Whether you are designing an expensive television commercial or full color business cards, one of the best ways to find a winning marketing plan is with a team brainstorming exercise. When handled correctly, brainstorming as a group is one of the best ways to come up with creative ideas. When you work as a group to brainstorm new ideas, you get a fresh approach to your product, service, or business model, resulting in a successful marketing plan.
Planning Your Brainstorming Session
So how can you successfully brainstorm with a group of people? First, you need to understand that brainstorming sessions should be relatively short. Get your team's best ideas on the table, and then stop brainstorming so you can analyze the responses.
When brainstorming, remember that all ideas are accepted. Have a white board or poster where you write the ideas, and do not judge them when they are presented. You will have plenty of time to decide, after your brainstorming on which ideas you like and which ones you would rather ignore. The brainstorming session is the time to collect ideas.
Some of the best marketing plans were developed from ideas that seemed silly when they were first presented, so avoid making quick judgments. Write down any idea or word that is offered by the members of your team.
Your brainstorming session should have a specific goal. You may not want to tell your team members the end goal, but you need to know what it is. This goal can be something simple, such as developing a slogan to use on your next business card printing, or it can be something a little more complex, such as developing a new logo to define your business.
Once you know where you are going with the brainstorming session, decide how you are going to elicit responses from your team members. You can pose a question to them or do a word association exercise. You could also present them with a challenge to work through during the session. By starting the brainstorming session with an open-ended task or question, you give your team members the chance to build on each other's ideas as they begin sharing.
Other Points to Remember
The members of your brainstorming group should have an interest in your company. Whether you choose members of your management team or the people working the business at its lowest level, they do need to be members of your business. Also, brainstorming works best if the team members are comfortable with one another. Groups can be as large or small as you like, but the smaller the group is, the better your chances at receiving good participation from its members.
Once you are done brainstorming, take the ideas you received and evaluate them. Compare the ideas to the original goal you had, and choose the plan that best fits your company and your goals. You will quickly find that this sort of group effort breeds excellent creativity, and the ideas you will receive from these collective thinking sessions will be better than anything you could have come up with on your own!
Katie Marcus writes about the business card printing industry and technologies and how full color business cards assist in the marketing plans of different businesses.