Don't Give Them What They Want

Don't Give Them What They Want

A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. —Steve Jobs

Apparently, he didn’t pay too much attention to customer research.

Often, you have to disregard the client’s initial ideas and just go for gold. So, it’s risky, it’s only for the bold. If you give the client exactly what they want, they might actually get something terrible.

This happens a lot in Marketing.

“Hey, I want this big sign and I want all this information on it. I want it to be amazing, and I want it to be out-of-the-box creative."

People appreciate clever things, but it’s often risky. It’s easy for us not to want to risk but just state the obvious.

Here’s a production example...

We made a production for Seed Co. When they first saw it they hated it. In fact, they were so annoyed. We’ve never done anything like this before, it’s so different! Then when they showed it to their board, people were crying and they loved it. And we suddenly became their heroes.

They didn’t know what they wanted. We had to lead them to it. And actually show it to them.

What about if you went to a fine restaurant for a night on the town. After ordering, you then follow the waiter into the kitchen and try to oversee the chef’s dish. What is wrong with you? You came to the restaurant to experience a great chef and a great meal!

The same should be true for creativity and marketing.

Companies, CEOs, Managers, all admit that if you don’t know what you want it’ll make you stronger. If you have creative guys you trust, then trust them. Don’t micro-manage. Give guidelines and a few rules but then let them do their thing. If they may make a mistake, so what?

Amazing things have come out of mistakes: penicillin, fireworks, and even Slinky toys.

If you’re a Creative, risk it! Remember they don’t know what they want, so it’s not really your job to give them what they want.

Your job is to give them something that's remarkable.

(photo via philippe put)