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As humans we have an innate ability to look for patterns

Chasing Trends or Obscure Ideas?

Every business positioned for success has at one point or another  taken a look at a set of data. They've extrapolated information, looked for patterns, and made executive decisions to move the business forward. They can sleep tight knowing they've done their due diligence. Or have they?

Where do we stop using statistics to shape creative direction and start using obscure ideas?

As humans we have an innate ability to look for patterns. Whether they are blatantly obvious or pass along our subconscious. Our brains are geared to deal with patterns. When there is a break in pattern ________ we stop and take notice that something was good/pleasant "a diamond in the rough", or something bad, like the note that was missed in an otherwise flawless concerto.

Some may argue that these expectations to the the rule, these anomalies in pattern can be measured and predicted, but to what extent? and in what time frame?

If you choose to simply chase peaks and follow patterns you might be wasting time.

For example: You toiled away looking at all the ingredients that made platform shoes a hit in the 70's. You completed your analysis of key indicators and felt your research was complete, only to take your head out of your project to realize it's 1985 and disco is dead. Although Back to the Future is playing in theaters, we all know you're not hopping into the Delorean with Michael J Fox to retrieve all those years you lost.

So this brings us to the defining moment of any creative direction. At what point do we stop using statistics to shape direction, and start using obscure ideas?

It is only when we break convention do we truly stand out. Whether the ideas is widely accepted or not, it would seem history always rewards the risk taker, but is it really risk? Risk in this capacity is easily managed by steering clear of  what a brand isn't. As long as this is clear, the only risk is being conventional to the point that we look/sound like someone else. The goal is to awaken the target market, while inspiring generations to do more than just that which is widely accepted.

There are countless examples of this in many industries, and I invite you to share your own thoughts on convention and examples when breaking patterns has garnered attention.

Here's how i see it.
"Out of the box" ideas are born in the boardroom. "Enlightened" ideas are born of deep contemplation. "Obscure" ideas arise from obscurity.

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Paul Phillips
Written By

Paul Phillips

Co-founder, Partner and Creative Director at Jackson Wynne @tack_paul