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Suits Vs. Creatives

Suit nerd vs Creative nerd. Taken from the PC vs Mac ads.

Every day, at every office, decisions are being made.  Ideas are being put up on a board.  Some are trashed, others are praised and picked, only to be hyped up for failure or success.  Each day is a battle between the people behind these ideas.  Usually it's against businessmen and women, or the suits, versus the artists, or the creatives.  This is especially true for any industry that involves creative work.  That means design firms, clothing lines, advertisement agencies, etc.  Marketing teams see things one way and designers see it another.

This is an inevitable battle at the work place and most of the time, the suits win.  Not because what they see is better or it makes more sense, but because most of the time the owners of the companies are suits themselves.  The main purpose for the suits is to make the most amount of money, no matter what the quality is like and no matter how many corners are being cut, as long as the product is being produced at the cheapest price and the profit margins are huge.

There are pros with this way of thinking.  The company will make a lot of money and they will sell fast if their prices are competitive and their product is somewhat decent.  The owners then turn to their suit workers and give them one of those cheesy finger guns and a wink after they made them a ton of money.  Kind of like the slap on the ass from Scottie Pippen after Michael Jordan hits a big shot.  But do the pros outweigh the cons?

Because your suits don't pay too much mind about your quality, keeping production costs low, the material you use for your product isn't really the best.  It will quickly break or rip or fall apart and your customer is left with a wasted purchase.  They're either angry or dumbfounded and you lose the trust of your customer.  But, it's okay - you've already made a shit ton of money so you don't really need them to buy your product again.  Only thing is, if you come out with something new, will your customer give you a second chance especially if you still manufacture your product the same way?  No one really knows definitively.  That's why you market the hell out of your product and hope for the best.

Again, do your pros outweigh the cons?  Personally, I don't think so.  I really prefer quality over quantity.  I'd be willing to pay more per unit during production and keep your customer coming back for more because they trust your product.  Again, I'm a creative and maybe what I'm writing here is a bit biased, but I want to point out how both sides think.  Creatives want to push the limit of their product.  They want to make the best stuff (if they are good and true to their art).  They don't care about how much it costs to produce, because they know it will sell.  They know how cool their product is and they make something that their customer will want and will keep wanting.  This is what creatives research.  They research trends within their industry and they forecast what is going to be cool.  The main difference when a suit forecasts and when a creative forecasts is that creatives don't involve money when they research.  Suits, on the other hand, see the dollar signs before anything takes place.  They don't say money is the root of all evil for no reason.

Weighing the pros and cons with the creatives point of view, your company will not be making as much money, but you will have a quality product that people might be willing to pay a little more for, as long as it is sensible and competitive.  Keyword is might.  Sometimes people don't believe that your product is really quality, so you have to market that.  You have to tell them that it is and dare them to prove you wrong.  But because your company won't be making as much money, your owner isn't going to give you the point and shoot along with the wink to the creative, since they won't be making as much money.  However,  you will give them a product that has longevity and that will compete very well against other brands.

The question at hand is are you willing to risk making more money for a cheaper quality product or do you want a product that is very well produced and that will have customers asking for more?  I'm not really a numbers guy, so I won't be breaking it down to you, but with an "edumucated" guess I can tell you that you'll be making more money in the long run if you have a better quality product that not many consumers can say anything negative about.  Now some suits see it this way too, which is why companies like Apple will probably outlast Microsoft (they are gaining on them, if they haven't already).  Some creatives might see it the way suits see it too.  They might as well be the sell out that so many other suits are.  You see this a lot in the music industry.  Musicians sell out in order to gain popularity and make quick money.  This, to me at least, is unfortunate.  I see that the basic human instinct is survival, so if you're willing to sacrifice longevity for a quick pay check, you won't be surviving for long.  That's like an athlete without a college degree.  You're going to be making your millions in a few years, but after that you're done.  You have no future.

With this, I have to hand it to the creatives and suits that see things the same way and produce one hell of a product that keeps people coming.  Kudos to you.

Hauk Vagner