As we invite web designers from all over the world to participate in F3.SPACE, a unique web design contest led by Radix, we introduce you to Chad Borlase, Group Creative Director at SapientRazorfish and an esteemed panelist at F3.SPACE. Throughout his 20 years in the advertising and marketing business, Chad has applied his passion for storytelling and creative innovation to provoke an emotional connection with consumers that has enabled him to successfully sell products and services. He has launched and repositioned brands such as Honda, Rogers Communications, Fido Wireless, Coca-Cola, General Motors, General Mills, P&G, Microsoft and The Toronto Blue Jays.
In this interview, Chad Borlase speaks to us about his amazing career, the creative trends he foresees and the skills required by creative professionals to sell their ideas and concepts. Read on!
1. What’s that one thing you wish you knew back when you started your career?
If I could do it all again, I would have liked to start my career with a job at a top-notch company and in a profile that I was passionate about, instead of settling for the very first job that came my way. I believe that working in a company that is the best in its industry and in a profile that you are happy to work for will give you invaluable real-world experience and help you build a stronger portfolio much faster.
2. Over the years, which brands or projects did you enjoy working on the most?
That is really hard to answer. Let’s put it this way – they are all my little children, and they are all very special to me in their own way. Also, it’s really about the team and the people I worked with that made my experience enjoyable.
3. Do you think there is a constant conflict between the creative team and the business/sales team? Is it possible for the two to align their goals? How?
Ideally, you shouldn’t have a conflict like that. Both the teams must work in synergy and have their goals aligned from the very beginning. In fact, most of my friends and colleagues work on the business side, and they are the ones pushing for creativity. It’s simple, we need to sell better, creative work because if we don’t, someone else will.
4. What are the must-have skills when it comes to selling a creative idea to a client?
Storytelling and understanding. These two skills are key to sell a creative idea or successfully carry out concept selling. If you can make a client believe in the potential of what you are selling to solve problems for them, then you have won the battle. However, you must understand their requirements and pain-points thoroughly so you can make the solution of their problem an integral component of your idea and use it to convince the client to make the purchase.
5. What is personal branding according to you? How important is it for creative professionals?
I firmly believe that the way you work and how you act in the professional world forms your personal brand. You tend to rub shoulders and work with a small community and it is imperative that they like you and respect what you do. Having a personal brand is quite a necessity for creative professionals to network among their community and be branded as specialists of their niche.
6. What are the trends you foresee in the creative web design and development phase in the next couple of years?
As Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) become more accessible, the way we interact with brands and services will be redefined into an immersive experience. I, for one, can’t wait to start breaking the existing ways of working and find new ways for larger cross-functional teams to work faster and bring these experiences to the market.
Also published on Medium.