Some decades ago the original marketing guru Ted Levitt wrote a
seminal article entitled "Marketing success through differentiation
- of anything". Since then differentiation is seen to be central to
both strategy and to marketing - the key question is
how to differentiate, as there are a myriad ways
to do so.
I would contend that creativity is at the heart of this question
and that this applies to all businesses - do you agree?
There are some who would not agree - creativity, they would
argue, applies largely to the more obviously 'creative' industries
- to the Arts; to Fashion; to Luxury brands. Or, it applies largely
to certain functions within any business - to R&D or to
'Innovation' teams; to marketing (rather than say manufacturing or
operations); to marketing or communication agencies - but where is
the 'Learning Organisation' within this view?; what about
successful organisations that have tapped the knowledge and
creativity of all of its people? Sure, there are the brilliant
copywriters, just as there are brilliant artists, composers or
authors - it takes true talent with words to come up with a
long-lasting tagline but surely this is not the sole measure of
Singapore Airlines has been highly creative in differentiating
itself over the years in lots of different ways - it started out as
a State owned tiny airline with propeller planes up against the
jets of the giant American airlines but has shifted its
differentiation through its people ('Singapore Girl'), its image,
its service levels, its added services (in-flight and on the
ground), its fleet, its operating system, etc - creativity at work
with admirable financial results compared to others?
My favourite example is the cement/construction brand Cemex. Who
would believe that it is possible to brand cement? - even Jeff
Bezos said that he would like to position Amazon to sell anything,
except concrete and yet Cemex has done it.
Starting in Mexico they are now a leading global player, and one of
the most profitable, by using strong branding, a transnational
strategy and a highly creative approach to their values, their
organisation and to their marketing.
Can I rest my case................?