The Blog


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Invent and innovate. These two words are closely related, but distinctly different. They are often misused and confused for one another. If you are an inventor, that’s just cool. Hopefully one or more of your inventions are shaping or transforming a particular industry as we speak. However, I want to concentrate on the word innovate since it’s applicable to every business and employee. It holds the key to activating and sustaining organic growth.

This point was recently driven home as I scanned the pages of “The Game-Changer” by the chairman and CEO of Proctor and Gamble, A.G. Lafley. Lafley talks about how innovation at P&G revived a company that was losing market share and loyalty across its many brands. It caused me to think about making a more concerted effort at Spiracle Media in this department. What I was pleasantly surprised to find out was that innovation was already in motion when it comes to the video production side of things.

We are constantly looking for new ways to tell a story whether that means tweaking the way we shoot BRoll or interviews, insert graphical elements or just prepare. Being on the cutting edge when it comes to utilizing new tools and methods is innovation. We are taking an existing process that we know well and adding to it. It’s not about making drastic changes, but rather tweaking the small things that breed improvement and fine-tune your deliverable. This is the only means of staying ahead in a competitive business environment. As long as your in front, the exploration of small change and implementation can be fun. On the flip side, complacency leads to falling behind and it takes a lot of work to catch back up.

Innovation doesn’t just apply to video at Spiracle, but to everything we do. It can mean scheduling optimal times to brainstorm, becoming more efficient at managing clients or getting better in our thinking and research. Anything that makes the process or product better and more efficient is innovative. We all have the power to tweak the way we engage our work and the products we seek to deliver. Innovation need to be at the core of our thinking.

At Spiracle Media, creativity is a part of everything we do. It lives in the way we shoot cover video and interviews. It touches the editing process as we discover the best way to tell a story that connects with the intended viewer. In many ways, this type of creativity has become routine and consistent – something that our clients have come to expect.

On the contrary, the “creative” video is a completely different animal. It may seem as if everyone is on board during a brainstorm meeting – but often the client is scared out of the idea by succumbing to the fear of being different or untraditional.

We recently worked on a project where different was the goal. It was fun to be part of the creative process as conservative clients are the norm and tend not to push the bounds of being different. We worked hand in hand with Orbital Socket, a creative agency here in Charlotte. They came up with the concept and then it was up to us to bring the pieces to fruition. The campaign centered around producing three videos.

I’ve learned a few things over the last handful of years when it comes to clients and creative video.

* Identify a clear vision from the beginning and make sure everyone is on board. There is always a risk when it comes to being different.

* Apply a deepened creative vision when it makes sense. Only a small percentage of projects warrant this direction. Traditional is often best in attaining the desired result.

* Pay attention to the details. Details will be amplified when you are looking to pull off something that’s untraditional. Make sure that everyone is aware and focused.

* Don’t rush the process. These types of videos take more planning, scripting and extra time on both the front and back end. Extend the process if there are any lingering concerns.

As with everything, taking a risk has its perils as well and rewards. Creative video is no different. It has to make sense. Is the client on board? Is this the right client for this type of video? Is the best team in place to execute? Would a traditional video work best and achieve the specified goals?

If you can answers all of these questions with clarity, then you should have your direction. Creative videos are great – but they have a time, a place and a risk.

Each week we feature original video production work that WOWs us. One selection is from the Charlotte, North Carolina area, another is produced in a different part of the United States, and a third is from outside the country.

Here are this week’s Spiracle Selections:

CHARLOTTE, NC AREA

Beer here:

UNITED STATES

A quick trip through New Orleans:

INTERNATIONAL

Drones doing good:

Each week we feature original video production work that WOWs us. One selection is from the Charlotte, North Carolina area, another is produced in a different part of the United States, and a third is from outside the country.

Here are this week’s Spiracle Selections:

CHARLOTTE, NC AREA

Riding through North Carolina:

UNITED STATES

Wonderful short film about a Mississippi musician:

INTERNATIONAL

Aussie animals happy as a pig in mud:

Each week we feature original video production work that WOWs us. One selection is from the Charlotte, North Carolina area, another is produced in a different part of the United States, and a third is from outside the country.

Here are this week’s Spiracle Selections:

CHARLOTTE, NC AREA

It’s not easy making something move like this without much video:

UNITED STATES

Bike riding across America:

INTERNATIONAL

A time-lapse trip through Amsterdam:

Each week we feature original video production work that WOWs us. One selection is from the Charlotte, North Carolina area, another is produced in a different part of the United States, and a third is from outside the country.

Here are this week’s Spiracle Selections:

CHARLOTTE, NC AREA

Yoga with our friend Molly Hogan:

UNITED STATES

Fun at just $12:

INTERNATIONAL

Idyllic Norway:

Each week we feature original video production work that WOWs us. One selection is from the Charlotte, North Carolina area, another is produced in a different part of the United States, and a third is from outside the country.

Here are this week’s Spiracle Selections:

CHARLOTTE, NC AREA

St. Patty’s Day Weekend fun:

UNITED STATES

Exploring the West Coast:

INTERNATIONAL

Above an Island in the Philippines:

Each week we feature original video production work that WOWs us. One selection is from the Charlotte, North Carolina area, another is produced in a different part of the United States, and a third is from outside the country.

Here are this week’s Spiracle Selections:

CHARLOTTE, NC AREA

A powerful promo:

UNITED STATES

Fishing in Florida:

INTERNATIONAL

Amazing Austria:

Marketing is a critical component of companies large and small. It gets even more critical when it comes to smaller businesses that depend on consistent growth and the identification of new clients for day-to-day survival. If these two areas are struggling, the ever present stress that’s involved with leading a business cranks up a notch.

At Spiracle Media, we have circled back to our own marketing efforts on several occasions. What’s the right plan of attack? Where do we focus our efforts? Is a concerted effort and resources necessary?

These answers tend to be quite complex when 99% of our time is spent engaged with client projects and the referrals are consistent. We haven’t come up with a plan of attack that has stuck, but one variable has remained constant. That variable is relationships.

In the content driven world where we reside, knowing our clients and presenting their stories is important. This knowledge starts with having or forging some sort of relationship. Success depends on it. The end product depends on it.

This has led us to change our approach to marketing for the time being. It has become more about initiating a personal connection that allows business to naturally happen. I am not a believer in the hard sale. I never have been. Despite my confidence in our work, it’s still uncomfortable and business shouldn’t feel forced. This doesn’t mean missing a chance to present to a room full of potential clients. That’s a must. It means valuing the relationship and conversation more than getting a “yes” before leaving.

Business is still based on genuine relationships and trust. Focus on the relationship first. Make plenty of trips to the coffee house to meet in person. Combine those two with a solid product or service and the business will follow naturally.