Ideation for Strategy: Where Do Ideas Come From?
What Are Ideas?
Ideas are thoughts that could lead to an action, event or effect. Ideas are important in the human experience as they lead to discoveries and evolution. It is the core around which all inventions are built, the seed of every revolution. Ideas shake the world when they come to fruition, and they are not reserved for imaginative thinking. Anyone can come up with an idea, drawing inspiration from within and from the world and people around them.
Everything starts with an idea, including the films with the best plot lines and novels that captivate us. In campaign strategy, ideas inspire creative storytelling and are usually the bedrock of some of the best advertisements.
What Is Ideation for Strategy?
When developing a strategy for a campaign, ideas usually arise from the need to convey a message, to pass across brand communications. A ‘big idea’ sets the pace for the rest of all creative thought and the tone and message of the campaign. It helps the various teams involved to synergize with each other. Without this, organization becomes a hassle, and cohesion between teams becomes minimal.
Look at it this way: An idea is the simplest way a thought can be expressed, and that’s important because if an idea can be communicated clearly, it can be built upon.
While ideas can be inspired by absolutely anything, a little more structure is required when developing an idea for strategy. A brand is like its own person, with a unique voice and personality. As such, any idea that drives a campaign must represent the brand’s personality. Also, the idea has to align with the objectives and targets that the company has outlined. Most of all, the idea must inspire the teams involved while being technical enough to build on. That’s why ideas in these scenarios involve group thinking and agreement.
A campaign begins only when the ‘big idea’ is agreed upon. That’s how important ideas are for business strategy. All creativity and development are centred around it. So the next time you have to work on a campaign, ask yourself this: Is my big idea solid enough? Does it uphold the voice of the brand?
Where Do Strategy Ideas Come From?
Looking at the diverse nature of humans, generating ideas would be peculiar to each individual. We are all unique, and we have different ways of processing what we see, hear and discuss.
In Anakle, everyone plays a vital role in generating ideas. It doesn’t work like magic but with everyone working in sync to ensure that ideas created for clients are unique and creative. When asked, members of the Anakle Strategy revealed the different ways in which they generate ideas;
“When I am to come up with a strategic idea or campaign, I look back at campaigns that I have seen or heard and try to make a twist. I also get inspiration from websites that explain the thought process of different viral campaigns. Understanding the brand and its personality is also important to me when coming up with ideas.”
- Iyanuoluwa Agoi
“Ideas are more flexible to me. I get ideas from reading books, movies and also newsletters. I also follow pages on social media that have content on strategies and campaigns. Ideas generally come to me from things or events that I have experienced.”
- Victor Igboanugo
“I often look at different brands and their social media channels to generate ideas. I also subscribe to newsletters of websites that provide information on strategies, ads and campaigns.”
- Karen Okoro
“My ideas are from looking at competitors, industry trends and adding a twist or going in a totally different direction. Sometimes, ideas are gotten from when other members of my team share their ideas.”
- Idowu Adeolu
How to Generate Ideas
Idea generation involves creating, developing and implementing ideas or concepts that could be abstract or visual. Idea generation is important because while the process takes time to develop and mature, it helps to expand thinking and thought processes.
When generating ideas, these factors need to be considered;
- The problem that needs a solution and idea: This means conducting in-depth research on the market, the competitors and the industry. Having enough knowledge about the problem or demands leads to creative breakthroughs.
- The target audience who would benefit from the idea: Understanding those at the receiving end of the idea or campaign helps structure the message and how it would be delivered.
- The brand or business that is being represented: The brand’s personality has to be reflected when generating ideas for communication.
Here are some ways to generate ideas;
- Books: Reading books can help sharpen the mind, create new thoughts and stimulate ideas. It also expands the mind and improves imaginative thinking.
- Websites and Blogs: Getting a glimpse or peek into a stranger’s life can also generate ideas in terms of knowing what people want and how to give it to them. Also, websites and blogs about marketing and campaigns are often insightful.
- Strategy Sessions: Feeding off other people’s ideas and suggestions is a great way to generate ideas while measuring the effectiveness of the strategy ideas. Bouncing ideas off team members are also known to be great for teams.
Generally, the brain can be a repository of ideas if we consciously study and observe the world around us. Now it’s your turn. Where do your ideas come from?