Our purpose at LPK is clear and explicit: To give brands the creativity, vision and courage to be extraordinary. These inspirational words keep our entire organization motivated and energized, but they also serve as a more functional promise to our clients.
But how do we actually give brands the creativity, vision and courage to be extraordinary?
Our strategy experts developed a set of principles that, when followed, consistently tip the balance in favor of the best ideas and work getting through the boardroom and into the marketplace. In short, how to help the extraordinary win out.
Although these principles serve as the foundation for LPK’s approach, we suspect our CRAFT—CONNECT—CURATE framework can help just about anyone who wants to ensure their best work gains traction and support.
GROUND THE WORK
Ensure your presentation doesn’t feel loosely strung together or provide solutions that seem to come out of nowhere. Use frameworks, processes and methodologies to give the work more meaning, context and rationale.
BALANCE RIGOR & VELOCITY
Focus only on the critical exercises. What could be dropped or “down and dirty”? Speed is a good thing.
WORK WITH THE END IN MIND
Think storytelling from the beginning. Build the presentation to set up, inform and rationalize to your audiences how the brief has been solved.
FIND INSIGHT & EVIDENCE EVERYWHERE
Insights are not limited to the consumer. Also look to internal stakeholders, the broader culture, category, marketplace, customers and trends to inform opportunities.
MAKE THE LINKS OVERT
Don’t assume your audience understands embedded links between disparate elements. State the links again and again and again.
Have an answer prepared for each “yes, but.” Sell confidence and mitigate the fears of your audience. And when necessary, defend the work without being defensive.
EDUCATE TO INFORM
Lose the business jargon, but educate your audience on a concept, theory or example that is relevant to the situation. Think of these opportunities as public service announcements to help build your case.
BUILD CASES & TELL STORIES
There is an art and craft to creating presentations. Think in terms of themes and constructing a plot rather than simply delivering information.
Cut, cut again and then cut some more. Vet your decks through colleagues who can help identify what is must-have and what is nice-to-have.
MAKE THE APPENDIX YOUR FRIEND
Use an appendix. The content doesn’t go away, it simply lives at the end. Use it as “back-pocket” ammunition to answer objections and fears.
Just as journalists have used the Five Ws formula to get the complete story on a subject, we use the CRAFT—CONNECT—CURATE framework to build and strengthen the relationship between our strategy and creative work. It’s how we ensure our approach is intentional, defensible and overt from the outset. That way we can more easily bring our clients along on the journey to delivering what we promised.
As Vice President, Strategy at LPK, Michael Wintrob designs approaches and frameworks that marry rigor with creativity for optimal outcomes. He has developed best-in-class practices for a wide variety of brands, from the food and beverage industry to the home care and financial services categories. Michael also has served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business. When he’s not laying down purposeful strategy, he keeps busy by trying to stay on top of his ever-expanding Instapaper account.