Why Creative Strategy Is Essential–A Manifesto (of sorts)

Working in the client service business can feel like circumnavigating the globe on a piece of driftwood.

How did I end up here?
How much longer can I make it?
Ooh! Is that a whale?

(Ok, maybe not that last one.)

It’s easy to feel isolated, powerless against the whims of the market, and, frankly, burned out. And, a lot of times, our clients don’t fare much better.

So we started talking about what it might look like to become more intentional about our work community — clients and collaborators alike. Who do we want to work with? What gets us excited? What ideas and people are we proud to contribute our expertise to? And — what do people need?

We quickly coalesced around our shared experience of seeing too many creative projects fail because there had been no strategy at the outset. Either the brief was wrong (rebranding instead of investing in updating content) or the creative team was not the right fit (hiring a “name brand” design firm when a smaller studio would be better suited to the project), or both. Which leads to wasted time & effort, disappointed clients & creative practitioners — and ultimately, an outcome that doesn’t deliver.

We want to change that.

Our vision and our purpose started to take shape.

Our clients would be mostly women (& trans & NB & GNC & queer…) business leaders. Essentially — people who don’t generally get the opportunity to fail up.

They would be nonprofits, social enterprises, or other mission-driven ventures — where the scale of the budget may be relatively small, but the stakes are high and the potential to effect change is real.

We’d provide support, strategic thinking, and experienced brains to pick, acting as creative strategy whisperers — helping translate goals and needs into concrete plans for brand and communications projects.

We’d be the team that you come to first in order to help you figure out what problem you are actually trying to solve, what purpose you are trying to meet, what your content is, what shape or form it needs to take, who you are trying to reach with your communications, and how best to accomplish all of this with the resources at hand.

This is what we mean by strategy.

And, equally importantly, we’d foster an intentional community of similarly driven creative practitioners willing to share advice, collaborate on projects, and just meet in a room together every so often to provide support. (Putting the “collective” in The Constellation Collective.)

Right now, that’s our vision.

But — we are just getting started and we are here to listen.

Too many agencies focus on inventing or upselling things that clients “need,” and not enough time trying to figure out what the real issue or challenge is.

Too many creative people are not being paid what they’re worth. Clients often undervalue design and expect far too much for too little.

We’re hoping to be a small counterpoint, focused on providing an essential, yet often undervalued, part of the creative process (i.e. strategy) .

We are two creative strategists with over 25 years of combined experience leading design & communication projects for mission-based organizations, and we are surrounded by an incredible community of creative practitioners.

We are The Constellation Collective.

— Megan & Rachel

The Constellation Collective

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The Constellation Collective is a creative consultancy that helps female-led organizations tackle design and communication projects in a smart & strategic way.

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