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A ravolution in Creative business strategy - Schemetter B.

Schemetter B. A ravolution in Creative business strategy - Wiley & sons , 2003. - 257 p.
ISBN 0-471-22917-2
Download (direct link): leaparevolutionIncreativeb2003.pdf
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Benetton promotes Fabrica as “a way of marrying culture and industry, using communications which no longer rely on the usual forms of advertising, but transmit ‘industrial culture’ and the company’s ‘intelligence’ through other means: design, music, cinema, photography, editorial and Internet.”8 What Benetton has clearly realized is that branding is no longer about communications strategy. It is about business strategy. And while Fabrica may be innovative, it is also deeply consistent with the company’s heritage of innovation, particularly in addressing important social and political issues and refusing to rein in creative talent. In a media interview, Toscani talks about the importance of giving strategic freedom to creatives: “Agencies get huge budgets, but the money is wasted because strategies are decided upon by managers, economists, focus groups—not the artists. In the past, patrons had the sense to tell Michelangelo what they wanted and to let him decide how to do it, but it does not work that way anymore” (see Note 8).
Benetton found itself mired in controversy when its 2000 ad campaign featured death row inmates from the United States. The media debacle included a lawsuit from the state of Missouri and the loss of a new deal with Sears, Roebuck and Co. The controversy may or may not have caused Toscani to leave Benetton, but it did not stop the company from keeping creativity at the heart of business strategy. With the departure of Toscani, Benetton put its communications strategy into the hands of his creative legacy, Fabrica.
In a June 2001 interview, Luciano Benetton spoke about his company’s close working relationships with advertising talent: “Since its beginning, the company has had just two relationships regarding advertising, first with a local advertising agency for 18 years. Then we
The Creative Business Idea Awards
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had a relationship with Oliviero Toscani for 18 years. So we are quite faithful. Now we have invested in Fabrica, and we hope this will be useful for more than 18 years.”9 Luciano Benetton has invested in creating an environment in which singers and dancers can flourish. Which makes him, in my view, a very smart CEO.
For me, Benetton reinforces so many of the same lessons to be learned from MCI. Create a culture that invites and rewards creativity. Empower employees to take the initiative and pursue new ideas. Give people autonomy and, as a result, a sense of worth.
Before You Leap:
• To communicate a brand’s DNA, go beyond traditional communication vehicles and use other strategic weapons—design, music, cinema, photography, editorial, the Internet, whatever it takes.What Benetton has done, particularly evidenced in its store in Bologna, is to create a brilliant and innovative brand experience. In the future, for every brand, that will not be an option. It will be an imperative. (More on that later.)
• The other wildly innovative initiative, in my mind, is Benetton’s communication research and development center, Fabrica.Virtually every corporation has centers devoted to research and development and coming up with new products.Why is it that more companies do not have R&D centers devoted to communication? Perhaps an idea worth borrowing.
The Creative Business Idea Awards
My experiences with MCI taught me not just about the value of fostering a culture in which creativity can flourish, but also about the importance of rewarding people for their ideas. And did MCI ever reward! I saw firsthand the kind of spirit that is ignited with that sort of recognition and reward; it is something you cannot buy at any price.
It was shortly after the 100-Day Meeting in which we christened our new way of thinking “Creative Business Ideas,” that I decided it was time to institute a similar reward mechanism within our network.
Even before we had formally adopted the CBI name, I had talked extensively both inside and outside the network about the
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The Creative Corporate Culture
need for a revolution in creativity. I used examples of numerous companies (some clients, some not) to communicate the concept. These were teaching stories—a dramatic, shorthand way to signal to my colleagues my belief that branding is no longer about communication strategy, it is about business strategy, that as a young network we had the opportunity to redefine what creativity means in our new age. In communication after communication, my message was that we have to help our clients build their businesses in new and creative ways.
In June 2000, I introduced the concept of CBIs at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes. I also decided it was time to integrate the concept formally into our agency offices around the world. If Euro RSCG Worldwide really believes that our industry should be valuing creativity based not on reels of work but on the brilliance of Creative Business Ideas, then we should lead by example—by rewarding that kind of high-level creative and strategic thinking within our own organization.
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