Josh Ryther is the Senior Partner & Creative Director at Deksia.View all articles written by this author
The big idea is a reference point; and as a reference point, it acts as the nucleus for the brand. You’ve built the electrons first in the form of research. You go to build the aesthetic part, which you do after you’ve done the business part, which essentially creates the neutrons. And the neutrons and the electrons are then simultaneously orbiting the nucleus, which is the big idea. The big idea essentially has to have enough gravitational pull to hold the electrons that determines the orbit.
If you can’t give your big idea enough gravitational pull, or enough evidence that they can support orbit around the big idea, then it’s not going to work. For example, if you come up with a big idea like “great customer service,” that’s just not going to have enough pull to it. It’s too vague and it’s too general. It’s doesn’t say anything about you in particular. It doesn’t help the brand differentiate itself.
Put another way, the big idea is kind of like a toaster. You have bread, which is the research. Bread is all right, but when you put it through the big idea it becomes toast, which is what Deksia does. It’s better now. It’s been polished into something that becomes marketing, it becomes branding, it becomes sales, it becomes communication.
Specificity is what helps you stand out. It helps define your business for yourself and your employees and creates the identity that will help you stand out from the pack. There’s the postmodern idea that nothing’s new and there’s no such thing as progression. The fact is that it’s not really about the specificity of one idea, it’s more the combination of ideas that creates specificity. It’s how you combine those ideas that creates real uniqueness.
Taking this basic thing that’s ok on its own, and putting it through a lens that makes it exciting and enticing…that’s how the big idea informs the creative process. The research is like raw material and that big idea is like the big bang; the work that comes after that is the product of that big bang. All the elements were there, but they needed a catalyst to truly reach their full potential.