CREATIVE RECIPE: The creative secret to understanding your guests


In my spare time I love to cook. In fact I try to make time for it whenever I can. To me there’s no better way to wind down than with a glass of red, a bunch of fresh ingredients and my fancy new chef's knife. The other night I was whipping up a Saturday night curry and as I was grounding up my masala spices I got thinking about how cooking is a lot like creative idea generation.

I hate following recipes. I find them restricting. However, I read them from time to time to get ideas on techniques, ingredients and matching flavours. When it comes to idea generation we look for inspiration too, from books, mags, blogs, design, architecture, travel, music, movies, food… And of course the list goes on.

Quality ingredients are like a good branding brief. If you have the best produce then you are more than half-way to cooking up a tasty meal. If we have a solid, strategically thought-out brief with a great single-minded proposition, it’s far easier to come up with a clever insight and effective creative execution.

Just like coming up with creative ideas, when I cook I love a challenge. I recently asked a mate what nationality he wanted me to theme the dinner party I was throwing for his birthday. Much like your potential guests it’s important to know who you are cooking for. How much flavour is too much? How spicy is can I make it? Will raw fish appeal to everyone?

So never underestimate the importance of great branding. Just think of that special or secret recipe that only your Nanna can create. My family all still ask for “Aunty Nett’s chocolate cake” for every one of our birthdays. Aunty Nett could easily cook any cake you asked for, but it’s her chocolate cake that’s got the brand appeal to keep her busy at least one day every month.

The final stage of idea generation is the execution. How do we wrap it? It’s much like plating up your amazing meal that you’ve spent hours preparing. You don’t want to ruin amazing fresh produce and a ripping recipe with slop on a plate.

Assuming we’ve been given a great brief and we've found an authentic story to tell, all we need to do now is execute it beautifully by crafting the art direction, design, photography, typography, illustration, animation, film and copywriting. Easy.

Developing the right branding for your accomodation business might not always be easy but when you nail an authentic brand story for your right audience, the rest will be as easy as boiling an egg.