What does Creativity mean to customers?

It was 10 years ago that Lord Puttnam as Chair of the DMA Awards, said: ‘Look into the toolbox for rebuilding Britain – creativity is the only tool we have left.’

If you’re an avid reader of AAR’s articles, and why wouldn’t you be, you’ll notice that this is a bit of a recurring theme; that businesses of all types need to apply a good dollop of creativity to power future growth.

I’ve been privileged to sit on the DMA’s Creative Committee since it was created three years ago. Our purpose is ‘to inspire all communities with the real value of creative thinking’.

For 2020 we wanted to commission some research that would not only give us a fresh perspective on creativity but also provide marketers with some rich insights.

Our decision was to ask how real people think about creativity, how they address it and the importance it has in their everyday lives.

We teamed up with the Foresight Factory who had done some work in this area having identified that 51% of UK consumers felt the need to be more creative in order to fulfil themselves. In fact, the need for creativity is felt more widely than the need to own more things (27%), to be involved in community (31%) or the need for more excitement (47%).

While creativity is clearly a key route to self-expression for many consumers, understanding precisely what creativity means to consumers in 2020 was what the study set out to explore. We quickly learned that it is in a constant state of flux driven as much by the environment we happen to be in at any given time as much as our own inner desires.

We focused on those consumers who identify themselves as creative (“I like being creative”) which allowed us to identify the trends within Foresight Factory’s data that they engage with the most.

We were able to build a framework of trends and uncover four strategic themes we believe brands can use to better engage with these creative consumers.

The four engagement themes that emerged from the trends we identified as important to creative consumers are:

  • Collaboration
  • Experience
  • Authenticity
  • Personalisation

The full DMA report can be found here and goes on to explore each of these themes, explaining some of the trends with real-life examples of how brands are using consumers’ passion for creativity to engage them.