Overcoming Creative Blocks, Keeping Innovation Alive

Scott Hansen has compiled a great list of tips and ideas to break out of the dreaded creative blocks we all encounter at one time or another. 25 different creative professionals all give their take on how to get back into the groove when faced with creative obstructions.

How to Kill Innovation: Keep Asking Questions
Sharing his thoughts in the Harvard Business Review, author Scott Anthony believes that content questioning is the real enemy of innovation. Anthony says that “What About…” questions – the ones which endlessly ponder every possible scenario and variable surrounding an idea or plan are what stops real innovation in its tracks.

And what’s the solution? Action.

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Social Media: Adversaries, Ambassadors

Us vs them is one of the oldest, and most powerful marketing ideas. Apple is a quintessential example: from their beginnings they’ve portrayed themselves as the small guy against the big powerful bully. In 1983 it was IBM and more recently its been Microsoft. The company turns customers into evangelists who are more than happy to spread the word about the good fight, but how exactly does it work?


Starbucks Gets Its Business Brewing Again With Social Media ambassadors
Starbucks posted its first U.S. same-store sales gain in two years for the last quarter during a time when the company relied on digital and social-media promotions instead of what had become an annual TV blitz. The chain partnered with Pandora to sponsor holiday playlists, staged a Facebook sing-a-long and leveraged its partnership with Project RED to drive traffic to a dedicated microsite — and its stores, offering a free CD with a $15 purchase.

Photo Credit: Ivan Marquez

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Brands: Google ousts Coke, BK serves Starbucks, Coronation Street extensions

Google Ousts Coke as World’s Second-Most Valuable Brand
Google has become the world’s second-most valuable brand, just behind Wal-Mart, having ousted Coca-Cola from the No. 2 spot, according to analysts Brand Finance. Google jumped from No. 5 last year to No. 2 in this year’s Brand Finance evaluation.
Coca-Cola lost to Google, falling to the No. 3 spot, in part because the soft drink is not as powerful in developing countries as it used to be, writes Metro. “Coke is on a long term decline unless it can reinvent itself,” David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance, says.Wal-Mart has a brand value of $41.4 billion, followed by Google with $36.2 billion and Coca-Cola with $34.8 billion, writes MediaBuyerPlanner.

By September, Seattle’s Best coffee (owned by Starbucks) will be served at 7,250 Burger King restaurants in the US. (OK so not actually Starbucks, but I had a headline to think about. Well done for makimg it this far down the page). The 100% Arabica bean coffee will replace the current BK Joe offerings, and will range in price from $1 to $2.79 with the option to add vanilla, mocha flavors or whipped toppings. BK’s move recognizes the importance of coffee to restaurant menus of every kind, including fast food’s, particularly in light of McDonald’s McCafe concept. It also signals expansion of the Seattle’s Best brand as one part of Starbucks’ future growth strategy – in light of its advantageous mass appeal. Seattle’s Best also inked a deal this past September with Subway, serving its coffee at 9,000 Subway restaurants in the US and Canada.

Burger King To Partner With Starbucks’ (BKC, SBUX, MCD) (benzinga.com)
Burger King Revamps Coffee, Eyes Menu Rehab (abcnews.go.com)
Seattle’s Best Coffee Coming to Burger King (friendseat.com)
Burger King to team up with Seattle’s Best (money.cnn.com)
Starbucks’ Seattle’s Best Coffee brand partners with Burger King (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Burger King to start offering Seattle’s Best Coffee drinks (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Burger King revamps coffee, eyes menu rehab (sfgate.com)
New Burger King Menu Features Starbucks Coffee, More Breakfast Options (huffingtonpost.com)

Retailers will be stocking Cor onation Street-branded products to mark the 50th anniversary of the ITV soap. From next month, fans will be able to play a Nintendo Wii game featuring their favourite characters. They will also be able to tuck in to Corrie-branded food. Holland’s Pies is launching Betty’s Hot Pots, named after veteran barmaid character Betty Turpin‘s pies, which will be sold in supermarkets.
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Twitter for Agency RFP

After splitting with JWT last year, JetBlue is searching for a new agency of record (AOR). Said VP-Marketing Marty St. George, “We’re pitching our advertising AOR. Curious on digital savvy …first test is how many of the agencies will find me on Twitter.” He also hashtagged it #sneaky. St George – who can be followed at @martysg – is an MIT grad that has been at JetBlue since 2006.
JetBlue’s marketing strategy has relied heavily on the web and social media in the past few years; using Twitter as a customer service tool (with over 1.6 million followers), Flickr to humanize the brand, and YouTube to inform and engage with customers. The airline made Ad Age’s America’s Hottest Brands list in 2009, and is recognized as a progressive marketer.
Maybe Marty is doing this to make a defining gesture about JetBlue and the pitch (good on ‘im) but I personally really don’t see how finding someone on Twitter indicates digital-savvy … I think my longwinded friend Jaffe concurs …

CMO 2.0 Interview with Marty St. George, CMO at JetBlue (socialmediatoday.com)
CMO 2.0 Conversation- How Jet Blue Won The JD Power Award (thecustomercollective.com)

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