Interrogate the product. By @james_reyn

James Reynolds

By James Reynolds



Interrogate the product.


First week back at SCA and we’ve already had some killer masterclasses. If I had to choose one it would be from Creature founder, Stu Outhwaite.

At the beginning of the course, in small groups, we get to visit a range of creative agencies. Some advertising. Some PR. Some big. Some small. Some bothered. Some not.

I was lucky enough to visit Creature and loved the vibe that we got from the agency and Stu. He really made an effort and had prepared a talk, slash, presentation, slash, class, on strategy.

It was a little premature for us during the first week of the course, but fast forward four months and he was here to give the talk to the whole school.

It was one of the best talks on strategy that we have had at the school. Even Alex Taylor made a point of saying it. It was simple. Easy to understand. And most importantly for me, lots of archetypal, modern examples to explain what he was saying.

The one thing he asked us to take take away from his talk was;

Interrogate the product.

Now, I remember him driving this point home with us during the agency visit. In fact my first reflection slide was this. But I definitely needed reminding of it.

It’s not enough to talk about the attributes or feeling of a brand. You really need to get into the soul of it.

His example of a speculative Coleman’s Mustard strategy by a student team hits the nail on the head.

You could create a strategy based on its colour. Or its logo.

Or the fact that it tastes or feels really hot.

But a strategy based on; using Coleman’s Mustard is a rite of passage for boys to become men.

That’s the kind of original, insightful thinking we need to be aiming for.

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