A Man Who Has No Imagination Has No Wings

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09 August, 2017 A Man Who Has No Imagination Has No Wings

Hopefully the title caught your attention and you’ll be well aware that it’s a quote from the late great Muhammad Ali. This is one of my favorite quotes, so much so I have this as my computer wallpaper.

But why you ask? Ali made this comment when asked about imagination and he explains it all in the clip below.

As you can see, he used his imagination to draw in crowds, to raise his awareness, self promotion and create a buzz. In a nutshell he was conducting his own self marketing!

For me, imagination drives marketing and Ali demonstrated this and showed us all he was ahead of his time. We now live in a world where technology is evolving at a rapid pace. With the progression of the internet and other channels, reaching out to your audience has become a difficult task for marketers. So how do you cut through all the noise and be unique in a saturated marketplace? Imagination!

Stand Out From The Crowd

Use imagination to be clever, original and inventive. As a result, you have an opportunity to be different from the competition and get noticed by your audience.

This is why imagination is important if you want to segment yourself from your competition. Memorable marketing campaigns are those that are unique from others, not those that follow the same overused trends. A great example of this below:

Nike – Just Do It Campaign

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Image Credit: brandchannel

Around the late 1980s, Nike created the “Just Do It.” campaign and the rest is history. Before this spark of imagination Nike catered predominantly for runners and wanted to differentiate themselves from Reebok who was the main player in the market at the time. Nike’s marketing department came up with the “Just Do it” slogan and campaign to cater for the fitness trend that was brewing. They wanted to create a brand identity that their audience could relate to and encapsulated everything people felt when they were exercising Don’t want to run 10k ? Just Do It. Don’t want walk up 10 flights of stairs? Just Do It. It’s a slogan we can all relate to: the drive to push ourselves beyond our limits.

So how did the marketers at Nike come up with this concept? Yes, they used their imagination but, they focused on the best way to present their brand. They considered what problem they are going to solve for their audience. By taking this approach they are amplifying the core issue in all of their marketing messages and as a result they connected with consumers on an emotional level that is hard to ignore and still true to this day.

Make Customer Experiences Memorable

When it comes to customer experiences you have the opportunity to set yourself apart from your competition. Customer experience is your brand and these experiences can happen at every touchpoint. Adapt your imagination and start thinking outside the box, do things differently to the norm. Even small things can make a difference, for example using social media differently, ask your audience questions, make videos, be personal, be more engaging and don’t forget to have fun. This will allow you to get a better understanding of your audience and from this you can potentially become even more experiential in your marketing ploys as you would like. A great example of this below:

BuzzFeed – Tasty Campaign

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Image Credit: Tasty/Facebook

The marketing team at BuzzFeed took full advantage of video content when it burst on to the scene in 2016. Facebook was key focus at the time and the concept was simple, they used silent, square videos on Facebook that work well on any device and don’t require sound to be understood. They took their content and distributed it in a format that was right for their chosen channels and packaged in a way that made it easy for their audience to digest in a style and format that represented their brand in the correct way.

The videos are optimised for Facebook’s autoplay feature, which starts playing videos without the sound on. You don’t need sound to see, for example, a 45-second guide to making a cheese-stuffed pizza pretzel. Within 24 hours, that video had 37 million views, 650,000 likes, and 750,000 shares. (It’s now up to 50 million views.)

The results speak for themselves and this is another example of how using your imagination to deliver marketing messages tailored to your audience on a number of levels.

Final Word

Hopefully from this short pulse you will see why I feel imagination is key for marketers and brands. If you want to get noticed, you have to be creative and that comes from having an imagination. Imagination drives ingenuity, uniqueness and marketing!

On a personal level this quote stands true and it’s a constant motivator for me as I continue to evolve and grow within my marketing career. I’m soon to embark on a new challenge and Ali’s quote will always be a constant reminder of what it is to be a marketer.

Originally posted on LinkedIn



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