Change good to great with strong creative collaboration

creative collaboration

Ideas are not always amazing, clever, or persuasive out of the gate.

However, you can build upon ideas to make them stronger and harder working. That’s why creative collaboration is at the heart of our design process. We consistently improve strategies and develop creative concepts that effectively connect with our clients’ audiences.

Working with others can be awkward, but if you know how to collaborate with your team, your ideas have a far greater chance of being great. Who wouldn’t want to make their ideas better?

You can collaborate with anyone, from a full group brainstorm to bouncing ideas off coworkers, freelancers, writers, photographers, designers, account people, or even the maintenance guy. People have a wide range of education, expertise, and experiences to tap into so take advantage of these opportunities. All these voices help vet your ideas.

Everyone should be on the same page from the start as far as the project scope, having a project brief, knowing the client’s direction, and understanding the key messaging. It’s always better to have too much information than not enough. Prepare yourself for lots of questions. Set yourself up for success by letting everyone know the timeframes of the project. Be patient and responsive to everyone’s comments, questions, and contributions.

You can approach collaborating on a project in a couple of ways. Involve your team from the start or bring them in later to elevate and expand those ideas. I like to collaborate as often as I can. I’m surrounded by many years of experience, a variety of personalities, and lots of creativity.

A perfect example of creative collaboration occurs when I work on videos and commercials. We start with a creative brief, developed with the client. The creative team then works on concepts, bouncing ideas off each other, making everything award-winning. Well, maybe not award-winning just yet. We share creative options with the account team who challenge us and keep us on track. They’re always happy to share their thoughts and opinions.

The collaboration continues with the client until you have an approved storyboard. You’re not finished though. You can continue to improve your original concept by now getting a lot of amazing suggestions from your director with his fresh vision.

Some agencies have total separation between creatives and account people, somewhat a territorial and egotistical division. What a waste of talent and the chance to make someone feel a part of the team. I’ve never understood the need to keep everyone else in the dark.

Now for the fun part, sharing ideas. You can expect all kinds of ideas, some good, some that are weak, and some just off-the-wall. The value of fresh eyes on a project is priceless. Everyone should welcome feedback on their ideas and be receptive to thoughts on how to improve a concept. Even if your idea may not be the best, someone may suggest a twist on the concept that makes your idea amazing.

We always check our egos at the door and keep an open mind because ultimately, great ideas will be more engaging, more prosperous for clients and everyone on the team can share in that success.

If you’re looking for fresh marketing solutions or simply want an eye-popping creative campaign, contact SWBR and let’s start an award-winning collaboration today.



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Ernie Thomas



Advertising is in Ernie’s DNA as he’s a third-generation family member to join the business his late grandfather founded. With that pedigree comes an almost six sense of identifying the “it factor” needed to create campaigns that spark customers to action. Ernie (or ET) uses his outgoing personality to connect with clients to build strong collaborative relationships. He digs deep to uncover new opportunities that will make a measurable difference for each client’s business. A graduate of Eastern University and Saint Joseph’s University (MBA), he has the book smarts and experience to elevate brand communications with strategies that challenge the status quo. He’s always guiding Team SWBR toward the correct target audiences, smartest campaign messages, right digital channels and best traditional tactics suited to boost sales.

When he’s not working, Ernie enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. He’s also an avid golfer still searching for his first hole-in-one.