Case Study: River Oaks

While at Maximum Design, one of the accounts I managed was River Oaks—a community of luxury villas near Savannah, Georgia. They came to us before starting construction, in need of an identity and a marketing campaign.

I first worked with River Oaks to build a strategic marketing plan for the community. After investigating their competition, location, target market and real estate offering, I developed a creative concept to appeal to their prospective buyers.I then designed material for their marketing campaign, which included a lifestyle brochure, website, stationery suite, print ads (newspaper and magazine, color and B&W), billboards, sitemap and a series of direct mail cards.

In addition to the community realizing significant pre-construction sales, two pieces from the campaign were honored with Gold and Silver ADDY awards in 2006.

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Why didn’t I think of that?

While strolling along the riverfront in downtown Wilmington, NC about a year ago, my husband and I passed a unique Bed & Breakfast. This was not your traditional B&B in the southeast. It wasn’t a historic, two-story Victorian home. Heck, it wasn’t even a building. It was a boat! Pretty clever, eh?

The owner simply combined two existing products — a sunset cruise and a B&B. It’s similar to the innovative product that came about when Nike and Apple got together to create the Nike + iPod Sport Kit. Genius!

All of this reminds me of the William Plomer quote: “Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected”. I’ve actually noticed that most of the designers I know have this skill — the ability to make connections or see patterns.

So, here’s an exercise: Brainstorm creative ideas by connecting two or more things that seem really different. After personally doing this, I want to open a cafe that sells surfboards with song lyrics on them! What did you come up with?