Creativity comes in many guises. It could be required for a fundamental task like naming a product, overhauling an existing process such as a customer journey, or creating a new digital experience.
Co-creation is one way forward and is currently a hot topic. The digital era demands – and enables – a flexible approach to the creative process. Agencies and their client organisations must collaborate to get the job done.
WPN Chameleon is unveiling a framework called BreakThrough to stoke the fires of creativity in considerably less time than clients might expect. Dan Martin, digital strategy director, says: “BreakThrough has its roots in the sprint process – but, ironically, it’s even quicker than a sprint. Its beauty lies in the number of different situations it can be applied to.
“Sprints are right for certain tasks, especially tackling big problems, but they are a rigid, linear process followed over four or five consecutive days, with every key stakeholder present throughout. For more routine marketing challenges - still crucial to get right - clients need a shorter option that’s more accommodating of stakeholder time commitment.”
Workshops last for four to six hours and involve everyone in ideation. Dan continues: “The objective for everyone in the room is to leave with a tangible outcome, even if it’s very early stage and low fidelity. The framework is flexible and can be customised for each session, but it’s not made up from scratch every time.”
Organisations must contribute the challenge to be addressed as the workshop’s input. Attendees should give the agency some crucial information up front to work with on the day. This could include audience insight, market context or an offer or proposition. Extensive information isn’t necessarily required, but there must be some input for the workshop to succeed.
The purpose of BreakThrough is to move clients to a stage where they know what needs to be done to complete the task at hand. They are joined in the session by WPN Chameleon experts drawn from the agency’s CX, strategy, creative and marketing teams.
“On the day, we use the most appropriate techniques from our strategy toolkit to find the missing parts of the puzzle,” adds Dan. “You might realise the jigsaw can’t be completed on the day, but you will be sure what pieces you need to find next.”
By the end of the workshop, participants will have worked together to produce a number of visualised ideas that the agency can develop into concepts in several formats, from adcepts to mock websites or voice skills.
Dan cites a recent workshop for a client in the food and beverage space which was aiming to develop a subscription product. Because the organisation had a strong idea of what it wanted to achieve, the agency was able to conduct competitor research and interview consumers matching the target audience to combine with existing insight from the client.
“Armed with this material we moved on to the workshop,” adds Dan. “Groups were challenged to sketch out features, needs and benefits. The best bits were selected, named and prioritised. We produced three creative concepts, which were used to highlight different directions that could be taken. The client then selected one for development, but it also included elements of the alternative concepts.”
A second workshop recently focussed on a health charity’s need to get easily understood advice in front of patients. Several propositions were initially chosen to simplify the way information was presented and could be accessed. Again, these were built out into creative concepts for further development by the charity. Dan says: “At the point where we’ve presented concepts back, BreakThrough ends and the client can move on to producing the product or service.”
There are a number of innovation products on the market, but Breakthrough differs in two ways. Firstly, it’s a quick and convenient method of reaching concept development after just a few hours of co-creation. One client moved to live market testing, with both a proposition and a product, in just 12 weeks.
The second difference is tangibility. Dan concludes: “It’s not just an ideas session that doesn’t go anywhere. Teams actually leave the room with several ads in their hands that clearly state the concept and how it might be rolled out. With BreakThrough you get something definite, and you get it quick.”