Chris Baréz-Brown on Upping Your Elvis

01 Apr 2011|Added Value

Chris Baréz-Brown

Creativity…is there a more ambiguous word in the English language? Sadly, it seems that for many it’s a word that we feel simply “doesn’t apply to me” and belongs in the realm of graphic design, advertising and the arts.

But getting people to think differently about their own creativity and possibility is key to any business that trades on its ideas, innovation and inspiration. And according to Innovation guru, Chris Baréz-Brown, who dropped into Added Value UK’s offices – it’s all about “Upping your Elvis!”

Yep, that’s right; Elvis! The boy who shone so brightly and believed in his own possibility so strongly that he was able to break out of 1950’s Mississippi and win the hearts of millions of fans – long before Youtube or Twitter came along.

Chris’s philosophy is deceptively simple: less process, tools and techniques- more magic, inspiration and energy. Ask yourself; where do you have your best ideas? The shower? Jogging in the park? Or maybe even sipping a few sneaky cocktails?

What I’m willing to bet is that ‘sitting at your desk in front of your computer’ didn’t register highly on your list. One of the main reasons for this is that in this environment you are unlikely to be immersing yourself on a daily basis with new and exciting stimulus.

According to Chris, the key is allowing your subconscious to get in on the thinking action and this requires a relaxed state rather than an analytical one. It worked for Issac Newton (sitting under an apple tree), it worked for Archimedes (getting into his bath) and I’m sure you can create the right environment for it to work for you too.

So, now you’ve cracked your challenge and you have come up with that killer idea that is going to completely wow your client – congratulations! This is an idea that excites you, inspires you and you just can’t wait to tell everyone. A common misconception is that the hard work is now over. But nothing could be further from the truth; because if you can’t get your client as excited and inspired as you are then you are going to sell your idea short.

Chris’s philosophy is; ‘make it real’. It seems obvious when you think about it but; if international Master Chef Gordon Ramsey told you that he had a fantastic new dish that you simply had to experience to believe, would you expect him to email you the recipe in a PowerPoint deck or would you expect to be sat in his restaurant, served the food and encouraged to taste the real thing?

The brands that recognise the importance of creating an experience have the easiest job of selling. Every time Apple launch a new product, Steve Jobs is up on stage interacting with the technology, taking the audience on a journey rather than a sales spiel.

Creative expression is key when it comes conveying your ideas. Allowing clients to experience, touch and realise the consequence of making the idea a reality can often be the difference between a positive response and a negative one. The principle applies to any business who trade in that golden currency of inspirational thinking and innovation; make it real!

To summarise, Chris’s philosophy on Upping Your Elvis is to ‘break routines’, ‘don’t constantly look to the past for inspiration’ and your future will be a brighter, more inspiring and ultimately rewarding one – leaving your clients; “all shook up!”

Written by Alistair Downs, Added Value UK

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