Brands of today need to group their efforts on delivering the best ‘return on creativity’ to fuel their performance. It’s impossible for a brand to rise above the noise without creative strategies to help them shine. The current renaissance of technology has created huge challenges for brands, but they have also created a playground for creativity.

The Brand Berries interviewed Damir Brčić, CEO of Brand Box, to discuss his thoughts on the current state of global creativity and how can brands leverage it.

BB: In your opinion, what defines “Creativity”?

DB: I like to define Creativity as human act of creating new things or solutions combing existing knowledge about world around in a new, original ways. Maybe not the best or smartest definition, but for me the importance  is on creating tangible things or solutions that can change “the world” however small is, from already existing knowledge and combining in a new way, never done before. Great ideas without greatexecutions and results are maybe not great ideas. At the moment, creativity can attributed only to humans but it’s changing, too.

BB: In the era we live in, everything is moving with the speed of light, brands are constantly in a battle to find and unlock creative potential. How should brands view ” creativity”?  When can creativity be a real brand differentiator?

DB: Maybe sometimes the world looks like moving with the speed of light and everything is changing, but history taught us that basic human emotions are not changing accordingly. If brands are set of emotions attributed to certain product or service, than brands should have their brand differentiator engraved in their “brand DNA”. In my modest view of the future, with the technology advancement, brands will increase investments in owning and processing data about their consumers. Brands will strongly invest in “creativity”, but not only in communication or marketing, they will invest in creative people within their organization that can implement creativity within organization, from production to sales. Transformation will not happen overnight but it will be an interesting journey. Creativity in brand performance is always a real brand differentiator.

BB: Pairing creativity with data will lead to unique and unforgettable brand experiences. In the data era we are living in, how can brands connect the dots between data and creativity?

DB: In theory, pairing creativity with data should lead to unique brand communication and experience. If we’ll have direct sales to consumers with one-to-one communication, then we should communicate with our consumer with unique messages. Some tech giants as:  Google, Amazon, to name a few, a doing it with Big Data and AI tools implemented in Brand performance cycle. However, big global brands, especially FMCG, are suffer since transformation from big global brand strategy to big data brand strategy is not easy and request different set of organizational and personal changes. As a person who worked and lived so many changes in my carrier, I find these technological changes the most inspiring for the whole branding society. I am currently working in that area, combining Big Data and AI platforms with marketing and brand performance, and market reactions to new products are great.

BB: Does creativity, alone, sell? Do you believe in the correlation between outstanding creative success and commercial success?

DB: Creativity alone sells! Of course, if the product or service is bad, that it can sell only once! I strongly believe in creativity and I was witnessing to many success stories not to believe. However, creativity is not reserved only for creative department of big international network agency. The advertising industry itself, over the years, invented creative awards regardless of commercial success. We had festivals and awards just for the ego of creative directors. Than the brands came and pull the money. I believe that everything what brand does should have commercial success, on a long or short run.

BB: The rise of the digital age has revamped how brands are leveraging creativity to drive brand growth, making the audience more intrigued. How can brands use such trends to drive sales?

DB: This is a very complex questions and I’ll try to be short. First, every brand should have unique story and strategy. Some brands sometimes are losing their brand strategy and sometimes it looks that social media strategy has nothing to do with advertising strategy. Strategy should not change just because new media channel arrive at the market. But, as far as I know, strategy is not something that is mandatory for every brand. It is just one year strategy which is generally, yearly tactical marketing plans. Mixing strategy and tactics is common denominator what happens today. Intrigue or just attention is not enough. Brand should shortly define his purpose, benefit to consumer and how it will change or add value to his life. And to be consistent. Advertisers are searching for a highly skilled, strategically savvy and fast service, with reasonable price. Unfortunately, communication agencies changed and their people asset which they should offer do not correlate with advertisers needs. Brands are facing constant challenges not only because market and competition changed but also their business partners changed over the years and the new models are rising. Brands should hire right people or right business partners to help them drive sales.  Who are smarter, faster and better on the market battleground.

BB: Creativity is a way of thinking not a department and every endeavour can be improved by creative thinking. Consequently, believing that creativity resides in the creative department of ad agencies and that media people, data people or CRM people can’t be creative is questionable. Please comment

DB: I completely agree with you. Creative thinking should be imprint in every step of brand building. Not only in marketing department or communication partners. I believe that every person can be a creative in what they do. This is basic human need but as we are all unique, the creativity which lies within us can be shown in unique ways, too. The process needs to be lead and maintained, but in my experience, this is a beautiful journey which every participant enjoys at the end.

BB: How do you see creativity in the Middle East?

DB: I believe that creativity, especially in business, is a one of the values imprinted in DNA of the people from Middle East. Over the years I met and work with so many beautiful people and colleagues, from different countries and cultural background. And always, communication was easy, direct and honest. With technology advancement, when soft human skills will add value to any business, I believe that Middle East will prosper and creativity will glow in Middle Eastern sky.