Saturday, October 20, 2007

Story-Writing Used in a Brainstorm and Generating Fresh Brainstorm Topics

In this post I showed how "going into story" can help create ideas for a brainstorm. Here I use that approach again and introduce a new technique that can suggest fresh brainstorm topics. For this post I'll use the following brainstorm:

What would be a unique name for a new carwash business?
Initially this will be a "touchless" carwash, but future plans will include detailing, car care products and other high end features that will make this business the destination for car enthusiasts that really care for their investment.

To "go into story" I set up a simple scenario around the challenge. I'll use this: a man drives his car into the carwash business and the carwash owner starts a conversation.

Again I use a random word and add either an exclamation mark or question mark to suggest a little flavour for my dialogue. The random word is ten

Owner: The sign with the name of my garage is ten metres long!

This may or may not be a good idea, but here's where the new technique comes in: I ask myself : if that idea had been a product of a brainstorm, what could the title of that brainstorm be? Here's a possibility

How can I make the name (or logo) of my business attract attention?

This creates a different direction in addition to the original challenge. I call this technique the hindsight-brainstorm.

Here's another example. The scenario is the same and the random word for my dialogue is mark:

Owner: Can you give the name of my business a mark out of ten?
Driver: Zero!
Owner: I'll change it!

So the idea created here is: ask customers to rate my company name. I can create a hindsight-brainstorm that could have originated such an idea. Maybe:

How can I get constructive feedback on my business from customers?

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