Some days, ideas just wont come. And it tends to be on those days when you need ideas most. So many products, services and industries are at parity; we need ideas more than we ever have needed them before. They are a source of differentiation and inspiration for both our customers and our employees. So what should you do when your creativity disappears? Here are 8 simple questions to ask when you're in need of a creativity reset.
1. What would my 5-year-old self do?
Sometimes, a little naivety is the ticket to great ideas. Indulge your inner kid and ask yourself what your 5 year old self would do to tackle your challenge. Add color, creativity, play, adventure and a healthy dose of simplicity. Pay attention to where you find fun and even laughter. This is often indicative of a great idea.
2. How could I quadruple the price of my product/service?
There's inspiration to be found when you take your product or service to the extremes. To quadruple your price tag, you'd have to come up with some incredible product features and outrageous service offerings. Most likely, you'll end up scaling the idea back to something financially viable, but sometimes you will create an idea unto itself. For example, the Encore Wynn Hotel created a $10,000 cocktail, complete with jewel encrusted glass, gold necklace and vintage champagne.
3. How could I make headlines with my product/service?
Ask yourself what it would take to get famous in your industry. How could you make headlines and make a real splash? This will often mean setting yourself an audacious goal, trying to break a record, or picking a very public fight with something in the world that you're trying to change. Dove picked a fight with the beauty myth, Branson makes a habit of picking fight with British Airways and Diesel picked a fight with 'smart' people.
4. Who would be the most unlikely person/company to partner with?
One fast way to grow is thorugh strategic partnerships. The more unlikely and suprising they are, the better. Think about the essence of your message and consider the most unlikely brands and influencers to partner with that will catapult your message. Think to partners well beyond the normal parameters of your category, as chances are, it's already cluttered with your competitors.
5. What will my product/service look like in the year 2050?
Imagine you are a futurist and are looking deep into the future. What has happened to your industry? What has changed? What does it take to win now? Use this as a way to innovate your current product pipeline.
6. How could I make my product appealing to the direct opposite of my current target?
Think about your current target - what they wear, where they live, what they believe, what car they drive and what they watch on Netflix. Now, create a persona that is the direct opposite to that person. What would it take to design a product or service that would meet their needs? Though your ideas will be far flung, you'll find a nugget of inspiration that you can apply to your current consumer base.
7. What if my marketing budget halved?
When you have limitations, you are forced to be more creative, more daring and more bold in your ideas. You'll think in terms of stunts, activations and movements that will grab attention and encourage others to join your cause and spread your message on your behalf.
8. What if we let our fans run everything about our business?
Empowerment and consumer participation is a current theme of the times. Push this idea to the extremes and imagine you put your superfans in charge of the business. What would they change? What would they double down on? What would they abandon? Forget what's practical and possible and let your fans run your business from a place of passion.