In April 2021, Chichester Copywriter’s Katy took part in an online workshop – Why Creativity is at the Heart of Success. The workshop was delivered via Zoom by Proactive by Design Co-founder Alvaro Bravo Cole and best-selling author Rod Judkins. Alvaro and Rod have consulted on creativity for organisations including Google, Apple, Samsung, Porsche, Nestle and NHS England. Reflecting on a time when the imagination was called on more than ever, this was an interesting delve into the importance of creativity in the workplace. Indeed, it highlighted how vital creative copywriting is to business success.
What is creativity?
The Oxford English Dictionary (the one Katy turns to when copywriting and proofreading) defines creativity as: “Use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness”. Besides imaginativeness, originality and inventiveness, words we might associate with creativity include innovation, individuality and expressiveness. They even sound inspiring! And creativity isn’t something you should fear, it should be embraced in everything you do.
Why does creativity in business matter?
According to Alvaro Bravo Cole, creativity is crucial to businesses as it helps them to react more effectively and navigate better through challenges. Just take the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses had to think creatively to weather the changes to the world around them. Where their core products and/or services were no longer fit for purpose, they had to think of ways to reinvent themselves.
The leisure and hospitality industries took things online – entertaining us with everything from live cooking demonstrations to music concerts – and made the most of outdoor performances and functions where possible. For key workers employed by businesses still open to the public, architects and interior designers had to incorporate social distancing measures in their refurbishments and furniture choices. They had to think about the needs of workers, the wants of customers and take government guidelines into account to make things run as smoothly as possible. This all took a hefty measure of creative thinking.
And the marketing industry followed suit, embracing the changes and the new creative opportunities they brought quickly and effectively. Creativity leads to creativity. Just like the design of the Eames chair that was thought impossible to manufacture – the creative couple simply fashioned a tool especially for their new chair design that would make manufacture possible… Fast-forward a few years, and there are makers inspired by classic designs and motivated by the state of the current environment to make Eames style chairs out of recycled skateboards. The ever-evolving nature of marketing to remain at the forefront of creativity is what Chichester Copywriter loves about working in the industry. Whatever challenges Katy’s clients face, our creative copywriter finds new ways to make their marketing innovative.
Examples of creative business ideas
COVID-19 Cuddle Curtain
During the workshop, Alvaro used the COVID plastic hugging curtain as an example of creativity to sum up the moment. In May last year, a plasterer from Stratford-Upon-Avon invented the cuddle-enabling contraption so he could comfort his vulnerable grandma at the time she needed one most. The COVID Cuddle Curtain was made simply using a transparent shower curtain fitted with safety sleeves on either side enabling two people to get up close without the risk of infection.
Sky News sums up the essence of this creative endeavour here: “As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention – and the coronavirus pandemic is no exception”. Simplicity is key here. It’s easy to overthink when trying to conjure creativity and this can become a barrier for many. But all it really comes down to is defining a problem and inventing a product or service that meets people’s needs.
Apple’s iMac and iBook
The evolution of Apple design is a good read for anyone interested in creativity and its impact on business. By 1998/1999, the brand was so established that the Apple team dared to invent a product for themselves rather than putting the user’s needs first. Moving away from corporate drudgery, they trailblazed the desktop computer industry by introducing the iMac G3. Designed by Johnathan Ive, the iMac lit the embers for the first generation of the iBook with a fancy clamshell design, of which Wikipedia says: “It was a significant departure from previous portable computer designs due to its shape, bright colors, incorporation of a handle into the casing, lack of a display closing latch, lack of a hinged cover over the external ports and built-in wireless networking”.
What’s more, Apple’s almost anarchic ingenuity paid off as, “vestiges of design ideas first adopted in the iBook G3 can still be seen today: moving interface ports from the back to the sides and leaving them uncovered, omitting a latch for the computer’s lid, and providing multiple color options”.
Imagine being so confident in your brand and your products that you throw caution to the wind and simply design something you like… If Apple can continue to monopolise the market with this devil-may-care attitude then we should all have the courage to experiment with a little creativity. Perhaps not doing so is what’s holding you back…
Why is creativity important when copywriting?
Creative copywriting is important because nobody wants to read the same old same old. That’s not to say the creative approach Katy uses is the same for all clients, this remains as unique as the brands.
Some clients, such as Valerio Jewellery, have artisan products so beautiful they speak for themselves. But professionally written product descriptions add the required details and je ne sais quoi to a website or brochure that gives potential buyers that final push. Writing product descriptions for jewellery with character allows Katy to be more poetic with language, while staying on-tone, and makes room for everything from cultural references to puns.
Likewise, writing product descriptions for innovative health and wellbeing audio recordings from Subliminals 4U enabled Katy to use a more informal tone and playful language to fit the friendly brand and relaxed business owner.
While other clients, such as RJS Waste Management, offer services that are more serious in nature and this presents a challenge. However, that challenge makes Katy more determined to get creative – there are those challenges leading to creativity again! Our creative copywriter wants to entice and engage with clients via social media marketing posts and news articles and do away with the dull. So far, she’s used creativity to highlight the personality of the brand and make communications about the business’ services more relatable and memorable.
Yes, asbestos removal and health and safety at work are sober topics. But, as Rod Junkins demonstrated when he talked about having medical students imagine Corona Virus’ infection strategy like a game of pinball, there’s the opportunity for creativity everywhere if you alter your mindset.
Then, look at the fabulously quirky design of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health – an Alzheimer’s outpatient treatment and research facility – by Frank Gehry. You could argue that the building is a metaphorical representation of the way patients and their families feel. But how often do you find art used so liberally for such a serious subject matter?!
Creativity has a place whatever the business and, if Katy has learned anything since she founded Chichester Copywriter in 2009, it’s that you must open your mind – and the minds of your clients – and the ideas will come. And, when they do, the possibilities are infinite.
Contact Chichester Copywriter for creative copy
Whether your website’s SEO copywriting needs an overhaul, or you’d like some product descriptions for your latest brochure, Katy knows how to strike the balance between informative and creative communication for ultimate impact. Contact Chichester Copywriter for a consultation about your creative copy needs today!