2/17/19 • Five Ways To Generate The Next “Big Idea”

As posted in the Gaston Gazette

Ideas are the bread and butter of the advertising and marketing industries – it’s no surprise that everyone wants to come up with the next “big idea.” That’s because big ideas have the potential to propel a business to the next tier of success: a great idea can make your business more visible to customers and more profitable.

You know your business best, so you are in a great position to develop the germ of the idea that could give you a boost. However, hiring skilled advertising and marketing experts can help you hone these ideas and execute them effectively across multiple platforms. Here are a few ways that you can prime yourself to come up with the kind of “big idea” that could mean huge growth for your business:

  • Focus on relaxation. Although it’s true that creative people push themselves to extremes in order to develop big ideas, one of the keys to making a breakthrough is actually rooted in the opposite: relaxation. Psychologist Guy Claxton notes in The Guardian that creative types allow their minds to wander into “the fringe of the mind,” a concept Claxton says originated in the work of William James, the father of psychology. This wandering is an essential component of relaxation and, ultimately, creative fruitfulness. Claxton points out that a number of experiments have shown that people are capable of producing more ideas – and likely better ones – when they relax. So take Claxton’s advice: build a little time for relaxation, even briefly, into your busy schedule. It could be your personal proving ground for innovation.
  • Be flexible. These days, big ideas are breaking out of their old molds and crossing forms and platforms. Businesses are taking a variety of approaches to reaching their customers through new technologies and inventive uses of social media platforms, and those new communicative methods in and of themselves sometimes qualify as big ideas. That’s in great part because so many of those uses are customer-driven and give people the opportunity to share and promote what appeals to them. What does that mean for small business owners? If you want to give yourself a great chance of generating a big idea, focus on out-of-the-box ideas and approaches that will drive potential customers to share your message.
  • Embrace disruption. Although the term disruption has a little overused in certain fields (think Silicon Valley), the concept is still vital to advertising and marketing today. While it’s important to understand and to sometimes embrace foundational principles, it’s equally important to welcome ideas that might turn your industry or business on its head. This isn’t upending things just for the sake of causing a stir; instead, it’s dismantling established modes of thought in order to see a business or industry anew and to help customers to do the same. Some of the disruption happening with businesses on a large scale can be replicated by small businesses, from partnerships to the integration of technology to streamlining an approach. The takeaway? Explore the ideas that may challenge and even upend what you know about your business – this might be the origin of the big idea you’re seeking.
  • Think simple. One of the keys to honing in on a “big idea” is finding something that’s crystal clear to customers. Most of the time, the ideas that are the catchiest and have the most clarity are the simplest. Part of the reason “big ideas” gain so much attention is because they’re easy for customers from all walks of life to identify with and understand. How can you make this work for you? Rather than focusing on your business’s complexities, think about the one thing that makes your business appealing and unique, and focus instead on how to highlight that uniqueness in a clear, direct manner.
  • Invite in diverse opinions. Thinking up the next big idea can seem like a daunting task for a small business owner who already has a plate full of day-to-day tasks. That’s why it’s a good idea to reach out and get the input of others and bring them in on the project to help. While it’s great to garner insights from the people you’re already connected to, Business Insider reporter Drake Baer writes at Inc.com that it’s also important to seek people out that you wouldn’t typically interact with for possible collaboration in order to help your business move forward. Engaging with new people can mean bringing a flood of new ideas to your doorstep, and that could well mean the “big idea” that never would have occurred to you otherwise.

Don’t let the thought of the “big idea” intimidate you. Even if your business is small, following these suggestions could help you take the first few steps down the path toward developing one.