One common refrain that I’ve been hearing of late is that it is important to feed the brain with many different ideas in order to drive creativity. Yesterday’s She Says speakers spoke about inspiring creativity, and all of them in one way or another mentioned this. This only bolsters my increasing confidence in the fact that knowing about many different issues or ideas is a good thing (versus specialised knowledge in one area), because only then can you draw something from one basket, mix it with another and come up with a creative solution to the problem at hand (which is the definition of a creative generalist). A great example of this mixing-and-matching that was mentioned yesterday was what happened when a writer met a chocolate-maker: they came up with the idea of making the word ‘chilli’ in chocolate – yes, chocolates that tasted like chilli, which sounds crazy but is definitely innovative!
Miranda Ross, Brand Planning Director at AMV BBDO gave some useful tips on how to drive inspiration, which clearly came from experience and made a lot of sense. They were simple and basic thoughts:
1. Listen to a fan (of the product/brand), because their enthusiasm could start your creative juices flowing.
2. Interrogate/experience the product, i.e wear it, eat it, use it, or even visit the manufacturing factory, to immerse yourself in it.
3. Think about what is NOT being talked about. If people are actually laughing at the brand, you should know why.
4. Take it away. Think of what would happen if the product/brand didn’t exist at all.
5. What latest inventions could apply? Think of technological advances that could be used to enhance the product’s experience, and the example she gave was Nike+ (yay!).
6. Let it fester. Take your time with it, don’t be in a hurry to come up with a solution.
7. Mind-map it.
8. Go browse. In a shoe store, music store, book store, toy store, whatever.
9. Don’t give up too early.