In any and all professions, creativity is used in a variety of ways, from innovative problem-solving to creating artistic works. Creativity is often viewed as a talent, rather than as a skill, because it’s not something you can simply learn from a book or gain from a conversation. Many people believe that creativity is something you simply have or you don’t have…and that is absolute baloney (mic drop). The same way we train for public speaking or to improve our memory, we must put forth effort towards growing our capacity for creativity relative to marketing strategy. After all, creativity is not solely an innate personality trait—it also comes through practice.
Practice makes perfect, as they say, but what are the steps to practicing an intangible skill like creativity? Everyone has a different formula for exercising their creativity “muscle,” but here’s a quick list of different ways you can get started finding your own best approach:
Tips for Enhancing Your Creativity
Step outside of your box
Getting out of one’s comfort zone is not for the faint of heart. Brené Brown defines the comfort zone as a place where:
“…our uncertainty, scarcity and vulnerability are minimized — where we believe we’ll have access to enough love, food, talent, time, admiration. Where we feel we have some control.” [link]
Reaching out of this bubble sounds a little like getting out of bed in the morning. Why should you get out of such a warm, soft bed? Is it really necessary…? Ultimately, yes. You end up exploring new things and making the most of the day, even if it was an uncomfortable action at first.
In regards to marketing, it’s impossible to stay up-to-date and grow your skills while also remaining in the same known, comfortable spot. You need to keep stepping out of your box to stay ahead of the game and ahead of the competition. So, to spark your creativity, get out of your comfort zone. Below are a few ways to try:
- Seek out new perspectives on everything and anything.
- Do a task in a new way.
- Get intentionally lost and discover new parts of where you live.
- Create a new habit and stick to it.
- Inhibit your logic force and perform an act you define as creative.
Easy right? However, these are only a few examples: you can cater each to your own lifestyle, and there are infinite ways for you to practice creativity. An important note from the New York Times that we agree with: “If you’re too comfortable, you’re not productive. And if you’re too uncomfortable, you’re not productive. Like Goldilocks, we can’t be too hot or too cold.” So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there…but don’t go quite so far that you lose sight of the goal at hand.
Keep asking those important questions
Curiosity is a big part of creativity. It’s seeking the unknown that draws us away from our usual comfortable status quo and lets us discover new things and grow from them. Asking questions and keeping an open mind allows this—and your only limit is your imagination!
As marketers, this should make sense given that much of our prowess relies on mixing and matching—and finding the connections between—subjects that can be seemingly unrelated. Take mandarins, for example. At first thought, they may not have much to do with Fathers Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, etc. However, as fresh produce marketers, part of our work involves creating stories that show consumers how our products can fit into their lives, whether everyday moments or these special holidays. We create storylines, make interpretations, and layer on the puns, all for the sake of interconnection—and all that takes is a little creativity and a lot of passion.
Overall, remember that your creativity is like a muscle and start working to train it like one. Your creative capacity needs to be developed, stretched, and exercised, and it’s vital for many activities and professions—especially one like fresh produce marketing!
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