Unpacking a creative jump-off point: Where do insights come from and why are they so important?

Stendhal said, ‘a novel is a mirror walking along a road.’ Realistically a new brand, a project or development is just a story waiting to be told. Now that story can be a shallow ‘that’s nothing new’ kind of story, or a great story that is a reflection of its environment, with depth and clarity and an unravelling that 'takes you on a journey of discovery’. The key is finding a great insight that forms the foundation for your story. Sometimes finding an insight is observation, sometimes it's anecdotal, sometimes it's epiphany. But often, it’s just research. Hard work. Asking enough questions to find a unique intersection between a place and an audience, a project and those you want to consider it.


That’s why it’s worth investing the time and energy into, because if you can find the thing that makes your story great, it has the power to resonate with your audience and influence their behaviour. Less storytelling, and more story selling.

When Traders in Purple approached us to create a brand for their latest development at Scarborough, we dived into our usual due diligence: place, position, aspect, competition, benchmarking, lifestyle, architecture, design, features, audiences and mindset. We outlined what made this project special, unique and desirable – and then we looked for the intersection of these characteristics with our audience.

There is something timeless about Scarborough. Like stepping back to a simpler time. A place that highlights the things you used to enjoy as a kid. The important things, before we all started spending 3½ hours a day staring at a phone screen, and countless other hours staring at either a computer screen or a tv. Days spent outside, exploring, swimming, paddling, walking, biking, picnicking. Meeting up with old friends and sharing time and energy, making new ones. A real sense of connection and community. Outdoors, not indoors. The big calming influence of the bay, the slightly raw wildness of it that reminds you that you’re really alive. A sense of stepping back in time to ‘the good old days’, rediscovering all the things you loved doing before a career and responsibility, and children and meetings, and… not enough time for you. But also the ability to have an amazing contemporary home right on the bay, with spectacular panoramic views and every kind of desirable resort feature and experience. A sense of freedom, but also haven and sanctuary. Everything you’ve always wanted in a beautifully designed, luxurious new home, including the ability to ‘lock up and go’ on a whim. We realised that the project was an intersection of two powerfully juxtaposed ideas, ‘Nostalgia meets contemporary living,’ and this led us to our Brand vision insight, that the project was ‘A return to the best things in life.’

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