The ingenuity challenge: Creative disruption in marketing fails with failure, and success

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Steve Olenski observes in The Single Trait That Can Build (Or Kill) Your Brand that ingenuity — the ability to create and implement new ideas, approaches and models to your marketing — becomes hard to maintain, either because of its success, or failure.

If you succeed with an ingenious idea, concept or approach, you’ll tend to want to stay in your comfort zone and maintain yourself.  He cites the video from David Brier at the head of this post, who observes that brands stop being ingenious for a number of reasons including:

• Endless refinement

• Lack of organization

• Too many cooks

“At some point, it’s a threshold of tolerating only so much push back to pull something off,” says Brier. “A select few have the tolerance and thick skin to push through whereas the majority gives up.”

The challenge on the other side — failure — relates to fear. You try something new, it doesn’t work and then you back off from further risk taking.

Alas, so much of what passes for “marketing” in the architectural, engineering and construction community lacks ingenuity.  The exceptions are refreshing, such as the Wichita-based Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC),’s recruitment video “Come Work At PEC!”, which I helped judge as the “Best of the Show” in the annual Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) marketing communications awards. The video caught just the right level of irreverence, practical messaging, and appeal to its intended audience — young engineers and engineering graduates.

Next post, I’ll explore some approaches to achieving ingenuity in your marketing.

Your comments on this post are welcome, or you can email buckshon@constructionmarketingideas.com.

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