It has been said that artists are creative experts, however, that is not an idea creation job requirement. Humans are inherently creative in solving problems and the invention of ideas. Often though, the biggest stumbling block is coming up with the “BIG” idea. How you create a “BIG” idea whether, in the outcome of something tangible (product, service, item) or a creative concept (branding, marketing, designs), it is the same dilemma. Here are a few tips to help in idea creation.
Define the Goal
What is the desired end result; a product name? A clever phrase? A marketing strategy to attract attention? Try analyzing the situation to point you in the direction of the goal. Point your boat in the right direction from the start! It can be easy to lose sight or be drawn off-course by a tangent.
Use a Pencil and Paper
Go offline and back to old-school pencil and paper (pencil, pen, marker, highlighter, or stick in the sand)! This allows you to slow down and get engaged. Writing makes the brain think in a different way and can help you remember/trigger memories which might create new ideas. For basic brainstorming, writing can be a huge benefit!
Sometimes it is all about to HOW you do it. Instead of everyone in the room trying to come up with something to throw in the ring, work independently first. Creativity can often be stifled in a group setting; the “best” ideas might go to the lowest innovation, and doesn’t push the creative out-of-the-box ideas! Bring your ideas with you to the table. If everyone brings the best, you start out with a higher level of ideation to begin with and help drive early success.
Conflict & Reaction
Look at the goal from the opposite side. Play the “devil’s advocate” and see what the reactions and conflicts might be. Does your cleverness require too much explaining? Is the word you “created” based off specific industry jargon that misses a broader audience? Take a step back and say, “I know nothing about this,” and see if it still works.
This can be a productive method to find and fix holes in your plan from the outset. Looking in from the outside can be a great perspective when generating ideas. Remember that you know the research, backstory, and context of your design problem, however, the broader audience will not have those insights.
Ready to start pumping out that endless list of needed ideas? Grab your notebook and go to town. The is no time like the present to get started on the next winning idea!