Your First Idea Isn’t Going to be Your Best Idea [Video]

Brand

When that one great idea hits, it’s an amazing moment. But getting there can be a struggle. It can take a long time – and a lot of work. There are smart ways to boost your ability to be creative, and compared to the benefits that come, they’re relatively simple.

The key to finding a great idea is having a lot of them to choose from. When you’re brainstorming, just keep generating new ideas consistently, up to 50 or 100 ideas. Move fast – think Tom Monahan’s

100MPH Thinking

technique. Pump out ideas as fast as you can. One leads to another, and another, and eventually you’ll have a wall of ideas to pick from. You shouldn’t stop for too long to flesh out a single idea, because that’s time taken away from creating new ones. If you spend a while on one and it turns out not to be great, that’s wasted time.

[pull_quote text=”Work from a BIG idea.”]

This process should lead to better ideas, and it might even allow you to build “families” of ideas. That’s helpful because for a major campaign, a small idea won’t cut it. The idea has to be big, it needs to have scope. It needs to have the legs to support a wide variety of different avenues of presentation and different executions without getting stale. It becomes a concept, not just an idea. And it’s what you need for anything bigger than a simple ad.

When you’re building a concept – or really, when you’re coming up with ideas – don’t use rationality or facts as your foundation. That sounds counter-intuitive, but there are a few good reasons for this. First, it’s not how people make their buying decisions. Emotions are much more powerful. The body responds 180,000 times faster than the brain. Your body responds to brand marketing messages instantly. Then your brain tries to keep up with rational reasons to justify that response. Supply the rational reasons but lead with the resonant emotional “thump.”

[pull_quote text=”Do not find yourself polishing a turd.”]

But additionally, it’s just more interesting on a creative level. There’s much more that a writer and a designer can do with the emotions that a product or service can foster than with a list of statistics and awards the client has won. Everyone says they’re great. Be the one who really tells why.

The key, though, is finding that great idea, and the way to do it is through smart brainstorming. You need a host of choices to make sure you get the one that’s really going to click with your client and your client’s customers. Churn out ideas, and build them around emotion. Do that, and the next big idea might be the biggest yet.

 

Thomas wears a few hats—writer, editor, and European soccer expert—but his passion is content creation. When he's not crafting thoughtful content, he's coaching high school running, watching the Mets, or talking up Indianapolis to anyone who will listen.

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