Want to create something exceptional? Start with an exceptional creative strategy.

Where do big ideas come from? Some will have you believe that they are summoned from some mystical realm by a rare class blessed with creative genius.

The truth is that creative genius is the by-product of something more profound.

I’m not knocking creative talent. Creative talent is important when it comes to creating an extraordinary idea. But what's more important doesn't get talked about. Probably because it's not as sexy as the revealing of the big idea. What's more important is the thorough strategic work that lays the foundation for great ideas.

So before we design something. Before we put witty words to paper. Let’s put our creative strategy to the test. Let’s ask these four questions about the solution we are pursuing.

  1. Is really relevant in today’s environment?
  2. Is it truly differentiated in the industry?
  3. Does it effortlessly align with the company’s brand?
  4. Is it unquestionably valuable to all our constituents?

If the answer to any of these questions is not crystal clear, we need to stop creating and dive back into the creative strategy. Otherwise, we're just decorating a page and rearranging hollow words.