In creative problem solving, industry specialists can be more of a hindrance than a help.


When we begin working with a new client, one of our first steps is category research. 

We dive into the eco system of their competitive space. We focus on who the leaders are and what they’re doing that’s worked for them. We study emerging trends and see how they can apply to our client’s challenges.

This process is far from unique to us. Actually, we assume that just about everyone else does this, too.

Category research is important. It's mandatory, but it's not where the heavy lifting takes place. If we believed it was, we’d end up creating advertising that looked and sounded just like every other advertisement in the rest of the category.  

Grilling season is upon us. Actually, I need to buy one myself. Ads are beginning to remind me that I need one. They’re timely, so they’ve gotten that part right, but in all of these advertisements there isn’t one reason I’ve been given to buy a particular brand of grill, and that’s where these ads have failed. Each message I see continues to remind me of the need. 

I can see the sun. I can see the snow melting. I know it’s March. I know there’s a need, and at some point in the next month, I’m going to buy one.

It begs the question, who’s grill will their advertisement end up selling me?

If you want your brand to stay with people, I suggest that you say something about it that no one else can. That kind of creative problem requires research into the brand, and only the brand.

Ivory Soap floats. It has many other qualities, but it’s the one that floats. Because such a unique truth was uncovered, we knew what to think of Ivory Soap for. 

Would a specialist land on such a memorable solution?