How to brainstorm effectively


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Get your umbrellas out its time to brainstorm! One of the most essential aspects of any marketing team is the ability to brainstorm effectively and collectively. Proterra Advertising is here to share with you some tips and tricks to bring out the best and brightest ideas so your team can shine!

For more information or to get our team brainstorming for you, email Heather Harrington:

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How to brainstorm effectively

  1. 1. How to Brainstorm Effectively
  2. 2. Part 1 of 3: Follow the Guidelines -----------------------------------
  3. 3. Guidelines When thinking of ideas, don’t shoot Suspend Judgment anyone down. NO negative comments or critics!
  4. 4. Guidelines Similar to “freewriting” or the “wildest idea” stage, let all of your ideas free and keep them coming. Because no one will reject your idea or make a negative comment, there’s nothing to hold you back. “Free Wheel”
  5. 5. Guidelines Quantity not Quality Quantity Quantity Quantity Quantity Quantity Quantity
  6. 6. Guidelines Cross Fertilize Work off of other people’s ideas or other ideas of your own.
  7. 7. Part 2 of 3: Choose Your Method
  8. 8. Different Methods of Brainstorming choose the one that works the best for you
  9. 9. − Ideation Process The Ideation Process 6 Stages by James Webb Young
  10. 10. 1. Preparation ● ● ● ● Build a team Collect input Do your homework Think logically (left brain) in this stage 2. Frustration It happens.
  11. 11. 3. Incubation Start thinking with the right side of your brain (where you make associations and connections) and both individually, and as a team, associate new and old information in new combinations. After you have new idea’s, sleep on them and have some fun. 4. Illumination The “AHA!” Moment
  12. 12. 5. Evaluation 6. Elaboration Critical decision: is your idea good? Run with this idea!
  13. 13. Brainstorming Stages 6 Stages by Jim Avery
  14. 14. 1. State The Problem Have the team leader state the problem and broadly discuss it. 2. “How To….” Restate the problem in as many “How to…” forms as possible. Write everything down and display it.
  15. 15. 3. “How Many Ways…” 123... Restate the problem in a “How many ways…” format and everyone calls out solutions while someone writes them down and displays them. 4. Warm Up 123... Play any improvisational game to warm up your creative problem solving skills.
  16. 16. 5. Brainstorm 123... Call out for idea’s new and old. 6. The Wildest Idea 123... Take the Wildest idea and try to make it work. (Afterwards, take a few days off and come back to it.)
  17. 17. The War Room
  18. 18. The War Room Definition: a room for which a business or political strategy is formed They key activity to this room is the systematic development of information. The outcome of which is the brand strategy. This includes the target market, the criteria for purchase motivation, and the unique characteristics of the brand. All distractions are removed. This room has only one project aligned to it. A “war room” usually has a bulletin or dry erase board, a table, chairs, project props, computers, and any other items or furniture pertinent to working on this project. This room provides a safe place to brainstorm, and post all of your ideas and your idea processes on the walls while you work.
  19. 19. Part 3 of 3: What to Avoid and Include
  20. 20. Avoid • Groupthink - a phenomenon that occurs in decision making groups that seek to eliminate conflict and favor the majority • Thinking Customers Think Like You – this is where focus groups, surveys, and other types of secondary research come into play • Thinking You Have a Bad Idea – the opposite can also be true, make sure you have tested your idea before you put all your eggs in that basket • Thinking Your Market Stays the Same – It’s true, change is the only constant
  21. 21. Include • Include an Outsider – include someone who doesn’t belong to add some diversity • Play the Devil’s Advocate – ask tough questions and present multiple alternatives; this can also be used to eliminate assumptions • Look for Synergy – the furthering of one idea doesn’t have to mean the death of another • Write Down/Sketch Everything – if you don’t have a war room, create a brain wall where every idea is displayed for everyone to see
  22. 22. Brainstorming can either be a goldmine or a huge waste of time depending on how you approach the process. Following guidelines, sticking to a method, and remembering what to include and avoid will save you time, money, and make your creative brainstorming much more effective.
  23. 23. By Laura Barron January (TBD) 2014