Last week I hosted an event with the Arizona Tech Council titled The 5 Foundations of a Profitable Creative Culture.

The primary crux of the presentation was to explore how creativity can lead to real profits. When I say creativity, I don’t mean a bunch of hipsters coming up with viral YouTube videos. I mean a business culture where questions are welcomed and new ideas can be shared, fostered and ultimately implemented by anyone.

The slide that garnished a fair amount of laughs — or perhaps sympathy chuckles — was this one:

image of grow some pickles slide

Grow some pickles referenced the 4th foundation — pursue ideas that are different!

For almost 10 years running a B2B focused creative agency, we did our best to deliver creative disruptive ideas to our clients. But why? Why did that matter in the larger context of our client’s marketing strategy? The answer was simple —

To be memorable.

You have to realize 99% of businesses market the same way as everyone else. Meaningless words fill websites and marketing collateral. Words like:

  • Hard working
  • Trust
  • Value
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork
  • Reliable
  • #1

Guess what?


The real kicker is they are delivering the nearly identical product or service too.

No one is shopping around for a dishonest or lazy company to work with. Saying you’re trustworthy or hardworking is a waste.

So what do you do? Simple. You grow some pickles. You are brave enough to be different and create ideas that are uniquely yours.

Pro-tip: make it completely unrelated to your core service or product offering.

For me, that’s the pickle:

image of pickle russ


For this tech company, it’s their owl.

image of a cStor logo

For this appliance company, it’s annihilating things in their blender.

The point is you will not lose any ground if you’re brave enough to be creative. In fact, you’ll build more trust and a deeper relationship with your clients for having the pickles to do something different.

Remember, we get hammered with boring all day long. A moment of creativity in our consumer lives is a breath of fresh air.

This post was originally published September 7, 2015, on Medium

Sign up to stay in touch

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *