Idea Hunt blog

Brainstorming Techniques

Brainstorming Techniques

Brainstorming Techniques 

Breaking Down Popular Techniques And Why They Work

Brainstorming, by definition, is a method of generating possible solutions to existing problems by accumulating large quantities of data.  Individuals and groups alike use brainstorming techniques to dissertate concepts and creative ideas.

Alex Osborn, an advertising executive, and the team he led in 1939 are known to have coined the term “brainstorming.” Osborn created a ground rule for his team: ideas were not allowed to be discussed until there were no more ideas that could be suggested by the group.  The creative environment wasn’t stifled and all ideas were considered to be relevant during the entire brainstorming session.  It was only at the end when ideas were evaluated by the team.  This proved to be a productive method of discerning solutions considered to be innovative.

Pen To Paper or Stylus to Tablet

The old fashioned way, pen to paper, is meant to be a writing exercise where one sits down for a predetermined time, usually 10 to 20-minute sessions, and writes every thought down.  Grammar, punctuation, misspellings and formatting are often overlooked due to these things being nonessential to this particular brainstorming exercise.

There is only one rule to follow – even if you struggle to think of ideas to write down, write “I will think of a new idea soon.”  By following this outlined process, creative ideas will present themselves and then you can write them down.  The reason being, is that your brain is a muscle.  It requires routine exercise to perform at its best.  Brainstorming in this format is a helpful tool for everyone as it exercises the brain.

Pen to Paper


Reverse Brainstorming

Brainstorming reversal techniques encourage creative thought by solving problems in reverse.  Rather than considering problems and how to fix them, reverse brainstorming asks “What causes a specific problem?”  This technique is often used by UX (user experience) designers.

The process of reverse brainstorming is as follows:

  • Write down the identified problem
  • Brainstorm every potential reverse solution
  • Alter the reverse solutions in order to create positive outcomes
  • Analyze the data and test plausible solutions

Reverse brainstorming


Word Associations or Word Storming

Take into consideration words that describe projects.  Make a list of these words.  Then go further by writing down descriptive words associated to those on your recently created list.  Categories should then be easily created to visualize a word storm.  Digital marketers sometimes use this method of brainstorming to create brand specific content to convey ideas to their target market.



Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a popular brainstorming method for those who prefer visual data instead of written lists.  Mind map diagrams are segmented ideas that branch into subsequent or associated ideas, all stemming from one primary idea.

To create a mind map diagram follow these steps:

  • Create a topical image or phrase and place it in the center
  • Choose specific keywords and place on individually connecting lines
  • Add your own style with multiple colors and images or a combination

A mind map example


Contrary to most things in life, the key to effective brainstorming is not quality.  It is quantity.  Yes, quantity.  Brainstorming techniques can be accomplished in several ways.  There isn’t a wrong way or a right way.  Consider it to be the early stage of research and development, regardless of what type of project you apply it to.  Remember to be open to all ideas as that leads to several valid ideas generated.  When done right, brainstorming can expand general understandings and strengthen developmental processes.

TrekConnect on Idea Hunt

Hunt Recap: TrekConnect

Idea Hunt Recap


We recently caught up with Will, one of the co-founders of TrekConnect,  to ask him about their experience on Idea Hunt – the innovation crowdsourcing platform.  In June of 2016 TrekConnect created an Idea Hunt to gather new ideas for ways that they could connect with travelers.  Why? TrekConnect isn’t your typical travel agency.  They’re helping travelers feel more like locals, and get more out of their vacations.

TrekConnect was looking to gather up new ideations of their original marketing goals, to connect with travelers so that they can connect them, with local ambassadors to plan the vacation of a lifetime.  When we travel, we run the risk of hitting all of the tourist sites, and missing out on the unique and vibrant places the locals know and love.  TrekConnect wants to bring these places to travelers who want to do more, see more and live more.   After all, collecting creative ideations around a problem or a challenge is one of the things at which Idea Hunt excels.

When they launched the TrekConnect Idea Hunt, they collected 27 innovative ideas.  It was hard to choose a winner from all of these unique perspectives, but Will and his teammates were able to do so after some thoughtful deliberation.  Ultimately the prize for the best idea went to Martin Cusse, for his social media themed ideation.  Martin suggested that TrekConnect leverage travel oriented Facebook groups to identify and connect with travelers.

Idea Hunt - Welcome to the Hunt

Our Idea Hunt Brand Identity Model

Our Idea Hunt Brand Identity Framework and Model

Our Brand Identity Model

In our previous post, we explored distinct sections represented in Kapferer’s Brand Identity Prism, which identifies human traits applied to brands.

If you read our post on creating a framework and defining brand identity you may find this part a bit redundant.  For those of you who need a refresher or are new to this communication model, consider your brand as you follow along below.

Successful brand identities are founded on the personal preferences and interests of customers.  The purpose is to have a better understanding of your brand and how it is perceived.  By doing so, you can devise and implement effective marketing strategies to streamline growth.  As well as removing strategies that are no longer in line with short and long term goals.  Everyone in your organization should be familiar with your brand identity model.  Having this knowledge enables company departments to work more effectively as a team and this leads to a better product.

Let’s use Idea Hunt’s brand identity to see how a brand can be broken down into each section.

Kapferer’s Brand Identity Prism


  • Physique –  The physical characteristics of Idea Hunt can be seen in our brand logo.  The hunter represents our brand ambassadors hunting ideas for products they love.  Can you tell we hunt ideas on our crowdsourcing platform?
  • Personality –  Here at Idea hunt, we intend to be perceived as a fun, carefree, yet serious brand, connecting people and companies through crowdsourced ideas.
  • Relationship –  What makes Idea Hunt successful?  Our relationship with those who run hunts can be described as warm, giving, and open.  Each hunt has a coach, which essentially is a person who acts as a point-of-contact for the crowdsourcing campaign.
  • Culture –  Our ambassadors hunt and co-create ideas as a community.  After all, we are an elite group of open innovators, product makers, inventors, and technology enthusiasts.  We interact quite frequently on and Slack.
  • Self-image –  We believe in open innovation.  We present ourselves as respectful community members who share ideas, give feedback, and sometimes earn rewards for our contributions.


If you find our brand identity model appealing you are more than welcome to join our ambassador program.  We believe the more the merrier when it comes to crowdsourcing ideas.

According to Jean-Noel Kapferer, any brand can be identified by its characteristics.  Consumer awareness and perspective comes from brand identity.  Creating a strong and effective brand message that is correctly interpreted by your target market allows for positive user experiences.  During this process, your brand recognition will grow to an extent where people can differentiate your brand from competitors.

An established brand identity can be sustainable for several years.  However, products and messages may change with the current trends.  Brand identities should be built on firm foundations of a shared purpose to ensure sustainability.

Pokemon Go! Or Get Left Behind

A Lesson in Adaptive Marketing

Pokemon Go! Or get left behind

For a business to maintain success, their strategies, plans, and procedures must be flexible, able to change and adapt co capitalize on current trends, in order to avoid being left behind.  The popular and fun new mobile application, the game that is taking the internet and the physical world by storm, Pokemon Go! is providing a window into many businesses; showing the world who has learned this lesson in adaptive marketing and is able to catch onto current trends.

This mobile app blended with augmented reality is a beautiful success story of a company, Nintendo, on the verge of being left behind, adapting it’s strategy and both rekindling the love of past users and reaching almost an entire new generation of users.  In fact, they’re so successful at adaptive marketing that they’re forcing other businesses to embrace Pokemon Go! or get left behind.

OK, maybe not all businesses who don’t somehow capitalize on a pithy slogan about the game or offer a discount to players won’t go out of business.  But those who do are catching a competitive edge and riding the wave of the addicting apps’s success.

When the game first launched, no one was prepared for the overnight success and the ensuing surge of players that would hit the streets hunting for mythical creatures.  Some stores that contained a pokestop for a rare pokemon were inundated and began to put up signs saying that “Pokemon are for paying customers only”.

But soon, those businesses that had learned this lesson in adaptive marketing, saw the developing trend and started to embrace players.  Bars began offering Pokemon themed shots, stores were using the game and data usage to sell more smartphones, and others began offering discounts to teams of players that were popular in their area.

It truly is a wave of success, though.  Those who first adapt to a popular trend will ride the wave from the very beginning, gaining the most momentum.  Those who catch the wave as it crests will gain a level of success.  And those who catch it just too late will get a moderate bump in business.  When it comes to spotting trends, you have to be ready to adapt in order to truly benefit.

The photos below were taken and shared, shared numerous times across social media and in blogs like this one.

Image Credit

Pokemon advertising efforts

Logos on Idea Hunt

How to Create the Framework and Define Your Brand Identity

Brand Identity Defined

A GrowthHacking Post on Creating The Framework and Defining Your Brand Identity

What is it?  No really, how do you define a so-called brand?

Let’s try an exercise in brand recognition.

Quickly think of three brands without hesitation:

  • Are they little or big brands?
  • Are the brands household names?

Does that guy in the booth across the room who is eating a super-sized meal know about fast food brands?

Odds are, he probably knows all three of the major brands.  He might also be a customer or brand ambassador.

Thinking about the last questions, you most likely thought of a specific fast food restaurant that’s known for super-sizing their french fries and drinks in past marketing campaigns, right?

That is brand identity in its truest form.


Super-sized french fries from McDonald's



 The Importance of Brand Identity

Successful brand identities are founded on the personal preferences and interests of customers.

What is the key to defining brand identity?

It is the customer’s user experience tied to the brand including its history.  The data behind customer experience will pave the way in order to determine how customers think about brands.  UX happens to be a major marketing key performance indicator.

Think about this for a minute.  What does the phrase “Just Do It” mean to you?

It would not be a surprise if these things below were included in your thought process:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Professional Athletes and TV Commercials
  • Personal Development and Goals
  • Branded Clothing and Footwear
  • Back To The Future Shoes


Nike brand gif of Back To The Future shoes



Creating The Framework For Brand Identity

On the surface, creating the framework for a brand’s identity seems like a simple process.  Well, it is not so easy for the newly proclaimed brand strategist.  In fact, it can be a challenge even for a seasoned marketing professional at times.  We are about to take a deeper look at what is involved when it comes to creating a successful and sustainable brand identity.


Kapferer’s Brand Identity Prism

A French professor of marketing strategy, Jean-Noel Kapferer, introduced the world to his brand identity prism in 1996 when he released his book, “Strategic Brand Management”.  

Let’s dig into his teachings a bit.  There are six distinct sections represented in the prism:

  • Physique – Certain emotions, images, and ideas are created by a brand’s physical attributes and main objectives.  Analyze your service or product to determine how your brand is perceived. Use this data to find and close gaps between your brand and its customers.
  • Personality – Character or personality, refers to a brand’s presentation of itself.  Whether or not you have a humorous side (and show it).  Or, even a reserved approach when it comes to engaging your community, everyone will take notice.
  • Culture – The way your team members interact with each other, those they do business with, and community member engagements, set the stage for how your culture is defined and perceived.   To create a positive culture, capable of being enjoyed by everyone, consider your brand’s core values and mission statement.  This will ensure alignment with your “why” of starting a brand in the first place.  
  • Relationship – If you provide a service, the relationship between your brand and customer is indicative of your future growth.  If you provide a product, the same applies to your relationship with community members.  Let’s state that again – Your relationship is indicative of your future growth.  It’s that important, yet so many brands miss this vital step towards achieving a successful brand identity.
  • Self-image – Picture yourself standing in front of a mirror.  This is your self-image staring back at you.  Do you like what you see?  If not, you have the invaluable insights required to pivot.  Analyze your pain points, brainstorm ideas, and execute a strategy to create a more appealing self-image.


Understanding, identifying, analyzing, and executing on the creation of the framework to define your brand identity is important to your brand’s growth.  If you decide to evaluate the positive and the negative aspects of the current state of your brand, remember the data is there to enable your team to move forward together.  Stick to the processes and strategies that will push you beyond your current goals to create a strong brand identity.