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Risky solutions: when to say yes.

June 13, 2011
This is what I call a risky solution

Is it always worthy to rely on the less risky soluton?
This is the question, either you are a client or you are a creative. Are the safer solutions – the easy way out –  always the right choice? are there conditions or situations when looking for a less travelled path pays back?

As you may imagine, there are no certified answers to these questions.
Use common sense as the rule and a few schemes that can help you find high impact solutons without turning them into way too risky solutions.

I wil try to list some rules to help you test if the solution is too risky for your project and for your client.

First of all, it is important that you understand that solutions thar present a high grade of diversity make the client feel uneasy.

The only truth is that is almost impossible to foresee how the public will judge your artwork and your creativity, there are too many variables, that’s true,  but deciding to ignore them is not the way to go.
We can make a prioistic choice, though: only produce mainstream solutions, solutions that easy to place, easy to comprehend and easy to sell – also because we can’t forget that our client is someone else’s client.
Tranquillity is easy to place. Risk makes people nervous, but has impact.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that simple solutions are to ditch everytime, there are cases where the right solution is also the simplest solution.
When we present a project, no matter size or tyoe, we ask our client a leap of faith. There is a lot about trust.
Keeping this on mind, let’s try to do something that will help us and our clients: let’s make high risk graphic design less risky!

How? In this way:

  • Be authentic
  • Don’t bend the identity of your client’s brand to fit your solutions.
  • Enphasize what makes your client’s brand unique
  • Amplify the strengths
  • Considere all the aspects of your client’s brand
  • Be coherent

When to risk it and when not

  • Client’s dimension – Large companies move slowly and do not lean on choosing risky solutions. Everytime you make it riskier, someone new in the structure – probably at a higher level of the management hyerarchy is called to judge and decide.
    I know it is a sort of generalization but it often works this way, so AVOID TO PRESENT RISKY SOLUTIONS, unless you are talking to brands that have a clear feeling for the risk  – i.e. Nike, Etro, Apple, Diesek, Vigorsol, etc.
  • Project dimension Small budgets, niche targets, local strategies are usually fertile ground for your risky solutions
  • Aggressive competition – if under siege, your client will be more incline to pay attention to a riskier solution.
  • Client’s culture  – No need to explain this  ;)
  • Type of service/product – Some markets are used to risky solutions, other markets prefer a safer communication strategy – for example, think about fashion and insurance.
  • Who is your contact? – This could sound like a stupid thing, but the position your contact occupies in the organization of your client gives you the range in which move

A last consideration… for many clients risky, aggressive, strong is NEGATIVE, for other is pure oxygen… so, move carefully.
If you decide to go risky, calculate the possible negative effects and once done… do that again!
Be certain of your project’s goals and then chose but please avoid solutions that stand mid-way. Chose either RISKY or SAFE no way in between.

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