by Luis Bartolomei,
CEO and Head of Creation
When defining or redefining a brand strategy, the secret is to skillfully balance creativity and analytical capacity, according to the objectives set in the briefing. This is an ability that we, agencies, clients and other stakeholders, share.
Throughout the 25 years of my professional career, I have experienced (and still do) an intense switch, from one to the other, and even without clearly noticing this process, I realize that all successful projects have combined both ends: art and science.
From the client’s point of view, this equation is also a complex one. Often, during a grueling competitive process, together with the need to optimize the budget, the brand communication becomes hostage to creativity per se, without any strategic basis to support it. On the other hand, the methodological understanding of the problem is as relevant as the creative response. It’s important to adjust the methods so that intuition can lead us to the, not so obvious, core of the scope. The idea is for art and science to be felt, and not just reasoned.
Thus, mine and my partners point of view is that branding, innovation and design are solutions built combining strategic vision and creative expression, balanced by intuitive power and analytical rigor. It’s crucial to build an environment where, for example, a designer can be a strategic-designer and, at the same time, take part in an analytical study. There’s no other way to build strong, increasingly relevant and essential brands.
The danger lies in being caught midway, or in the crossfire…
During this learning process I was caught in the crossfire. The same resources can be encouraging for one while daunting for another. To have analytical thinkers taking part of a totally intuitive flow of debate (and apparently pointless), can make them feel adrift and inefficient. The over-sensitives, on the other hand, when pressured by extreme reasoning, normally choose commonplace solutions, with the excuse of having to “adjust to the briefing”. It’s a common denial reaction.
Fellowship and respect for the groups’ abilities are the key. Turning the “friendly-fire” into a collaborative process of endless possibilities, respecting individuality and aligning the different profiles with the characteristics of each project. And yet, there’s a long way to go. In a year when diversity is coming to the fore (as will probably the next too), if we ask ourselves what our biggest challenge is, I would say it is not the market, the economy, nor the ghost of recession and inflation. The biggest challenge I face every day is to keep the harmony, balance and the strength of our proposal, it’s what makes us unique.