In many industries (especially the communications industry), it is important that left-brainers (you business-minded sort) and right-brainers (us creative ilk) can communicate our thoughts and ideas efficiently and effectively. It’s often difficult for a right-brainer to grasp complex business concepts, as well as for a left-brainer to understand the importance of creativity and aesthetics. So how do we bring the two hemispheres of the communicating brains together? A few logical foundation blocks must be laid before that chasm can be closed and the relationship between a client and a creative can move forward.

1) Trust the source – The client/creative relationship must be founded on trust; each one knowing, without a doubt, that the other is good at what they do.

Contrary to popular belief, a creative’s job is not merely to make something look, sound, feel (whatever) pretty. A creative’s skills lie in the ability to merge style and aesthetics with functionality and ease-of-use, all while fitting within the client’s standards (brand guidelines, etc.). This is not always an easy task.

And the creative needs to understand that the client’s product/service is based in systematic, logical thought (we hope). The client spends considerable amounts of time researching, testing, revising, applying, and revising the revisions to structure the best product or service possible.

Without trust in each other’s abilities, the project is destined to fail; and both left-brainer and right-brainer will be frustrated and disappointed. (Didn’t my mother-in-law say that once?)

2) Map out the project (together) – Many a vacation has failed due to a stubborn father that refuses to bring along a map. (Or is that just my family?) Without an agreed upon strategy, a map, a plan, the venture will quickly get off-course and eventually lost. The client and the creative both need to do their due-diligence before setting forth on any project.

Of course, building a map on TRUE Branding will help plan out a lot of the client’s needs; but in any case, there should be an idea of a target market. There should be an idea of competitors and their approach. Is your plan unique? Ask each other what are the desired results from this project? What are the budgetary expectations (both from the client AND the creative)?

Once a mapped out course-of-action is in place, a lot of the questions will have been covered. The client will have an understood list of executable tasks and the creative will have a wire frame on which ideas and concepting can be “fleshed-out.” Everyone will have his or her assignments and the project will be moving forward smoothly.

3) Listen, then talk – Talk is cheap, but communication is priceless. The client/creative relationship built with open lines of communication is less prone to roadblocks and misunderstanding.

If a creative starts rambling off a litany of terms that don’t make sense to you, stop them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out what something means. After all, they are working for you. If efforts are made to openly communicate ideas throughout the process, the result will be a more comprehensive and successful project.

At the same time, it becomes the client’s responsibly to clearly and efficiently communicate their wants, needs, and ideas to the creative. Often times this is like watching Telemundo and not knowing a lick of Spanish. But with that, a good creative will have the ability to translate what a client is wanting or saying – even if said client isn’t communicating it properly (e.g. “We want a {insert marketing vehicle here} that really “pops!”)

So, left-brainer and right-brainer alike, talk less and listen more. With that, you may hear what the other is saying.

If a “happy client” or “happy creative” is something you’d like to be, it is important to remember these three key terms… trust, organization, and communication. Remember them and maybe your brain won’t hurt so much.

Until next time –

Keep Cooking!