In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore explores the giant gap between the early adopters of anything new, and the ‘pragmatists’ – those in the majority that are more skeptical, average, and risk-averse. When you consider the creative individuals and teams that develop new ideas, it is easier to understand why there is so little focus on the masses.
Creatives love focusing on what fellow open-minded early-adopting visionaries value. This is especially true in the advertising world, where many of the award winning advertising concepts fail to achieve their commercial objectives. After all, the judges for awards are not average consumers from middle America but rather creative professionals themselves – true visionaries. Some companies, in search of effective advertising campaigns, avoid working with award-winning firms in favor of more grounded, commercially focused firms.
When we conceive new ideas and execute them, we must assume a pragmatic lens that grounds our expectations, tastes, and perceptions. The most productive creative professionals and teams in the world have found strategies to avoid falling in the chasm!
Ground with diversity.
Engaging a few cynical, risk-averse advisors or members of a team will add a valuable chemistry to the creative process that may reduce ‘idea intoxication.’ You need to work with people that ask the difficult, practical questions that are frustrating but important when pushing ideas forward.
Ask your Mom.
Does the average person see what you see? Can the average person understand the value proposition that you are offering with your new idea?
Add a week of skepticism between idea & action.
With a pause between idea and action, the energy in a creative process will either die or thrive. Of course, if you jump on an idea right away, you may capture energy that would otherwise disappear as an idea evolves. In such cases, creative teams pursue half-baked ideas that may yield poor performing outcomes. Instead, create a sacred space for an idea to stand the test of time. After one week, you may realize that an idea has no legs.