In the creative process, brainstorming is arguably the most important aspect. No matter how you do it, coming up with new, innovative ideas is always the challenge of a creative in any agency. However, the truly vital part of brainstorming, and the hardest to master, is the ability to find a good idea and make it better.
Throughout your thought process, you will come up with 20 terrible ideas for every good one. As you do this more and more, this number will reduce and reduce because you will learn how to think creatively in different contexts. The best creative will not only reduce the number of bad ideas, but they will learn to push through the good ideas to make them great. Here are a few techniques to help you try to get to this point:
1. Rewrite your idea or tagline, headline, etc.
Your idea may already be a great one but you can’t see it yet. All it could take is rephrasing your idea or headline for you to see what you are truly driving at. Until you get really good at brainstorming, this might mean rewriting your topic or phrase 15 different ways.
2. Narrow your idea or phrase down to one sentence or line
Simplify, simplify, simplify! When in doubt, it’s always the best choice, especially in this field. This will keep your message on point and easily understood. Don’t make the consumer jump through hoops to make the connection you want them to. Always remember, the simpler, the better.
3. Look through old campaigns
You would be surprised how quickly your mind can get ideas from great campaigns. Sometimes when you see a truly great idea, you can see in your mind how the creative got from one thought to another. Just seeing these connections come to life, whether it’s your product or not, really does help your mind get started thinking in the right way.
These are just a few of the many ways to brainstorm that have helped me come up with ideas or headlines when I’m stuck on a project or want to make my idea better. There’s always another perspective to look at the same idea. The key is finding it and using it to make your idea better. But there’s only one way to get better at these techniques: practice, practice, practice!