Years ago, when we first started learning about the fundamentals of marketing and we were struggling with a concept, everyone was suggested to follow “just think outside the box.”
Others have said it to us as well since then, and you’ll surely agree that it is a widely used phrase. Nowadays, even though we are not that active in terms of graphic design, this phrase still stuck with me.
Although, we came to realize something…
That’s never the case. Thinking outside the box works ONLY when you live in a utopia without boxes.
Only when you live in a universe different than ours, filled with blank canvases.
Unfortunately, nowadays there are no blank canvases, and originality is a difficult thing to come across.
Useless = Think Outside The Box
Thinking outside the box means that you’re ignoring that the box exists. But it does.
Boxes, or structures if you like, are everywhere nowadays. Every industry has its structures and ways of communicating with its audiences.
Whether it’s an image, a piece of written content, a marketing strategy, or anything that requires thinking at all, it has some sort of structure and/or “rules.”
Everything we create is based on previous structures that are being upgraded to an improved version of our current one. There’s little to no chance that our thinking outside the box will succeed.
So what do we do?
Think differently within the box!
Useful = Think Differently Within The Box
Have in mind that every industry, every audience, and every possible thing you could target in this world has a structure and an established workflow.
This does not necessarily mean that you can’t take the structure and play with it, adjust it, or improve it.
It means that to be able to engage with the audience of the industry you aim for, you should be familiar with what they are expecting to hear, see, read, and experience.
You need to know the laws for you to be able to bend them.
Every industry, every subject, and pretty much everything in this world, has its principles.
Expecting to be all-in with just creativity and a “thinking outside the box” attitude, will get you into more dead ends than you can even imagine.
Do your competitors’ research, find what interests your audience, identify your goals, find the most creative/successful examples, and then create your content within those walls.
The big “scary” BOX!
When you identify those four walls that supposedly “limit” your freedom, then use what you’ve learned. Alongside your creativity create something not necessarily unique but most importantly noteworthy.
Unique is good. But it can also be harmful to your creativity.
That is why you need to think inside the box. But think just a tiny bit different than others stuck inside that box with you.
Currently, we mainly create digital marketing strategies and coordinate them.
Having to think outside the box puts us in the struggle of a “blank canvas.”
I can create whatever we want to with a blank canvas. But then again will it work? Will it be able to serve the purpose we intended it to? Will we be able to execute and implement it as successfully as expected?
In other words, a shot in the dark.
On the other hand, when we create a Digital Marketing strategy we aim for it to be as efficient and as creative as possible, based on what I’ve learned from my four walls: Research, Audience, Examples, and Goals.
And then we end up with my strategies having at their core this “big bad box.” This way, 9 out of 10 times we end up creating a head-turning monster that aims to throw my competitors outside of the Box.
I’ve seen this work in various industries, and in various fields, not only in marketing.
Graphic design, concept art, video production, business coordination plans, business development strategies, sales pitch, and the list goes on and on.
Don’t waste time trying to be unique.
Instead, spend time making your creation matter, well researched, backed up by facts, and most importantly, engaging.
And, that is exactly where we come in!
Let’s have an e-coffee! Wondering what’s that? Click here to find out!
So What’s The Juice In The Box?
In essence, you should always consider who you are targeting and be very thorough in researching “why others did not think out of the box.”
I am in no way implying that you shouldn’t try to be as creative as possible in whatever you do. What we are trying to say is that you should be very careful when trying to be creative.
There is a fine line between being creative, and missing the point.
It is challenging to create something noteworthy and different within the box, and that’s the beauty of it!
And sometimes this can be an obstacle for some. So they will throw a generic phrase to your face, like: “think outside the box.”
But don’t give up. You’ll eventually get it right if you work hard enough.
Keep identifying your goals.
Keep figuring out your audience.
Keep learning from the best out there.
After all, there’s a reason why we all store our stuff inside boxes. It creates space for us to do more!