Creativity & Relevancy Flywheel

Ana Andjelic
3 min readOct 24, 2021

How having a clear internal and external focus fuels brand growth

Relevancy is every brand’s lifeline. So is creativity. Yet, both get easily lost in the everyday brand operations, business targets, and commercial planning.

Relevancy means that a brand’s customers and non-customers alike consider a brand part of the culture. A brand is perceived as of its time, in step with the current social values, a participant in the conversation, and a contributor to people’s lives. It is present in the world, and its presence is felt as a positive influence.

Relevancy is created by mixing a) what a brand stands for (a set of values), b) why it exists in the world (purpose), c) how it interacts with culture (strategy) and d) where consumers spend their time, attention and money. Brands with history and heritage can achieve relevancy by taking what people already know about the brand and are nostalgic for, and positioning it in a way that feels fresh: by creating hooks to the current moment. Those without history and heritage start from creating these hooks, and carefully weaving a story.

Relevancy rests on understanding human psychology, reading the sociology of the current moment, and being in tune with how is status and aspiration defined, obtained, and conveyed. At the same time, relevancy is not directly measured: it is a vibe, the mood, the style. It’s an aesthetic mix of attitude, behavior, and appearance. Relevant brands are those with a clear identity, their own visual and verbal handwriting, and their own ethics. Relevancy is brand confidence.

Creativity fuels relevancy. It’s an internal mantra that permeates everything a brand does. It’s the organizing principle of a company, and a North Star of teamwork, processes, communication, and problem-solving. Creativity doesn’t exist in isolation; it requires diverse information sources, a more nuanced interpretation of history, heritage, culture, and digging deeper beyond the surface trends. Creativity is key for a brand taking part in cultural dialogue, not being outside of it. Creativity is most visible in how brands approach:

a) Customers. Information is everywhere, but companies are usually short on insights. Creatively representing customers in 3D in a way that excites all internal stakeholders…

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Ana Andjelic

Brand Executive. Author of “The Business of Aspiration.” Doctor of Sociology. Writer of “Sociology of Business.” Forbes most influential CMO.