Creative thinking has long been prized and praised, but the need for creative thought and execution has never been more valuable or vital for brands.
And this need is no less urgent in the equestrian sector. For our highly specialised brands, it's not good enough to resort to the same old clichés in whichever field of creative work we're commissioning. We need new thinking for our writing, our photography, our graphic design and our digital production. We need to more than stand out. We need to carve deeper niches for ourselves; making our brands attractive to a new generation of ever more savvy equestrian consumers.
Winning their hearts through rich stories and emotions will return more value than winning minds with product benefits alone. T'was ever thus, you might argue, but well planned and executed creative thinking is the key ingredient.
In the search for creative talent, we should leave no stone unturned. It's not just about the wunderkind of Zuckerberg wannabes with a keen sense of digital design. Some of the more interesting creative thinking can come from guys and gals who've been around a while. The point is, you have to check out their work, get the conversation going and decide for yourself. Maybe work together on a trial project. You need to evaluate whether or not they really get where your brand is coming from.
Of course, a lot of this comes down to the briefing that you give. Even a stellar creative talent will struggle to hit the mark when the brief is vague, too ambitious or not ambitious enough.
One place you could consider looking for the talent to power your brand's next project is the Equestrian Creative Network (ECN). It's a showcase of equestrian creative talent as well as a source of inspiration and comment from members.
ECN members create an online portfolio of their work with news stories, images, videos and testimonials - linking through to their site, blog and social media channels.
Only a few weeks after launch, there's already a whole constellation of creatives starting to list with the ECN, including: photographers, writers, artists, journalists, marketers and even broadcasters.
ECN creator Liam Killen, said: "We've seen the wealth of creative talent within the equestrian industry through running the Equestrian Social Media Awards. The ECN exists to showcase innovative marketing campaigns, beautiful design, the use of digital and the mobile revolution within the horse world. These all have a positive impact on the equestrian industry globally."
Andrew Minnick from the United States Equestrian Federation’s USEF Network is already a fan: "ECN is a great tool. It's intuitive, and allows us to easily share news, video, and ideas with creative equestrians (both individuals and businesses) around the world, not just in our home market."
In your quest for the creative talent needed to take your brand to the next level, the Equestrian Creative Network is one stone you can't afford to leave unturned.
Search the ECN, or sign up to receive creative news for your inbox @ equestriancreativenetwork.com
ECN on Facebook: facebook.com/EquestrianCreativeNetwork
ECN on Twitter: @EquineCreatives