Why it pays to play it unsafe

Even in uncertain times, brands and creatives need to take risks to reap rewards: just look to history if you need proof

Fear is a powerful emotion. Given free rein, it can overwhelm us – holding us back, even if by taking a punt and trying something different we might end up better-positioned, not less. And in today’s challenging times – an era of doubt, distrust and uncertainty – this is also true for brands.

How often when times have got tough have brand owners opted to scale back, ramp down and play it safe – by which I mean, revert to tried and tested means, tools and tactics – rather than try something new? And how many times have designers, fearful of rocking the boat with their clients, followed suit? Too many times to mention.

Yet experimentation is the engine that powers forward motion. It is the trigger for the most interesting and dramatic developments in marketing, branding and design. It is the antidote to boring, bland and stale. And in uncertain times, I’d go as far as suggesting, it is more important than ever to commit to.