Advice from American Greetings VP: How creatives and the business side can get along
Many people think of American Greetings as a purveyor of greeting cards and party goods, but as Carol Miller describes it, the privately-held company is in the “meaningful connections” business, helping people make connections with family and friends.
Miller’s role at American Greetings as Vice President of Innovation is to define a centralized innovation strategy for the privately-held company, which is based in Cleveland. She oversees a team of about 35 people, plus a handful of freelancers and contractors — a group that effectively serves as the company’s R&D arm, honing in on consumer needs and creating new products or experiences to address them, before handing things over to the business units.
On a recent IL Live call, Miller shared ten tips for getting business-side people and creatives to work together more productively.
“Many companies,” she told us, “will initiate a project and the business folks will do their thing. They [assess the] consumer need, [develop] the insights, and strategy, and marketing objectives, and financials, and [create] a sales strategy… Then they bring it into the folks who’ve been trained in creative. They expect those creative folks to execute on the business person’s stated objective.”