Collage, and the art of marketing strategy
illus. by Cristiana Coucerio
Collage: arranging disparate scraps into a meaningful whole.
In the hands of an artist, collage can be an artful blend of figure, type, annotation.
In the hands of Bernd Schmitt, collage can be a strategic business tool.
Schmitt — professor at Columbia’s B-School, director of its Center on Global Brand Leadership and, consequentially, Matt’s boss’s boss — sees collage as a tool that helps managers “encourage unusual connections in the brain.”
Combining the (seemingly) incompatible
Here’s an exercise Schmitt likes: rip up magazines and create a visual board of brands and business trends. Now, pair the two randomly.
Say you have a Coca-cola ad, and an article on the green movement. How would you design a campaign strategy around this combination? What are the challenges and advantages to the brand’s positioning?
“It is key to pair concepts that seem incompatible because they stretch people’s imagination and facilitate the formation of unusual connections.”
To read Schmitt’s full explanation of the collage exercise, search for the term in his book Big Think Strategy (2007).