Are you sitting down? Well, you need a chair for that. But is it comfortable? Is it good to look at? If it is, that’s because someone added value, something extra beyond the basic need. That’s creativity. The creative part of anything you do is when you go beyond utility. It’s what makes life more beautiful. It’s no longer a chair, it’s where you sit. It’s no longer information, it’s a story. No longer just a fact, but a feeling.
Of course, most chairs these days are great to sit in. The added value of good design is expected. It’s the new normal, meaning we need to find new ways to be original and add something extra.
We need to apply the same ‘R&D’ approach to coming up with that extra value in communications. Communications need to bring knowledge to their audience with emotion, adding creative value in such a way that it sticks, making people remember.
Design Thinking, so we don’t go round in circles
The first step to defining that extra creative value is to empathize. That’s why we use Design Thinking methodology. Because it starts with empathy.
By putting ourselves in our audience’s shoes, we can discover what will generate feelings, what they would like to buy, what they would like to engage with. Then we test the creative to make sure we’ve properly understood how our audience feels.
The internet is much more individual than other types of media. People only share a message on social media if they feel it suits or benefits them personally.
Online, a visual speaks a thousand words, so we aim to grab people’s attention with one strong image. But that image can only be part of an effective creative strategy if we are certain it makes people feel the way we want them to.
That’s why, when you come to us to reach your core audiences, we first do some research. We find out who exactly they are, how they behave and where to reach them.
Based on that research, we develop a strategy for engaging your audiences most effectively. We review your existing channels and determine how best to optimize them.
We propose a narrative, a communication plan and a key creative concept that will trigger the audience.
We turn your core propositions into a key visual that can then be adapted for different social media and to different audiences – but all the while telling a strong, coherent story.
The idea of an umbrella concept may have been around for half a century, but it is still the best way of tying communication activities together, the fil rouge that brings coherence to the entire campaign. And in the digital age, we need to stretch the red thread much further. Each post can be seen as a micro-campaign, one we can measure, target and adjust as needed. We publish variations and use design thinking and beta-testing to optimize their impact.
From Design Thinking to Cultural Cartography
Design thinking ensures the effectiveness of our creative concepts and visual ideas through testing digital assets on a small group within your audiences. But to leverage them fully, we need to look at the value our digital assets can bring to your audiences.
According to leading Buzzfeed publisher Dao Nguyen, content must meet one of these needs for the viewer to like and share:
- “Makes Me Laugh” (Humour)
- “This is Me” (Identity)
- “Helps Me Connect” (This is Us)
- “Helps Me…” (Learn something, do something, etc.)
- “Makes Me Feel…” (Curious, sad, happy, etc.)
This diagram displays different purposes for your content, grouped according to these five categories of needs. Users are already more likely to interact with content that falls into one of these categories, but if your digital assets achieve goals across more than one category, the results are exponential.
Instead of classifying by subjects, Nguyen and her team used this way of categorizing their content from the perspective of the viewer: what their audience might be gaining or feeling. This led to a much more accurate understanding of exactly what makes something go viral. And they called it Cultural Cartography.
At ZN, we make sure that we press all the right buttons for your audience to engage with your message. We start with proper research, meet the audience where they are and tailor content to meet a need. We also make sure your content is not plain text but creative, different and visually appealing. There is so much content on social media, that yours will need to stand out in order to be noticed.
We bring value to you and to your audience, one digital asset at a time
ZN, the #DigitalAdvantage