WRITTEN BY COLIN MAGUIRE, DESIGN DIRECTOR AT KROW IRELAND

Not Magnolia!

We find ourselves having to readjust our thinking to suit the current lockdown environment. We face new challenges that bring about different ways of working and creativity. Social Media has opened up alternative platforms for restaurants, ice-cream shops, green grocers and butchers to be creative, as they get to know their customers on a more personal level via Facebook and doorstep deliveries. We adjust, we adapt to difficulties and constraints put in place…. and that’s what can make us thrive.

The general conception is that creative thinking requires us to run free through rolling corn fields before putting pen to paper or mouse to mat, yet the current experience has shown us that this is not the case.  Partly, creativity can be born out of necessity.  The local butcher has the instant problem of lack of sales affecting his cash flow, as customers can’t go to him, so he reacts and sets about delivering family meat packs and providing the capability for online orders. The greengrocer adjusts his approach and starts selling other essentials like gloves, hand sanitiser, milk and bread to help widen his reach. The ice-cream shop you dream of visiting has now started delivering to your door, providing a reassuring comfort that will make you fall in love with them even more. To form new ways of engagement we need to creatively react to the situation and set out a clear brief which is the jagged walls that keep us on the correct path to a solution.

Setting out a clear brief does many things to our thinking.  It helps get us closer to the solution quicker but gives the ability to tease out other approaches.

Q. What shade of cream would the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling have been if Michaelangelo’s brief was to simply just paint the ceiling?

A. Magnolia?

Instead Pope Julius II briefed him with the mind-bending task of painting nine scenes from the book of Genesis with the central image being the creation of mankind, or what we now know as the famous ‘Creation of Adam’. Music writers say that artists produce some of their best work when they face hardship in life and the requirement of a record label to produce.  Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors album is one such example. Confined in a recording studio with the personal turmoil of fractured relationships, there surfaced a brutally honest record that would touch the hearts of many for years to come.

We have the ability to break out of these hard times with the same determination to conceive ideas and produce work that answers these difficult problems, and to touch the hearts of consumers. Our ideas should inspire and help those who need us, and both parties can continue to thrive and grow our businesses in the long term.

We all need to be visible. Fresh ideas and thinking ensures that customer don’t forget about us or assume we’re no longer around.

After all, if brands are not visible, they’ll not be considered as a choice when customers are making purchase decisions… death by inactivity and magnolia communication.

In brief, creativity is the way to break out of lockdown.

"Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow, Don't stop, it'll soon be here, It'll be, better than before, Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone."

Christine McVie

Fleetwood Mac

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