A black and white photograph of Marlon Brando in The Godfather

The Creative Director’s job is 80% listening and 20% guiding

My approach to creating effective, award winning solutions is to lead intimate, relaxed sessions with a team from a whiteboard through a programme of five controlled transformational phases of group work; discover, interpret, plan, ideate and execute. From the front I use series of effective thinking techniques to encourage associative third-person perspective brainstorming along a tight direction as we move towards each milestone and ultimately the deadline. This process incorporates the three design disciplines; Tapping into the history of classical design (form and content), the strategies of design thinking (customer needs) and in synthesis with the requirements of computational design (real time, mobile computing).


Listen to the problem we have to solve

Before anything else, perform a deep and rigorous analysis of the client brief to understand the problem's size and scope.

Understand the brand, its business, its products and services

Familiarise ourselves with the brand, the brand purpose and how the brand architecture operates. Understand how the business works, its product segmentation and any relationships within that product line.

Focus on the brand’s customers, its marketplace and its competitors

Using data and research, understand the audience and the current customer mindset. Discover the marketplace and find out who their competitors are.


Listen for clues. Where are the fixes?
Where can we improve, or add value to the overall mix?

Make some assumptions and look for opportunities. Test the water. What are the media choices mapped against the customer opportunity and how do they surround each prospect?

Use data, insight and psychology to articulate our response

At this stage it is time for insight mining within intensive group brainstorming sessions. Build a picture of requirements and stressors. Test assumptions. Invent paradigms, form a response and articulate it internally.


Start making informed decisions

Nominate the platform idea. Start writing a cultural value proposition. 

How are we going to communicate to our targeted prospects?

Form an approach. Map out how all the clustering systems fit together to establish the individual marketing modules. Represent it as a customer funnel towards the satisfaction - an aim or goal for both the ambitions of the target audience and the brand. 


Ideas will sound themselves out as a result of rigour

Investigate and stress test every known facet of the big idea. Know it inside out and become the author and expert on its subject matter. Look at competitor work in this area / sector. Look around for inspiration and case studies to current best practice. Look for what is not occupied in terms of positioning. Find out the gap.


Exactly what are we going to make to execute the strategy?

Establish a toolkit that needs to be delivered, in the form of a shopping list, that the whole team understands. Do costings on that shopping list. Once the executables have been identified begin writing concepts using copy and art. Begin UX user workflow planning. Be precise in your language. Sharpen the pencil on everything.

How will the finished deliverables sing?

Write or mood board a design proposition and tone of voice guide. Encourage the design team to make their own mood boards and then triangulate a master document that everyone kneels before.

© 2018 by  The CD Whisperer. Stuart Wilson. Creative Consultancy. St Albans. England. Contact me: stuwilson@mac.com Tel: +447754712789