What is Brainstorming?

Brainstorming is simply a means of getting a large number of ideas from a group of people in a short time. Brainstorming is great for marketers! Marketers can generate new creative ideas for products, services, solutions or concepts. Not only is brainstorming useful for creative thinking, but is can also be used for marketing problem solving and marketing decision making.

Evaluating ideas

1. Scrutinise all the ideas and pick out any that instantly jump out at you.

2. Sort the remaining ideas into groups of a manageable size and examine using some predefined criteria e.g. profitability or relative competitive advantage.

3. Subject ideas to reverse brainstorming. Ask the question ‘In how many ways can this idea fail?’

Successful brainstorming depends upon four key rules:

1. Suspend judgement.

2. Let yourself go and freewheel.

3. Go for quantity – quality implies evaluation (which means that you have not suspended judgement).

4. Cross-fertilize – pick up someone else’s ideas and suggest others leading from it.

Steps in Brainstorming.

A. State the problem.

B. Restate the problem.

C. Select restatement.

D. Warm-up.

E. Brainstorm.

Oiling the Wheels

If brainstorming group dries up the leader can get the ideas flowing again by using any one of the following approaches:

1. Silent review – let the group review silently the ideas already generated in order to stimulate their thinking.

2. Quantity targets – encourage the group to go for 10, 50 or 100 ideas!

3. The one idea – get the group to focus on one idea and use that as a stimulus.

4. Select a restatement from the list the group produced earlier and brainstorm it.

5. Wildest idea – let the group silently review the ideas already generated in order to use the wildest idea as a stimulus for more productive ideas.