Inspire Creativity with CQ Field Studies Beehive recently launched CQ Field Studies, an employee-driven program designed to nourish creativity, expand thinking and spark new ideas for how we can help clients use the power of communication to build better businesses for a better world. CQ stands for Creativity and Curiosity Quotient, and it’s all about providing a constant infusion of new experiences that strengthen client strategies and business results.   There are many “Qs” in business and leadership: Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Social Quotient (SQ). All of these are important, but none address the growing importance and influence of creativity in driving business outcomes. In fact, a 2014 study by Forrester Consulting found “companies that embrace creativity outperform peers and competitors on key business performance indicators, including revenue growth, market share and talent acquisition.”   There are many ideas to be found when it comes to boosting employee and culture creativity, including those listed here, here and here. They all agree that getting out of the office and into the “real world” is essential to staying inspired and consistently thinking in new and different ways.   I was fortunate to be the first at Beehive to complete a CQ Field Study. Here’s an overview of my experience, including what I learned and shared with the rest of our team.  

The Question (The CQ)

How can high-end beachwear boutique Nani Nalu thrive when it sells a seasonal category (swimwear), in a single bricks and mortar location?

The Expectation

Positivity and Confidence: Personal assistance in learning what you can (and should not) wear. Nani Nalu promises: “We want you confident and positive in your beach style.” Expertise. They pledge: “It’s our fit experts that give each and every customer the best swimsuit shopping experience possible.” Personal, Customized Experience: Fulfill my need for support/connection when facing uncertainty.

The Experience

Missed opportunity: Nani Nalu didn’t try to upsell despite having a store full of accessories (cover ups, hats, sunglasses, etc.) and knowing I would soon spend two weeks on a beach. Lack of expertise: Having suits pre-selected by a dedicated assistant was nice, but the anticipated fit expertise was missing. It didn’t feel very helpful to be told everything looked great. Lack of follow through: The experience felt personal and attentive at the beginning (email confirmation, email reminder, dedicated parking, name on dressing room, bottle of water), but there was no post-purchase follow-up to reinforce the experience (no thank you, no follow-up).

The Takeaways

Listen to customers: Ask your customer about their experiences, preferences and needs. This is invaluable for building trust and loyalty. Experience expectations are rising: To differentiate, you need to surprise and delight constantly. Merchandise your value proposition: Provide consistent reminders to stakeholders about why they should consider, invest and advocate for your brand.   Staying inspired is not only good for our clients and their businesses, it’s also a critical way to keep employees engaged and cultures energized. This program is one of many ways we focus on this in support of our Client Promise and People Promise. Stay tuned to Beehive’s blog for future CQ Field Study updates from our team.