Since founding Incite Creative back in 1999, I’ve heard a wide variety of definitions about what customers perceive it to be. They often respond saying that it’s something like knowing how to create a logo or determining what colors work well together when designing a website or a catalogue. And they are correct … sort of. Yes, these are part of creative services, but they just scratch the surface. With so many different companies offering a varied a la carte menu of brand marketing services under this umbrella, it’s understandable why there is some confusion about it.
What are creative services?
Creative services are often a department within design, marketing, and entertainment firms. The services they offer can vary. At Incite, we include over 20 different aspects of marketing that fall under creative services, from logo design, to public relations, social media services, and tradeshow displays. Overall these services cover writing, design, and production, providing a holistic approach to conveying a brand.
Exposing the Myth
To help you further understand creative services, there is a long laundry list of myths and misconceptions that we could dispel. However, let’s focus on the primary myth … creative services are unscientific.
Most aspects of creativity are lumped together under the term “art”, and as a result, they are often considered to be at odds with a logical, scientific approach. The reality is that when they are done right, there is a tremendous amount of research and analysis performed prior to putting pen to paper. All the decisions made within creative services should be based upon strategic decisions and not just what looks good.
When we help a customer name a new product, develop a tagline, or create a sales kit, we don’t rush to put ideas in front of them. We follow a specific process to understand their goals and objectives, their perceptions about their brand and their customers’ perceptions, as well. We discuss what creative services initiatives they may have launched in the past and assess what impact they made. Additionally, we research the same initiatives launched by their competition before we get to the design phase.
If this sounds like over kill for something that may seem as basic as creating a logo or a brochure, consider that all of your marketing is a form of communication telling your target audience something about your business. Do your various forms of marketing communicate a unified message? Are they conveying the strengths and benefits you offer today? Do they connect with your ideal customers?
Taking a holistic approach
At Incite, we offer a full spectrum of creative services because it isn’t one piece of marketing collateral (or brand touch point) that is going to help you achieve your goals. Your various marketing initiatives must work together because your target audience will come into contact with your brand through various channels. They may come to your website and follow you on Facebook. Maybe they read a PR piece about your company in a trade magazine. Or they may receive email messages or direct mail pieces from you. There is a gamut of possibilities. When they come into contact with your brand, what experience do they have and how does this reinforce or alter their beliefs about your business? For you to have a successful marketing strategy, you need to look at your marketing as a whole and coordinate your image and your messages to reinforce your brand.
For more information about how you can apply creative services to successful market your brand in a holistic way, go to our Contact Us page, or call us at (410)-366-9479 ext. 2#.
Dina Wasmer is President of Incite Creative, a marketing and graphic design firm that provides brand-building services and strategies for small-to-middle-market businesses and non-profit organizations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Additionally, Dina is an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore teaching typography and graphic design principles. For more information, log onto www.incitecreativeinc.com or contact email@example.com