Let’s follow Jim. By @NicholasKugge

Nick Kugge

By Nick Kugge


Let’s follow Jim.


But who is Jim? I see you wondering. Well, he is the name I gave to our creative process. I wouldn’t follow someone called “Creative Process” but Jim, maybe.

In the last week we’ve all been invited to challenge our creative process. So I thought I’d share our team process. We’ve hung it over our workstation, and it’s now nagging us every time we don’t use it. No more excuses. It’s right there, so just stick to it. Sadly, following Jim won’t always lead to gold, but that’s the closest we’ve got to a cheat sheet. Anyway, let’s start.


Before anything, have a quick discussion about the product/service, or the brief you’ve been given. Get the crap out. Spit out those first thoughts so that you don’t get attached to them later.


*For many research seems boring. But how can you build great strategies, themselves built on insights if the only material you’ve got is your preconceived knowledge? 

  • Gather information about the brand and its customers.
  • In what bigger business is the brand? E.g. Harley Davidson is not in the business of selling motorbikes but in the business of selling freedom.
  • Research competitors, what are the rules/codes of the category? Break them, do the opposite.
  • What’s the journey of the audience, what are the relevant touch points?


Mess Finding => Define your problem => SMP (the solution to your problem) and keep asking “Why”.


As Steve Harrison said there is no point spending money on advertising if you don’t know the following:

  • What is the problem faced by the audience?
  • What is the solution provided by the product/service?

Define the following for each route:

  • GET (audience)
  • WHO (insight)
  • TO (behaviour change)
  • BY (SMP)


Once you’ve got a couple of routes select the ones which seem the most prolific.


One rule to imperatively stick to during this stage: S.U.N (Suspend Judgment / Understand / Nurture)

Pour as many ideas as you can, keep brainstorming until you reach a brick wall.


Scamp using Dave Birss’ creative techniques

  • What’s the opposite Celebrate the problem   
  • Logical conclusion Play with scale
  • Illogical conclusion Play with the medium
  • No words                       Audience
  • No pics                 What’s it like?
  • Skewed world                Bit up the Enemy
  • Truth                   Random Words


Change your perspective with The 4 Rs

  • Re-expression Related Worlds 
  • Random     Revolution



Keep the problem in the back of your mind. Let your unconscious mind do the work for you.


An idea that scares you (but still makes sense).


  • Push the idea while you’re in the flow.
  • Get feedback from mentors and students.
  • Question it, 6 hat it, spot its weaknesses.
  • How does the idea connect throughout the different channels, what’s their sequence?


Rate your idea with SUCCES: Simple, Unexpected, Credible, Concrete, Emotional, Story


As you might see Jim is still imperfect, but with your help we can make him even better. So please share your thoughts. But remember one team’s creative process can be another team’s nightmare.

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