What does your role entail?
As Creative Director of Creative Leap, my role is to be instrumental in inspiring and guiding the vision of our creative team. I also lead the way in helping our designers find outstanding and effective solutions that delight our clients and surpass their expectations.
As we have a relatively small team, it is really important to recognise the individual personalities, style and skill sets of each designer and ensure that individuals are motivated and focused on delivering exceptional creative solutions.
What do you enjoy most about your role and why?
I really enjoy getting under the skin of a brief to discover the essential business challenge and the critical touch points whereby a brand’s appearance, behaviour or language can create a positive image of a company, product or service.
The variety of clients and projects we work with is endlessly stimulating, with projects ranging from a large international pharmaceutical business that’s looking to align their strategy and harmonise their overall brand visual identity, to launching a new facial aesthetic product to practitioners which resulted in a solution that disrupted the category norms. It’s projects like these that make it worth getting out of bed for!
Most of all I love creating solutions that help turn insights into ideas and actions that drive business and brand performance.
What do you feel the future of the industry looks like? Or What are the top trends for this year?
We’re currently seeing a shift in the world of consumer health and wellness whereby consumers are drifting away from old fashioned notions of what it means to be well. Restrictive diets and punishing fitness regimes are being abandoned by many in favour of more integrated and holistic ways in which to improve both physical and mental health.
Socio-cultural trends such as self-care and body positivity have been championed in different ways by everyone from Unilever to Boots. In turn this has created a demand for brands that convey ‘wellness’ and healthy products that can be enjoyed rather than ones which simply restrict us.
What top tips would you give to clients to ensure they face these challenges appropriately?
Creative Leap in conjunction with 1HQ have developed our Enjoyable Wellness proposition to respond to this trend and there is a growing demand for wellness and enjoyment to not be mutually exclusive concepts. From NBD to brand design, right through to communications, we recommend that clients review their brands in light of changing consumer attitudes and dedicate time and resources to identifying where the opportunities lie and how best to gain advantage. We believe Enjoyable Wellness exists in the lucrative overlap between health/wellness and FMCG with brands in both categories ignoring the opportunities at their peril.
What are you the most proud of in your career/life?
I have been lucky to have had a lot of extremely proud times to look back on but the two things that stand out have to be building a successful business from scratch with my business partner David Gray and enjoying a happy family life.
What is the most important lesson you have learned in your career?
I think that the skill of listening is somewhat underrated as the process provides the information required to make productive decisions for our clients and also demonstrates that we are paying attention to the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of the other person. After all as Epictetus said…
“We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
What song best describes your work ethic?
Eric Idle’s lyrics do it for me:
Always look on the bright side of life…
If life seems jolly rotten,
There’s something you’ve forgotten!
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing,
When you’re feeling in the dumps,
Don’t be silly chumps,
Just purse your lips and whistle — that’s the thing!
And… always look on the bright side of life…
There’s always a bright side!