There is far more to the creative process than learning how to use software and configure hardware. This blog addresses them.


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Journey author Robert Davis is the owner and creative director of Atlanta agency, Davis Advertising, Inc.


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Journey from Concept to Creation

There is far more to the creative process than learning how to use software and configure hardware. This blog addresses them.

The USP (and other acronyms).

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Alrighty then. Now we are getting seriously involved in developing our creative program. We have done the research, defined the problems, established the opportunities and determined/clarified the mission. Whew! That was a lot of work, eh? Well, I hate to tell you this, I really do, but we are only just beginning. Now that we fully understand the client’s mission – the very reason for its existence -- it is time to dig a bit deeper.

   Understanding the mission statement -- and putting it in writing -- helps provide practical guidance in steering the creative effort. It also helps to define the client’s “Unique Selling Proposition.” We advertising folks call it the USP [we’ve got all kinds of cool acronyms -- CPM, CPP, GRP, AQH, HUT, etc. -- that help massage our egos by making us feel like we’re part of an exclusive club.]

     Like the other strategic aspects of developing a creative program, the USP is simple common sense. It answers the question, “What is unique about the business from the perspective of its customer?” What does your client’s business offer that a gazillion others don’t offer just as well? Why should I consume the products or services of this particular business instead of the other businesses that offer the same products or services? In short, what makes this specific enterprise unique? What sets it apart from the competition? Tell me why I need to buy one of YOUR stinkin' badges? How will it BENEFIT me? [I think I just heard a fist slamming on a desk.]

   So many questions, so little time. The answers lie deep within your soul… um… well... at least within defining the client’s USP. The USP basically says to the customer… “Hey -- if you buy this product, you will get this SPECIFIC BENEFIT that the competition DOES NOT (OR CANNOT) OFFER.” It is important that the USP represents a strong, substantial benefit to the customer… not a lame and weak argument. I would argue that the USP is the fundamental element of any successful creative program. It is the very thing that will make your client stand out from the competition. Btw… if you have read all of my blogs, you will remember that one of the four sections of the research phase specifically addresses the competition. Understanding the competition is crucial in defining what sets your client apart from the competition (all this common sense and wisdom in one place is just too much, eh?).

   Understanding the USP as well as the other aspects (such as the client’s mission), are crucial aspects of any creative program. I honestly can’t see how you can serve your client adequately without considering these basic, common-sense (that word again, ugh!) fundamentals in creating your work. But, not to worry, there is plenty more of this sort of stuff to talk about in my future blogs… trust me, our creative journey has only just begun.



Journey from Concept to Creation said:

<< Previous | Next >> I like to read company mission statements from time to time. It’s

December 5, 2008 6:48 PM

Journey from Concept to Creation said:

<< Previous | Next >> Any creative director with half a brain should understand the importance

December 5, 2008 7:04 PM

Journey from Concept to Creation said:

<< Previous | Next >> The fourth graphic design principle I will write about is the principle

December 6, 2008 2:58 AM

Journey from Concept to Creation said:

<< Previous | Next >> In addition to my interest in reading company mission statements as

December 6, 2008 4:46 PM

Journey from Concept to Creation said:

<< Previous | Next >> I like to read company mission statements from time to time. It’s

December 8, 2008 5:13 PM

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About Adman

After developing his artistic abilities from an early age, Robert Davis (Adman) started his advertising career as a graphic artist for a commercial printing company while in 10th grade. He later acquired degrees in Commercial Art and (later) Business Administration (Marketing with focus on computer science) while working in various advertising agency capacities. Robert started his own agency in 1989. He added an in-house Pro Tools® recording studio in 1999 and an Avid Xpress® DV video editing suite in 2002. He now also has two Avid Media Composer suites and an Xpress Studio HD suite in a fully equipped studio which also features SoftImage|XSI and Pro Tools. He believes that his company, Davis Advertising, Inc., represents a new model for the 21st century advertising agency…”a small, agile and responsive agency wit1h comprehensive, in-house capabilities.” He says, “Avid® software provides the creative freedom and flexibility I covet.” His focus is on developing effective creative ideas via his own strategic planning process. He loves being surrounded by cameras, lights, props and other creative professionals who share his vision. He also, of course, loves working with Avid® software to bring his ideas to life. Currently residing in metro-Atlanta, Robert is an accomplished writer, producer and creative director. His advertising agency has served Fortune 500 accounts and has received several international awards. His work has been exhibited at the prestigious Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. When not riding his vintage Italian racing bike, or working out with free weights, Robert can often be found in the late evening singing or playing drums, guitars and keyboards in the studio.

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