Ever hang out with someone who describes himself as creative? Best part about nights with that guy is that they eventually come to an end.
I'd much rather work with people who don't understand how to process comments like, "I wish I could think of stuff like that." It has nothing to do with humility. It has everything to do with preparation.
Being creative means being an expert. Ideas are nothing more than practice. The more you come up with, the more you learn about a product and the more you understand the audience.
It takes a lot of practice to become an expert at anything. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours. I don't know if that's true or not. Others say that's just shorthand for "expertise requires a whole lot of hard work." That part I believe.
So when we bring on a new client, we put time in to learning all about them and their business. What's important? What does their audience want from them? What would things be like if they weren't around? We think about them. We toss around ideas. We kill ideas. We think of new ones. And each time, we get better. We learn more. We go deeper. We look for the things that people don't know, and that's when things really start to get good.
Some people will tell you that creativity is all about the ability to transcend traditional ideas and patterns to create new ones. I suppose that's true, but the reason why is because you have to know something inside and out to be able to do that. In other words, if you're going to break the mold, you better be prepared to put it back together better than it was before.
Does it take time to get to that point? Sure it does. And we take very seriously the investment that you're making into that process, which is why you should expect great creative from us every time we come back to you with new work. Will we get it right the first time every time? Nope. But you can be sure that you won't see it if we don't believe that it's great. You can also be sure that we won't stop learning about your customers just because we get a campaign or two right.
If you're looking for a new agency, I'd love to talk with you.