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Posted by Vlad Glavenau at 12:29 - 0 Comments

We live in an age of contradictory messages regarding creativity. On the one hand, (Western) society as a whole is promoting, through education and media, a view that everyone is creative, or at least has the potential to act creatively. On the other hand, (high) creativity is considered to require effort, talent, special mental abilities, a kind of 'gift' some are generously endowed with while others can only struggle to 'receive' (or give?). Despite being exposed to such contradictory messages, one thing is clear for all - employers, educators, parents, your friends and colleagues perhaps - and that is: being creative is one of the highest, most valuable qualities to have in today's world. You need only to open the TV or read a newspaper (focus on job ads) to realise this.

Posted by Judy Bayer and Marie Taillard - @marietaillard at 14:51 - 0 Comments

Dr. Marie Taillard, Director of the Creativity Marketing Centre at ESCP Europe Business School, and Judy Bayer, Director Strategic Analytics for Teradata International, recently published a blog on the Harvard Business Review suggesting that bringing together team members from different functions into an analytics team can boost performance.

Posted by Chris Halliburton - @challibu at 12:01 - 0 Comments

Three 'received wisdoms':

We can't all be Picasso - well of course we can't - creativity skills are not evenly distributed (the age old 'born or made' question). However, we can all get better at creativity and it's not only a few geniuses who get access to the Muse - even knowing that may help to free up ideas and release the unconscious. Maybe release from triple espressos, email tyranny and smartphone addiction could help - some of the apparently idiosyncratic behaviour of advertising agency Creatives, (at least to the 'management' and sometimes the client) illustrates this point.

Posted by Ben Voyer at 11:28 - 0 Comments
At the CMC, we think that consumer creativity accounts for a lot of the (perceived) value that consumers experience in the act of consumption. We believe that much of the act of consumption occurs through creative processes. But one of the questions that many find challenging is: ‘what exactly is consumer creativity’? Is consumer creativity simply about the many ways in which individuals consume goods? Oreo cookies, for instance, can certainly be consumed in many different and creative ways. Or is consumer creativity something even broader, that includes the integration of the many associations we have with the brand (e.g. childhood memories of eating Oreo cookies…), or multiple encounters with brands (through advertising, product placement, etc) with our own life experience. I would argue here in favour of a broad understanding of consumer creativity, as a process of integrating our current experience of consumption with a set of associated and related memories, perceptions and emotions involving brand-related and product-related experiences. In other words, consumers re-interpret the value proposition while consuming the goods they purchase, and integrate it with the brand eco-system and their previous experience.
Posted by Laura Hayes, MMK student at 10:46 - 0 Comments

A series of recent events, aptly entitled the 'Swap Shop' series, gave my fellow MSc in Marketing and Creativity students and I a chance to hear our colleagues discuss their previous work experience. These events (of which this was the second) have made for a thoroughly engaging six hours in total. Four classmates discussed their wonderfully diverse experience, skill sets and prior roles in the most recent Swap Shop.

One classmate had spent time on an intricate part of the marketing strategy for a bullet-proof fashion label in Colombia, and shared a fascinating overview of his work. It was interesting to see how this company continuously responded to its market and customer base. The company didn't reinvent the wheel, but came to an existing market with an innovative attitude and a fast response to consumer need as its competitive advantage.

Posted by Vlad Glaveanu at 11:07 - 0 Comments
It is exasperatingly common to hear the ‘thinking outside the box’ remark in relation to creativity. This is so not because challenging ‘boxed’ thinking is not very useful in itself, but because those who utter this phrase rarely reflect on its meaning and implications. Paradoxically, on many occasions, being invited to think outside the box ends up creating a new box. This is the ‘creativity box’, built to separate creative expression from other types of thought and behaviour. It is a widespread belief among both researchers and lay people that creativity as a personal quality, as a certain kind of problem solving, is different from the stuff of everyday life. When we make breakfast, when we take the same way to school or to work, when we watch TV and do the laundry we are presumably very much inside the usual box of routines or habits. We don’t create new objects, ideas or actions because we are too busy repeating the same kind of activity we got used to in the most efficient manner possible. We rarely think actually in these circumstances. We ‘consume’ products, ideas, ways of doing things without bringing anything new, personal, worth of being seen and appreciated by others.
Posted by Marie Taillard - @marietaillard at 10:53 - 0 Comments
Several of us at the Creativity Marketing Centre have been working around the idea of Brand Ecosystems for some time now. The notion of ecosystem has been around the marketing and strategy fields for some time, but never sufficiently explored. The age of co-creation, crowdsourcing, communities and C2C challenges brands to think beyond the natural boundaries of the firm and its traditional value chain and makes it more urgent for this idea that many different types of people contribute to creating value, to be fully fleshed out and turned into a productive framework for managers to exploit.
Posted by Ben Voyer at 12:59 - 0 Comments
Has the good old questionnaire had its days? Research is increasingly relying on new technologies to improve our understanding of the marketplace. In quantitative research, one of the most interesting fields of research of the last twenty years is undoubtedly the Implicit Attitude Test (IAT). The implicit attitude test addresses one of the main weaknesses of traditional self-reported attitudes (e.g. ‘how do you feel about Brand X?’): the fact that these attitudes can be ‘tainted’ by social desirability (i.e. the propensity that we all have to a certain extent to conform to normative opinions). Say for instance that you want to study the implicit attitudes (i.e. hidden preferences) that affect two car brands: Mercedes and Opel. What the implicit attitude test allows you to do is to see how fast consumers can categorise words or images that relate to Mercedes (vs Opel) with a list of good (vs bad) words or images. In other words, the implicit attitude test relies on response time to uncover the hidden biases that affect consumer preferences. If an association makes sense to a consumer (e.g. Mercedes & good) it will take him / her less time to categorise words or images referring to Mercedes (e.g. Class C, Mercedes logo…) in the same category as positive words (good, pleasant, joy…), compared with negative ones (e.g. bad, unpleasant, sad…). The technique can be used to compare two categories / brands (e.g. Mercedes vs Opel) or simply to measure implicit attitudes towards one product (see the ‘personlised IAT’), and is easily administered on a computer or over the Internet.
Posted by Minas Kastanakis at 10:37 - 1 Comments
This week, my colleagues and I hosted the Distinguished Chair of Business Administration, Professor of Marketing Charles Ingene of School of Business Administration, The University of Mississippi, USA. Chuck and I have a long standing relationship and, dare I say, friendship. We met for the first time at the Academy of Marketing Science 2010 Conference in Portland, Oregon and started to exchange views on some topics we both work on - albeit from different perspectives. He has helped me reviewing some of my papers and has always been giving top-notch advice; he is a thorough and generous mentor. Chuck has published extensively in all the top marketing journals (JM, JMR, JR, JAMS, MS, HBR) and has written some of the most influential - ever - papers in the area of Retailing. He has been the Editor of the Journal of Retailing and is currently at the editorial board of several top journals.
Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer at 16:18 - 1 Comments
This week, my colleagues and I host associate professor Kristine de Valck of HEC Paris, France. Kristine has a long-lasting relationship with ESCP Europe. Luca Visconti and she go way back and she knew Ben Voyer already when he was still a PhD student. Kristine and I bonded over a lunch of dry chicken at the European Marketing Academy Conference in Nantes, France in 2009. Kristine has written some influential papers on marketing, such as one in the Journal of Marketing in 2010 on networked narratives and the tension bloggers feel when they are faced with the question of whether they would discuss a product experience on their blog or rather avoid looking commercial.
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