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Maximising performance of the organisation on these three sets of traits is therefore crucial for business success in the 21st century. Externally, corporate brands can establish a number of valuable associations in the minds of customers and other key constituents that can help to differentiate the brand, such as common product attributes, benefits or attitudes; people and relationships; programmes and values; and corporate credibility. A key component of the corporate image is the corporate brand personality. In the past, brand personality has been studied at the product level. Aaker 11 examined the brand personality attributed to 60 US product brands and found they fall into five main clusters: 1 sincerity, 2 excitement, 3 competence, 4 sophistication and 5 ruggedness see also Aaker et al.

Brand personality is seen as a means for consumers to express their actual or idealised self-image. Corporate brand personality, however, is much more about perceptions of employees—both senior management and customer-facing—that make up the company as well as the organisation as a whole. Corporate brand personality reflects the values, actions, and words of all employees of the corporation. In a business-to-business setting, corporate brand personality is often determined by direct contact with a wide range of employees. As a result of the different focus, corporate-level traits transcend individual products that the firm sells and the five product brand personality dimensions.

The company must be passionate about serving its customers and competing in the market and must have compassion for employees, stakeholders, and members of the communities in which it operates. A successful company must be creative in its approach to serving its customers and winning in the market, while also adopting a disciplined approach that ensures appropriate and consistent actions across the organisation.

The successful company must possess the agility to profitably react to changes in the market and also employ a collaborative approach that ensures it works well together inside and outside the company toward common goals.

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Next, we discuss these three corporate brand personality dimensions in detail. For each of the three dimensions, two additional sub-dimensions are identified that capture the primary corporate personality traits within these dimensions. Employees of successful 21st century firms must be passionate about the company, its brands, and their jobs. The passion felt by employees for their specific roles in the company must extend to their business, the industry in which it competes, and the products and services it offers customers.

It is especially imperative that employees be passionate about what they do for their customers. As customers are the core asset of any company, every employee must have a strong desire to assist the company in its commitment to the customer.

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The 21st century firm must care deeply about all its stakeholders, from its customers to its employees to the members of the communities in which it does business. Customer care, for example, can be demonstrated with customer rewards programs, enhanced customer service, or by responding to customer needs with new products and services. Community care can be demonstrated by corporate social responsibility initiatives or cause-related marketing efforts such as Avon's Walk for Breast Cancer. Additionally, the firm must show care for the environment, which can be shown through efforts to use clean energy sources in manufacturing or programs to reduce the pollution produced by the finished products themselves.

Passion provides the internal drive for employees, but it must be tempered by a concern for others via compassion.

For example, a strategic tradeoff occurs between building product performance and crafting an appealing brand image, since these strategies typically require different competencies and skills. Financially, sales-generating and brand-building activities are often in conflict. Additionally, the organisational tradeoff of customisation versus standardisation reflects the fact that increasingly customers desire products and services that are tailored to their specific needs, but it is typically more cost-efficient for companies to produce a standardised version than a customised one.

Clearly, trade-offs are pervasive and must be made in the context of constrained — and often fairly limited — resources. But marketers do not want to necessarily sub-optimise and emphasise one dimension or the other. Marketing balance in this way could occur by shrewdly reconciling the decision trade-offs — that is by finessing the conflicting dimensions There is virtually no way to do so, however, without creative, imaginative solutions.

For example, creative advertising can be designed that both entertains and sells products, as was the case with the California Milk Processor Board's Got Milk? In each of those cases, creativity and innovative approaches overcame tough marketing dilemmas. Innovations must go beyond solving trade-offs, however, to also address other organisational issues. Firms must demonstrate the ability to find new solutions to old problems. A successful firm must also be disciplined in its approach to growing its business, which in itself at times can present a trade-off with creativity.

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While it is necessary to encourage and maintain creativity in the organisation, this creativity must be focused to a certain degree. A successful firm must concentrate on leveraging its core competencies and maintaining focus on its core business, rather than pursuing any new business opportunity that arises. This can be best achieved by setting appropriate priorities that provide clear direction to all members of the organisation as to what its business goals are and how they can be met.

If firms are to compete successfully in today's rapidly changing marketplace, they must transcend the current status quo and find creative ways to systematically deliver differentiated and unexpected value to consumers. For example, 3M encourages a culture of innovation by requiring its scientists to spend 15 per cent of their time pursuing research that interests them outside their specific role in the company. As a result, 3M consistently delivers innovative, creative, and, importantly, differentiated products that bring value to consumers.

To further maintain discipline, the 21st century firm must resist following the latest management fads, since frequently reorganising or restructuring a business to follow untested management philosophies can be distracting and even damaging. Then, a few years later, the firm repeats the move, shifting again into another new business or market. A successful 21st century firm must possess the agility to capture and deliver value to consumers in the face of challenging market dynamics.

Many changes have occurred in the marketing environment in recent years. Undoubtedly, the marketing environment will continue to evolve and change, often in very significant ways, in the coming years. Shifts in consumer behaviour, competitive strategies, government regulations or other aspects of the marketing environment can profoundly affect the fortunes of a firm. Besides these external forces, the firm itself may engage in a variety of activities and changes in strategic focus or direction that may necessitate minor or major adjustments in the way that its brands are being marketed.

Consequently, effective brand management requires proactive strategies designed to at least maintain—if not actually enhance—brand equity in the face of all of these different forces. The firm must be able to move forward quickly to take advantage of new opportunities in the market. Google is currently capitalising on its agility to move rapidly into new markets such as IP telephony, wireless internet access, and video content provision as well as challenging entrenched competitors in established markets such as e-commerce, publishing, desktop software and classified ads. The 21st century firm must also adapt its business model to changing conditions.

As noted above, it is important to apply the appropriate level of discipline to ensure that these changes do not dilute the strength of its core business. To be truly successful in the long term, the 21st century firm must be proactive, rather than reactive. Being proactive requires that a firm anticipate what changes will be necessary in the future and proactively address them. Innovation and relevance in all that it does will require much agility by the firm as it ensures that it continually moves forward, but does so in the right direction. Finally, the successful 21st century firm must encourage collaboration among its employees and seek a closely collaborative atmosphere with its business partners.

Increasingly, a key goal of marketing is to develop deep, enduring relationships with all people or organisations that could directly or indirectly affect the success of the firm's marketing activities. Internally, the firm must foster a culture of inter-departmental teamwork. Only when employees willingly seek opportunities to collaborate can a firm develop the agility to overcome business challenges.

Externally, the firm must develop a network of partners that offer complementary assets and competencies, have common corporate values and beliefs, and jointly create synergistic effects. For example, Wal-Mart invites close collaboration from its biggest suppliers by requiring them to permanently staff teams at the retail giant's Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters. Successful collaborations result from relationship marketing that cultivates the right kind of relationships with the right constituent groups.

Four key constituents for marketing are customers, employees, marketing partners channels, suppliers, distributors, dealers, university scientists, agencies, etc. Relationship marketing builds strong economic, logistical and social ties among all these relevant parties. Successful relationship marketing offers the potential of smoother operations and superior customer solutions. The ultimate outcome of relationship marketing is the building of a marketing network—the company and all its supporting constituents and stakeholders with whom it has built mutually beneficial relationships. Increasingly, competition is not between companies but between marketing networks.

Winning companies will be those that build better networks, in part through a strong spirit of collaboration. Developing strong relationships requires understanding the capabilities and resources of different groups, as well as their needs, goals and desires. Each party must be treated differently. Rich, multi-faceted relationships with key constituents create the foundation for a mutually beneficial arrangement for both parties. Importantly, the effects of these three pairs of corporate personality traits are enhanced by each other. In other words, corporate personality traits can have a multiplicative or interactive effect, not an additive effect.

For example, passion can be the engine for creativity. Research may focus on artists, documents, books, the Internet, and aims for the students to construct a knowledge base for themselves. Inspiration seems to be related to intuition and instinct. Apparition refers to ideas being found and appearing of their own accord.

Trials designate all the try-outs, notes, sketches, notes, and testing made by the students. Assembly refers both to attempting a new approach and to the different ideas that emerge from assembling ideas together.

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The stage of new ideas includes different ideas which emerge. The stage of selection involves choosing an idea. Materials were also mentioned in terms of photography and volume.


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The stage of realization refers to action, composition, concretization, production, and to the transfer of an idea to a medium. The stage of specification can be viewed as increasing the depth of analysis, developing the work, and correcting it. Finalization is the completion of the work. The stage of examination indicates taking a step back from the work, formulating an analysis of the work, and questioning one's own work.

Presentation refers to the fact that students must justify, explain, and present their work. The fact that students let the work settle , digest and breathe may refer to the concepts of breaks and incubation. Finally, the teacher was also cited as a part of the stages of the process of artistic creativity when students ask for help because they are stuck or when they need reference. This confrontation allowed us to verify that the students had indeed described all the stages in their creative process, thus validating the number and nature of steps involved in the process to integrate these in the CRD see Table 4.

Fourteen stages appear both in the free discourse and the stages named by the students, one stage was mentioned only in the discourse, and two stages were mentioned when naming the stages of the process. In the end, 17 different stages were retained. Only the stage referring to teacher was not retained because the teacher corresponds more to a social support than a stage of the process. Additionally, the teacher can be partially included in the stage of research as a source of knowledge.

In the stage of immersion , the goal is to apprehend the topic at hand and to listen to the instructions given by the teacher.

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And then it gets more and more precise.