How To Think Like a Creative (Even if You’re Not)

  •    CEO and Co-Founder of Brand Genie, an online platform for women entrepreneurs.

Before launching Brand Genie, I ran a branding agency for 12 years. One of the greatest challenges I faced was helping company executives talk about their brand from an emotional perspective and articulate who they wanted to be on a creative level. Many of these executives hadn’t exercised their creative muscles since art class in elementary school. So I developed a series of exercises to get these executives out of their heads – and into their hearts.

Imagine your brand as a texture.

Close your eyes and think of your brand as a texture. Really feel that texture in your mind. Would it be soft as a feather? Sleek as steel? Plush as red velvet? Or slightly rough as hand-hewn wood?

Imagine your brand as a body of water.

Now think of different bodies of water. Would your brand be a burbling creek that skips over rocks? A fishing hole with grassy banks? A crystal clear lake that sparkles in the sun? Or a powerful wave that roars to the shore?

Imagine your brand as an animal.

Time to venture into the wild. Think of animals you’ve seen in zoos or in documentaries. Or remember some favorite pets. Would your brand be bouncy and athletic like a kangaroo? Refined and elegant like a swan? Lovable and loyal like a Golden Retriever? Or fierce and noble like a lion?

Imagine your brand as a shirt.

They say that clothes make the person. How about the brand? Again, close your eyes, and imagine your brand as a shirt. Would it be a professional button-down oxford shirt? A willowy cotton blouse with paisley patterns? An outdoorsy plaid flannel shirt? Or a favorite old t-shirt?

Imagine your brand as a chair.

We decorate our homes with carefully chosen chairs. Brands deserve the same attention. Would your brand be a royal throne bejeweled with diamonds? A classic ladder back chair? A soft and cushy armchair? A let’s-get-down-to-business swivel chair? Or a plain and simple bench with room for two?

Now open your eyes. Record your findings. And put your creative wisdom to work. By taking the time to delve into your brand from entirely different angles you’ll gain rich insights into how to stand out in the marketplace in a powerful and evocative way.

So think like a creative. Even if you think that you’re not. You’ll then be on your way to building a full-sensory, creative brand that leaps out in the world.