Dispelling the cliché of sales

The word ‘sales’ still conjures up images of fast-talking slicked back haired salesman , but the reality is we all use the art and science of selling in our day to day life in one way or another..

As a creative it’s easy for us to think that quality alone will be enough to promote the work. Yet we need to open the door to the outside world for our ideas and creations, because if we make something and nobody’s there to see, why did we create in the first place?

Many creativities face the bitter internal dichotomy of producing beautiful work but not wanting to appear over confident or too salesy in their approach. However not doing everything you can to get your work seen betrays your creativity.

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Most of us think that the’ ideal’ sales person is the extrovert… Confident, charismatic and outgoing… They are ‘the natural born sales person!’  Yet according to social psychologist Adam Grant discovered that the best salespeople are not extroverts but ambiverts — people who fall between the poles of extroversion and introversion.

‘Ambiverts strike a crucial balance between talking and listening, neither dominating nor dampening a conversation. Grant explains, they “draw from a wider repertoire of behavioral options to find the appropriate balance between selling and serving.”

This responsive engagement style of balancing assertiveness with attention is what Dan Pink calls attunement, or “the ability to bring one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people and with the context you’re in.” The best salespeople aren’t the most outgoing, they are the ones who can best “attune” to those around them.’

‘Life itself is a matter of salesmanship.’

Thomas J. Watson

 

Progressions and Advancement. But do we have time for reflection?

In today’s modern day life it’s all about progression and advancement.. Innovatively developing ways to break barriers, transgress into the new, but there is something to be said for the timeless beauty of the past… of reflecting and looking how far we have come.

We take a step back in the world of design…

 

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Harland & Wolff Drawing Office, 1912

This photograph shows naval architects and draughtsmen working on ship designs in one of Harland & Wolff’s two Drawing Offices, where the plans for Olympic, Titanic and Britannic were prepared.  Their high barrel ceilings and large windows made maximum use of natural light.

Both of the Drawing Offices have survived to the present day.

 

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Research Design Unit

Founded in London in 1943 (although photo taken early 70’s), The Design Research Unit was the first consultancy in the country to draw together expertise in architecture, graphics and industrial design within a single practice.

 

 

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Rows of drafts people working in a very bright, clear span studio- (ideally) a North-lit studio, diffused up lighting, any dark corners would typically house AO sized filing cabinets- chair optional but very much frowned upon. These drawing boards are fitted with a drawing arm or drafting machine which later gave way to the parallel motion and adjustable set-square.

 

We would love to hear from you if you have any thoughts, feelings, memories from your creative history no matter how long or short…

 

 

Experiential Marketing meets digital!

With more people spending more time on their phones than sleeping in today’s modern world the paradox lies that experiential market has never been so popular..

Music festivals are a perfect example of this shift in attitude. Digital natives love music but many do not buy records, preferring to stream music for free, or a small subscription. Instead, more digital natives attend music festivals, which over the last 25 years have grown from a handful to more than 200. Digital natives want unique, authentic experiences that they can share with friends.

 

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DCIM101GOPRO

Experiential marketing is all about creative authentic, personalized experiences to engage and connect… But is there room for digital in this world?

When done correctly the convergence of digital and physical bolsters the strengths of each while mitigating the other’s weaknesses. Enhancing the experience

The delicate balance is for brands to focus on the user experience and use the technology to enhance the involvement not to dictate it.

 

Socially Speaking…

Freedom of speech has long been identified as an essential human right; it’s what connects individuals to society… The suffragettes starved for it… Mandela went to prison for it… and many have died for it….

However are we all as brave as our courageous counterparts?   People are afraid of rejection or isolation of their beliefs so many remain silent, especially if their views go against majority opinion — as explained in ‘Spiral of Silence Theory’

However in this digital era we are living in, it has opened up and revolutionized are ability to communicate their opinions… The anonymity of Social media has given permission for people to express themselves in ways in which was once restricted to them by self-imposed social constraints… However has this always been a good thing?

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Social Media has become a force to be reckoned with and has seeped into all areas of our lives… Today, we spend more time connected to media devices than we do sleeping…

Liberation of speech on social media has started wars….  It has made children and teenagers victims to their counterparts and ultimately have we forgotten how to relate to one another in the flesh?

Has social media empowered us and given us the platform we needed to make our voices heard taking over and dictating to us?

What do you think we would love to hear from you…

 

 

Feeling the Flow!

After a recent trip to the Tate Modern on the Southbank on a company afternoon out, I stood in the awe inspiring former turbine hall listening intently to the account of how this magnificent space was reborn and how it was so beautifully and sensitively converted to its present use in a time of uncertainty…designed by the relatively unknown (at the time!) Swiss architects Hertzog de Meuron… I was reminded that in a world where we are told it’s not what you know it’s who you know… ultimately such unique talent, passion and vision truly does trump!

Drawing inspiration from this triumph of space and light, I thought how cleverly the architects worked with our senses, drawing us in and allowing us to go with the flow, enjoying guiding gentle slopes in place of stairs and always encouraging us to look up, to enjoy and to be inspired by this beautiful space, rather than looking down at our feet and be ever mindful of our steps.  

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Being thrust back into the madding crowds and the bustle of London I wondered could I somehow take and translate this uplifting experience to enrich other areas of my life- could this experience lead to a greater effect on the way I work perhaps? 

How can we create a state of being in flow in the way we work… working with the constructs of what we have, using a different architecture, that of our strategic business environment to enhance output, enjoyment and fulfilment?

So what is flow and how do we get there?

‘Flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does

So how do we get there?

Steven Kotler, author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance believes the following;

Take More Social Risks.

Taking social risks is the same as physical risks.” Speak up at meetings, share creative ideas, approach a stranger or tell the truth when it feels awkward.

Up the amount of novelty and complexity in your work environment

In business, the idea is to get out of habits and routines. “Automatic pilot is efficient and routines save the brain energy, but it doesn’t put you into flow.

Use all of your senses.

The final external flow trigger happens when you pay attention with all sensory streams, listening, looking, smelling, tasting, and touching. Action and adventure sports demand deep embodiment..

“When a person is in a state of flow, all five potent neurochemicals massively amplify the immune system,” says Kotler.

“Stress-causing hormones are flushed out of body in flow, and the autoimmune and nervous systems go haywire.” 

‘Flow is the most desirable state on earth, but it’s also the most elusive.’

 

A little of the good stuff…

With Digital and Innovation being banded around there is a new trend emerging which they are calling Premiumisation.  This is the development of new premium or luxury products.

We are noticing a new trend where there is a desire to have quality over quantity.  It is essentially the desirability of the luxury world within the function and necessity of the mass market.

The rapid wealth creation in emerging markets is bringing about new sources of demand for products like upmarket spirits.

Moet

“When people consider buying premium, they are looking for three things,” says International Commercial Director for Moët & Chandon, Bertrand Steip. “The first is brand authenticity and heritage, followed by the embodiment of a luxurious life, and finally the element of experimentation.”

For luxury brands the challenge in taking a share of the premiumisation market is how to stay true to their values. The offering needs to build on what the brand stands for and heighten its unique qualities, instead of moving away from its area of expertise without a clear purpose.

Not only does the product have to be premium but we are moving into an age of experiential consumerism; establishing a real connection and intimacy and a sense of occasion.

How do you choose?

Choice…  Every day we are faced with hundreds of decisions, some inconsequential, some major life decisions. Network looks deeper into the process behind your decision making development.

Sheena Iyengar, a professor at Columbia Business School who studies choice, posited that choice extends beyond the merits of one particular option or another in her TED talk “On the Art of Choosing.”

“Choice is just as much about WHO people are as it is about what the product is,” Iyengar said. “You have a group of people for whom every little difference matters and so every choice matters.”

Therefore the decisions you make are based on the values you hold and the person you are just as much as the product. This is why it is vitally important for brands to engage with their consumers and harness their desires and intent.

 

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So how does this relate to your industry?

Neil Davidson, Executive Planning Director at creative agency Hey Human eloquently describes it when he says “The marketing industry is still obsessed with changing the way people think about a brand rather than (perhaps more effectively) changing the way they connect with a brand”

“If brands are built around behavioural insight, rather than attitudinal assumptions, the market naturally starts to look a lot healthier. Consumer need is married with brand capability. Success is sustainable”.

 

 

 

 

What your score on Gamification?

In the fight for innovation we are constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to push the boundaries of productivity and creativity. The likes of Nike and Microsoft are taking up techniques such as Gamification to motivate and engage employees. 

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. Gamification commonly employs game design elements which are used in so called non-game contexts in attempts to improve user engagement and organizational productivity.  Gamification can be used in a business, educational, health and inspirational sectors!

Effectiveness?

With the workplace being a tough place to stay motivated and keep colleagues engaged, gamification is being employed as a tactic to enhance motivation and engagement.

Many brands have successfully implemented gaming platforms to increase productivity and to motivate employees to create healthy competition.  Brands are coming up with innovative ways to incorporate game-like features into ordinary activities every day.  It sparks some creativity and get competitive gears turning for ways to put the fun back in business.

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The Psychology behind it all?

Gamification can help satisfy fundamental needs. The psychologists Richard M. Ryan and Edward Deci  have discovered that as human beings, we have 3 primary universal needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. These needs are at the core of our intrinsic motivation, the motivation that drives us to seek novelty and challenges, to develop our skills, to explore and to learn. Games tap into several of our key components which then loop into our reward system.

Finally, a word from you…

Have you had experience within your company using Gamification?  Has it been a success?  We would love to hear from you

 

 

 

 

How Rejection Breeds Creativity

All Designers and Creative’ s aim and work towards delivering game-changing pieces of work.   The creative process is never straight forward and for greatness to be gained, familiarity with vulnerability and rejection needs to be achieved.

At the 99U conference rejection and vulnerability was a hot topic and organizer Will Allen, who is the Creative Director of Adobe and Head of Behance spoke passionately on the topic…

‘Constraints, either from clients, the brand you are working for, or your own personal blocks can be a constant issue. The thoughts that you aren’t talented enough, don’t have enough time, and will never be enough is something creatives often confront.

How do you handle people saying they don’t like what you’ve put your passion into?’

To be a creative you must confront the obstacles of rejection.  Brene Brown a research professor on the subject takes it a step further and says ‘ Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.  If you are not placing risk into your creativity and taking risk you are not pushing boundaries… Success will not always be inevitable and so you must become familiar with rejection from time to time for greatness to be achieved.. ‘

Rejection

Changing the way you think?

A study by a Johns Hopkins University business professor finds that social rejection can inspire imaginative thinking, particularly in individuals with a strong sense of their own independence.

It is found that the creative person with an independent self-concept might even be said to thrive on rejection.

We all experience rejection on some level, it is unavoidable…those who embrace it will reap the benefits that come from embracing life.   To hide from rejection is to hide from life.

Don’t follow your passion…

Don’t do what you love… Learn to love what you do

In today’s World we are sold a dream that if we follow our passion it will lead to ultimate satisfaction.

There are some fortunate few who know their passion and can follow their dream. But for some ‘following our passion’ leads to confusion and even more disarray, coupled with a feeling that we are meant to know exactly what we want to do.

Passion is a fickle mistress…

Passion can change over time. The same passion we had in our 20’s will not necessarily be the same in in 5 or 10 years’ time. Our interests change often and more than we expect.

So if not passion, then what?

No matter what field you are in, passion can be a by-product of quality. Once you’re focused on the quality of the work you are currently doing rather than whether or not it’s right, you will experience a sense of esteem.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson said “the most successful people in life recognize that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation”.

Many successful people are passionate, however their passion often developed alongside their success rather than coming first.

You can have many passions in life, they are diverse and changeable. Cultivate your skills and talents and what you are good at. Let quality be your dictator and passion will follow.