Igniting the spark: How to fuel creativity in your research community
Inject the necessary spark of creativity to the business by adding creative changemakers to your community work.
18 May 2023
3 min read
“Creativity isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity!” With these words, Duncan Wardle, former Head of Creativity & Innovation at The Walt Disney Company, argues that creativity can give companies the competitive edge they need. Just think about Apple, a brand that became a synonym for creativity and has dominated BCG’s top 50 list of most innovative companies for the last 15 years. But creativity doesn’t just spark innovation, it fuels business growth. Research by Forrester shows how companies that exhibit creativity grow 2.6 times faster than their peers. No wonder creativity is in high demand.
Experts by a hungry mind
Creative minds are a rare breed. Scientists found that the creative brain is ‘wired’ differently, and that creative people are better at engaging brain systems that typically don’t work together. As a result, creatives have this unique skill to think out of the box – they address situations in an atypical way and challenge the status quo. They are experts by a hungry mind. But creativity is scarce. To step up your creativity game, you likely need to look beyond the company borders.
The outside spark that can ignite your innovation
Collaborating with creative consumers gives you access to a continuous supply of fresh ideas and inspiration. To support brands in their creative challenges, we tap into our proprietary network of creative changemakers including designers, copywriters and creative thinkers. Its members are a mix of professionals and students from around the world, many of whom have a creative background but haven’t gotten the chance to practice their creative skills for a living and are looking for a creative outlet. James, for example, is a graphic designer from the UK. His experience with art lies in directing photoshoots, creating fashion magazines and press adverts, as well as lots of direct marketing and promotional materials. In his current role, he mainly focuses on the execution of creative concepts, yet what he truly loves is graphic design work for big brands in different sectors. This is why James joined our network in 2016, where he already participated in 245 contests, having won 35 of them.
These creative changemakers bring a creative spark to various business challenges, ranging from product and service innovation to communication campaigns and packaging innovation. For Nestlé’s KitKat, for example, creative changemakers were invited to come up with funny and relatable stories where people react dramatically to frustrating situations, where only a KitKat could help the individual(s) “snap out of it”. This inspired the brand to launch the successful Kätapult video which quickly went viral.
Another example is the work we did for Fanta. The soft-drink brand was looking for fresh inspiration to fill its innovation funnel. The brief asked the changemakers to ‘create a new Fanta drink for teens that will offer a new taste and a fun experience’. The creative changemakers brought forward 110 unique, out-of-the-box ideas. This resulted in 21 concepts that were further evaluated and further fine-tuned in an online consumer community with 172 teens.
“I was amazed by the speed and creativity of the community. Within two weeks, the community provided us with more than 110 ideas responding to the brief we sent them. Ideas were all well detailed. Out of the 110 ideas, we selected 54 to present to our stakeholders to further evolve them. I found this process very efficient.” – Sandra Savonitto, Sensory science manager at Coca-Cola
How many creative changemakers are there in your company? Probably less than you think. Invite the creative 1% to your insight community to inject the necessary spark of creativity.