The first in an occasional series of useful thoughts collected from our Capabilities team.
Working with marketing teams from organisations around the world, we are fortunate to be exposed to many different styles and pick up new ways of thinking about common marketing issues.
New product development is often a tricky area – particularly when you’re suffering from Innovator’s Block! So why not try some of these alternative, tried-and-tested ways of thinking around the problem?
1. Make the challenge MORE difficult
A loose innovation brief can often constrain creativity, so make the task easier by making it more difficult – define the boundaries, tighten the scope and force yourself to find a creative way out of the problem.
2. Meet up with old friends
Go and interview an ex-client/customer and ask him to tell you what you should do better. They will be more honest and open about talking about barriers and issues when out of the formal relationship – you should not be afraid to listen to criticism and act on it!
3. Are we nearly there yet?
As well as asking questions like a four year old, why not ask a child their opinion? This is a test of how simply and easily you can explain your idea and its benefits. Can you explain your innovation idea to your children so that is clear, easy to understand and they get the benefits? Often an idea that cannot be explained simply, cannot be explained at all…
4. Bedtime writing
Keep a notebook and pen by your bed, you never know when a great idea might strike and it is easy to forget something if it’s either late at night or first thing in the morning!
5. Hire a celebrity innovation board
Put together a dream team of celebrity innovators to help you with your challenge, then imagine how they would approach the problem. How would Madonna or Gordon Ramsay see it differently?
6. Take time to consider
Creativity is not a linear process. Sometimes it’s good to stop, take time out and let your brain think about the problem while you’re doing something quite different … It’s amazing how creative you can be when you’re not even trying. So, if a workshop has reached a point where the creativity has dried up, or the problem seems too difficult to solve, get everyone to go for a walk outside and just chat about it.