How the Cookerly team gets creative (and why you should try it)
As an agency delivering integrated marketing campaigns and creative content to our clients, we are constantly developing ideas to further our clients’ brands in compelling, eye-catching ways. We love creative methods to boost brainstorming sessions, and you can try them out – but why should you?
Simply put, creativity breeds business growth. In this digital, 24-hour news era, consumers have so much information that companies must innovate to stand out. Whether it’s finding new customers or creating efficiency in processes, there is almost always a benefit to your business from a dose of creativity.
If you’re convinced this could be good for you (and maybe even fun), start by selecting a diverse group for your ideation session. Include at least one person who represents your target market, and make sure you have these people represented:
- The Subject-Matter Expert – should be involved in your current model to shed light on what works and what to improve.
- The Improv Student – follows the improvisational comedy of saying, “Yes, and…” to encourage creative thinking and include everyone to get a diverse idea set.
This brainstorming group will go boldly into an environment tailor-made to foster creativity – comfortable and open, but with some tweaks to create inventive energy.
Props and visuals are useful for making associations that lead to new ideas. Our Chief Innovation Officer and brainstorming guru Stephen Brown keeps whimsical artifacts in his office, like a vintage candy dispenser. For visuals, print pictures showing a variety of locations and people, and discuss how you would communicate your message to those populations. Use art supplies like crayons, colored pencils and paper to let participants doodle, or use them in an ice breaker.
A good ice breaker idea is to hearken back to a more creative time, like childhood, by using art supplies, favorite memories or word games. We recently did a brainstorm about the idea of confidence that started with everyone thinking of three times in their life they felt truly confident, and then sharing those with the group.
After getting warmed up, get deep with these thought-provoking techniques:
- Assumption smashing – remove parts of an idea to morph it into a new concept
- Example: What would a music festival look like with no music? What would bring people to that event?
- Serendipitous ideation – brainstorm from the perspective of three areas that are not connected to yours
- Example: If your product is a new shoe, skip the obvious sports arenas and athletes to discuss how you could connect it to, say, virtual reality or a book club.
- Problem reversal – make up the worst ideas possible, flipping them into usable positive ideas
- Example: The idea of setting up a perfume launch at a landfill can be flipped into new venue ideas for that launch, like a botanical garden.
Using these techniques takes practice, but the results can be inventive ideas that garner attention for your organization. Need some guided inspiration? Stephen Brown would love to share his passion for brainstorming with you and lead your group to dynamic new ideas. Get in touch with us to set up a session.