainty how social media will evolve over the next 10 or 20 years, but we know for sure that it will be critical to the propulsion and trajectory of our most brilliant ideas. Be Social
  48. 48. Get There First
  49. 49. In the Beginning… Image credit: BinaryApe@flickr.com
  50. 50. Digital changed everything—for our industry and for our agency. With our ‘Digital at the Core’ Creative Business Idea, we took the bold step of integrating the world’s largest digital network, Havas Worldwide Digital (then known as Euro RSCG 4D), into Havas Worldwide, our main advertising and communications entity. This integration was not just in words, but philosophically, creatively, structurally, and financially. Our digital arm has been suffused throughout our company’s body. And that is driving our clients’ businesses and ours. ‘Digital at the Core’ will be our future…at least until we recognize that digital has changed everything again.
  51. 51. Lesson Learned A passion for innovation and how we build and drive it into organizations has served us and our clients well. Some of the most profitable Creative Business Ideas involve an element of the unknown—a leap of faith and the courage to do something that has never been tried before. It’s how we make good on our promise to get clients to the Future First. Get There First
  52. 52. Lesson Learned www.creativebusinessidea.com

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