Creative Industries in an Age of Turbulence

What should creative class concentrate on when there is chaos and nothing seems to matter? How the consumer has changed and the laws of creative economics, which help to create and work in the new reality.

Every New Year we naively wait for a miracle, but for the third year in a row we – every person, family, business, society – are tested. For durability and flexibility, for seriousness of intentions and faith in one's strength. Each such lesson leads to the inevitable – new rules and a reality in which it will not be possible to live in the old way.

There have been changes.

It won't be the way it was before.

Come what may.

But what happens now, we can talk about.

How business doesn't work in chaos, but your mind does

In the field of creativity, where we create concepts for events and brands, there have been considerable upheavals, as everywhere else. It was 2020. I remember how one day we realized that we had lost everything. No contracts, no events. NOTHING. Everything had come to a standstill. Offices emptied, factories wouldn't let people out to work, establishments closed, events canceled, and travel restricted. While accepting that we would never go back to the old life, it became clear that we would have to build an entirely new one. And come what may.

The right thing to do during the turbulence was to stop, take an observer position, and not make any decisions. Just train your brain regularly and give out more and more new solutions. Don't devalue, don't discard anything. Think like a child, without evaluating.

My team and I worked on a brain-training technique I developed: brainstorming, metaphors for each one, working on avatars. At first, we chose ideas, wrote huge longreads of associations, and worked on target content seeding for the audience.

March, April... Ideas poured in and out. From creating a drop-shipping platform and testing healthy products: Astragalus root tea, an herb that will cure all ills, all the way up to calling home the priest on Easter Sunday.

Of course, we went our own way and created the online game called Inkubarium. It allowed participants to create their own idea for a business, invent and draw a brand, make a commercial for it, and sell it to a potential investor.

Our eyes glowed and we moved on.

And here we are in 2022. A year that turned the world's understanding of geopolitics upside down. Where everything became white and black, truth and lies. Where the concepts of strength, courage, freedom, choice, and happiness take on a new meaning. And if previously we rebuilt our vision, now we've reinforced it and popularized it.

Now is the time to act as you have never did before. Such events break the whole normal course of things, and you have to break, in a sense, in order to create something radically new. As everything has transformed, first of all, the consumer has changed forever.

Transformation of Consumers and their Habits

This is no longer the typical portrait of a client who can be described in one sentence: a woman/man in their 20-55, who lives in the city, studies or works in an office. They now have new habits and new demands. They actively using video, online shopping and online training, home delivery, working remotely and getting an education. They consume a lot of content, entertaining, motivational and educational.

This led to an overall increase in screen time, trust in online fast education products - intensives, marathons, courses from micro- and macro-influencers. Before 2020, business education was actively developing, and now the audience tends to trust micro-entrepreneurs more and adopt their practices. Now it is always an accessible contact with the outside world, it is a co-adjustment with reality, as well as an opportunity to learn new skills, profession, and just to become a better self.

Now it seems especially unimportant to have a picture, fonts and slogan, palette and shapes, concepts and branding.

The truth is that they were not important before. What is important is the meaning and sentiment embedded in these tools, and the messages that are read by the audience. They only reflect the essence. And the essence is either there or it was not and will not be.

Now the clients and the customers need to convey messages about how you can live in their new reality, manage their life and themselves. And we all need to realize that in the midst of chaos, the main pillar is you, your strengths, which you can apply anywhere and monetize. This is a time when the one who takes responsibility for themselves, for their business, acting as an entrepreneur in every area of their life and work, wins.

We realized that it was time for that very economy of creativity. Now the people who are generating the content have become the ones who are driving the economy as a whole. Those who are free of prejudices and who are writing a new story.

“As creativity is the driving force behind economic development, the creative class has by now taken a dominant position in society” – “The creative class: the people who are changing the future.”

Today we know that the economy of creativity is about identity and the formation of a large community. It's about what is rightfully yours: your talent, your word, self-expression, and shaping a whole new reality. In the face of world events, creative minds have united in a desire not only to generate first-hand content, but also to help their country's economy. Content has become more important than ever, and it has become the foundation of our today and the shaping of our vision for tomorrow.

This principle gains momentum in business as well. Brands and companies create content that accurately impacts the audience and meets their needs. And whoever creates convertible content becomes a new entrepreneur.

How to Live and Work in the New Creative Economy

We need to understand that this is about a new economic system, where the value is not in the traditional resources (labor, capital, land, etc.), but in the originality of the idea. It's not about ideas that are born, like, “Oh cool!” but rather, “Oh cool! This will work!”. It's about creativity, out-of-the-box solutions based on clear business objectives for the client, for whom, reaction, aftertaste emotion, attention-holding time and more. These are clear tools for getting results.

In an agency and any creative team, each member becomes a product of the economy of creativity – in essence, a micro-entrepreneur.

For those who create content according to the new laws of design, which does not just appear on the web for advertising purposes. Every agency product we prepare and release becomes a kind of sub-business that benefits and monetizes, manages and influences the life of the product on the market.

Today's creative economy is changing the environment in which people want to work, learn, invent, think, and live. It develops on ideas and technology, at their intersection. And it touches absolutely all spheres. It has led to a lot of changes:

● The information society was born, and its most sought-after product is ideas, meanings, images, and role models.

● An environment has emerged where you are not part of the system, but you are the system.

● It has changed the creative professions and people who work based on only their skills and knowledge.

● Social media plays the most significant role in shaping the image and mindset, as well as the trusted field of choice.

● Micro- and macro-influencers – bloggers with a loyal audience of varying scales ready to consume content – have emerged.

● Trust in content has changed, more and more users began to respond to video content and content that contains direct appeal in a friendly rhetoric.

● A system of fast education has emerged: in the format of intensives and marathons, you can quickly learn new experiences and gain focused skills.

● It also changed the perception of marketing communication from classic (it is justified expectations of the audience) to creative (over-expectation of non-standard approaches).

●Sincerity and service came to the fore, as well as flexibility and speed of decision-making. At the same time, of course, ready-made solutions do not work. The new sincerity exacerbates the sense of tone and exclusivity.

● The creativity economy gives birth to new professions and platforms that also bring new benefits to those who consume this content, giving them the right image. Among the most accessible platforms are YouTube, Spotify, Instagram, Tik-Tok, Behance, and LinkedIn. There are also projects that help people discover their strengths and practice their skills, like the New Economy Business School Superludi, the online game Inkubarium, Lera Borodina's projects, etc.

Yeah, and it gets better. Today we are boldly talking about content without borders and metaverses – essentially one big platform for self-expression, where players produce content and consume it in unimaginably different forms. This is a very near future that we are already prepared for.

The new reality means new rules of the game. Today everyone – a team member, freelancer, company employee, student, business professional, entrepreneur, and creator – just a talented person can breathe new life into any product. Using imagination, ideas, and technology. To give it meaning, to fully include the full range of emotions, to generate content in an accessible form for themselves and the audience. Now all eyes are open and waiting for new solutions.

Author: Tetiana Bohoslavska-Orel, founder and creative director of RGB IDEA GROUP

Copywriting: Zoya Pysmenna