Great things come to those who wait.
Without fail I am asked to work at 100 miles per hour by clients who have one or another deadline to meet. That isn’t surprising as the cosmetics industry is fashion orientated and therefore seasonally affected (isn’t that a mental disorder????) and fast – Depeche Mode was always a favourite of mine…….
Anyway, the net effect of saying ‘can you please do all that you can to make me a new hair gel by Tuesday week because I have already booked in the packaging crate to take it to Uzbeckistan where I have a contract that is worth several million’ is that nothing will go right.
Here is Uzbeckistan:
And here’s where I like to be just after receiving a new project brief
Thinking, thinking, thinking.
People come to me for help turning their ideas into reality and for help in shaping their ideas into something that can be used, something structured and organised. For a framework. To enable me to create that I first need to find some time and space to forget everything that I have done before – you don’t want Betty’s face wash or Billy’s acne brand you want what you want and that takes some time. Next I have to start thinking like the brand that you told me about in the brief. Who would use that, what would they expect, what would surprise them, what would get them to come back for more? This also takes time. Finally I have to build a framework from which I can work, this is my equivalent of the scaffolding that goes around a building. I need that scaffolding to help me build your formula or branding piece. That also takes time.
Finally I have to test my creation somehow. Now I have enough experience in this industry to know that while a one-three year real-time shelf life plus micro plus packaging stress test would be nice, YOU won’t and can’t wait or pay for that and so I do what I can. However, doing what I can with the resources to hand still takes time.
Lastly I hand it over to you, my customer for your feedback. If you like it great, we may just make your Uzbekistan bound crate but if you don’t then panic sets in, wheels spin and the sky turns a gloomy shade of grey. Not a good place to be when you are asked to go back and be even MORE creative to meet an urgent brief.
Yes I can hear you saying ‘but that’s just business’ and ‘if you don’t like it get another job’ but I disagree. I have seen too many people from companies large and small fall flat on their face after spending a fortune because they just couldn’t wait long enough to get things right. I have also had many a sleepless night after trying to achieve highly creative tasks in next to no time. After much angst I am no longer prepared to play that game. I want to produce great formulations and reports and support amazing brands. Mediocre, hit-and-miss strategies just aren’t my thing.
Here is a little illustration of how creativity is affected by time:
So, while I respect the need for a deadline a deadline is just that, dead without reality so let’s work together to construct something that will bring home the results that the project deserves.