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In Uncategorized

By renee

Creative answers to commercial questions

On 03, Jun 2015 | In Uncategorized | By renee


I’m a rare bird: a creative that loves to take on challenges using the left half of my brain as much as the right. So when the opportunity to attend this year’s C2 Conference in Montreal (who’s tagline reads: Creativity + Commerce,) I knew this was right up my alley. From “Brain Dates” while suspended in the air, to emotional eating experiments: “In Your Mouth,” the Cirque De Solei founded event became the venue for being stretched, challenged and inspired.

Now, as I mentioned, I’m also that left side creative. So amidst the ferris wheel rides and witty antidotes from Alec Baldwin, I was desperate to land the plane. I kept asking myself, how do we ground all of these non-traditional experiences? Luckily, I soon started keying in on all the Social Innovation sessions. Alas, this is where innovation met corporate solutions.

Talking about revenue generated non-profits is not a new thing. However it still works within the traditional model of exploring revenue-generating activities to help support their worthy cause. This is not bad, however by nature, its starting in a reactionary mode. And the revenue has a harder time being tied to the cause.

Social Business, or even better Social Innovation offers the best of both worlds. Its grounded in strategy, (just like most every other creative challenge in business.) Start with a consumer insight, and solve for it with the greater good in mind. Always connecting the two, you create white space in the market. And since this is presumably a distinctive pain point you’re solving for, your product or service will therefore will be unique and desirable. Your Social Business can operate like a businesses yet highly focused on the social purpose in harmony.

Brands that are doing it right? Danone’s venture with Grameen in Bangladesh is a great example. It seeks to solve a problem (malnutrition,) by selling affordable and nutritious yoghourts. Toms “One for One” formula couldn’t be simpler: They sell a pair of shoes, then they give a pair to a child in poverty. The tighter the connection between the product and the social benefit, the easier it is to be profitable.

So all in all, the C2 Conference, while at times felt more like a circus, than a conference, transformed the way this creative thinks about the partnership between innovation and commerce.

C2 – A business conference. Only different.