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Get Busy Creating

By: Bill Winchester

There’s a saying from the movie The Shawshank Redemption: “Get busy living or get busy dying.” It could be applied to business as well.

Accelerated growth, or “get busy living” is the thing that virtually every business should strive for if they want to survive. Now, the saying for business might be “Get busy creating.”

CEOs, CMOs, agencies and creative people have been thirsting for something that smacks of a basic and irrefutable truth. Something that says, if we do this, success will follow. Well, here it is and I know it will have creative people (if they read the research, which admittedly, has a low statistical probability) jumping up and down.

It should also have CMOs and CEOs jumping up and down (which also has a low statistical probability).

I know you’re busy because you have Wall Street gnawing at your ass, so I’ll save you some reading time and give you a quick synopsis: Creativity matters.

Creativity Matters

Yes, you heard it right. If you want to drive organic revenue growth, total return to shareholders and net enterprise value, (get busy living) a good “creativity score” predicts accelerated brand growth.

This is according to a newer study over 16 years done by McKinsey, and backed up by an earlier study The Long and Short of It, done by Les Binet and Peter Field, which states one of the single biggest predictors of brand success is the fame of your communications and creativity creates famous campaigns.

Normally, the mention of McKinsey elicits a not-so-subtle eye-roll from creative types, but this made my head snap around and my eyes bug out—and it should do the same for anyone in the business of creating brand success.

Creativity Breeds Financial Results

For those who don’t want to read the research, WARC’s Stephen Whiteside sums it up well:

“Companies that excel in matters of creativity outperform their rivals in terms of financial results and consistent innovation.”

 

It makes sense that Binet and Field equate the effect of creativity to fame and McKinsey equates it to success. Famous campaigns are more effective at lifting brands. And the McKinsey study goes further and states that corporate cultures that embrace the power of creativity not only have campaigns that get noticed and remembered and thus create fame for the brand, they likely have cultures that embrace creative thinking. They use data more creatively, they are more likely to innovate.

“…When you look at the disparity between companies that have high scores versus their peers, particularly if you look at those at the bottom, the disparity is actually quite large in terms of the economic performance of those who are high creative performers versus lower creative performers” –Jason Heller, Partner/Global Lead Digital Marketing Operations & Technology, McKinsey & Co.

Finally, here’s a definitive indicator that shows a metric for accelerated growth. A way for brands to get busy living. This means is creativity, the ability to think differently, to see problems differently and to exercise your right brain are assets that shouldn’t be ignored if you want to stay alive in the marketplace. It means that creativity absolutely must pervade everything from strategy to analytics to your advertising campaigns. At LSB it’s been a tenet of our thinking for as long as we can remember.

Finally, we have evidence.

See the McKinsey & Co. study here.

Bill Winchester

PRESIDENT & CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER

A longtime advertising creative vet, Bill’s work has been recognized by Cannes, Clios, the 4A’s O’Toole award, the One Show, Communication Arts and Effies. He's worked with clients ranging from food, to engines, to health care and looks forward to new challenges ahead. He admits to loving cycling and hockey, but hates beets and ventriloquist dummies.

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Advertising, Creativity

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