Post Brainstorm Tip 2: Not all ideas are created equal

Once a brainstorm finishes, it's important to understand that the pile of thoughts in front of you aren't all fully formed ideas (ready to action). There will also be concepts, seedling ideas, territories, and random but useful thoughts. If you rush it and select only the fully formed ideas from the pile, you could miss the opportunity to develop a world-beating idea from the rest. Most brainstorms waste most of the output.

To illustrate these blog tips I'm going to pretend I have just run a brainstorm based on a new 2L ice cream brief. I have never worked on ice-cream, hence the choice.

What to do with a...

Fully formed idea - (an idea that is actionable) if you think an idea has merit/ is interesting, you can simply judge it to find flaws to then strengthen. E.g.

  • 'Treasure Island' ice-cream that has a hard chocolate shell on top and treasure lollies in the ice-cream
  • 'Four corners of the earth' adult ice-cream with four exotic flavours in each corner of the 2L container
  • Concept - (this is a broad idea that isn't actionable but could lead to an idea) if you think a concept has something, you will need to ideate from this. E.g.
  • An ice-cream that's also a game for the family
  • An ice-cream mashup with a yet-to-be-released movie

Seedling idea - (an idea that isn't quite 'finished' - it needs more work) If you think a seedling idea is exciting, you will need to spend a moment developing the idea further before judging it. E.g.

  • 'Volcano' ice-cream
  • Half adult and half kids
  • Territories - (very broad areas that concepts sit within) If you like a territory, this should be used as a point of focus to ideate on. E.g.
  • Ice cream that's fun to eat
  • More sophisticated ice-cream for discerning adults

Random thoughts - (These might have nothing to do with the task at hand) If you think a random thought has merit, then this should be captured and distributed to the person in the business it could help. E.g.

  • We should explore what customer value we can create from different shaped 2L containers
  • An adult Jelly Tip (on a stick)

As you can see, judging everything as if they are fully formed ideas won't work. You could 'kill' a thought that with a little more development could become amazing. And that's what you're after.

If you want to discuss this in more depth don't hesitate to get in touch.