4 Simple Ways To Generate Innovative Ideas

By Sam Sudakoff

In a social world, where the attention span of the average consumer is diminishing by the second, brands need to think outside the box to stay ahead of the game. But as a marketer, when you’re so “in it” every day, it can be a struggle to stay inspired and continuously push the envelope on creative thinking.

Ultimately, we need to stop putting a “spin” on another campaign or concept; in order to be groundbreaking, you have to be original. Don't recreate the wheel---in fact, don't use wheels at all. Here are four tips for creating innovative ideas. 

1. Shut your mouth and keep your ears open.

There is so much untapped inspiration currently within your online communities. To harness it, stop talking and start listening. An easy way to start is by searching "I wish [insert brand name here]" on Twitter. Your customers are already giving you their insights without you having to ask. (Think of it as a mini focus group!)

2. Open up your brainstorms. 

Create a collaborative system that allows for ideas to come from anywhere within your company. Mix up meetings of the minds by expanding brainstorms to include team members whose perspectives you may not normally have. For instance, I'm "the finance guy" here at Likeable Media, but am able to contribute ideas that lead to successful client campaigns. You want collaboration from people in all departments to tap into a wide range of perspectives.

3. Blaze a new path. 

Don't be afraid to be first. Get outside of that industry bubble. Just by pioneering a new network, you could spark major results. At Likeable, each of our team members has picked a niche network to champion. We each master our network and continuously update the rest of the company on important updates and case studies to make sure no opportunity for our clients goes unnoticed. For example,  our Director of Talent, Brian, keeps tabs on how brands are using Jelly and brings creative inspiration (like this post from Ben & Jerry's) to the team.

4. Work within specific goals. 

Sometimes, putting limits on your thinking can help creativity. So simplify. Instead of trying to accomplish everything from one campaign idea, focus on specific goals and prioritize metrics of success. Your results will be stronger--and your impact larger--if you don't try to go after too much at once. Think of it this way: It's better to create a splash in a pond than a ripple in an ocean.

Do you have any tips for creating innovative ideas? Share below!