Ideasicle is still a weird little idea company even though we have been coming up with ideas for our clients for nine years. Big clients, like Staples, Warner Music, RetailMeNot and many, many others. But to those who don’t know us, or know us only a little, we are still this weird little company that has something to do with ideas.

Well, we’re ok with being weird, but wanted to take a minute to spell out exactly what happens when you hire this weird little idea company. The demystification of Ideasicle, if you will. Here’s what to expect.

You call us.

The first call is to figure out whether or not Ideasicle is the right solution for your problem. We’re terrible for web site copy, for example—you can’t write web site copy by committee. We’re not ideal if you need an agency to also execute the idea—we don’t execute our ideas, we only come up with them. But we’re great for promotional ideas, brand ideas/tag lines, names for companies or new products, video concepts, advertising concepts/campaign ideas, etc. And during this first call I will be painfully honest about whether or not I think Ideasicle is right, as I don’t want to set us up for failure.

Assuming we’re right for the job, we’ll then get NDAs signed and any vendor applications filled out, and then we’re off.

We prepare the brief.

We will discuss the problem in detail on the phone and then you send us any supporting documents we might need to prepare the brief. Things like competitive reports, target audience reports, brand pyramids, last year’s ad campaign. We will then prepare a single-page creative brief that captures the problem and key insights in a way that will inspire the team. To maximize inspiration it’s no more than one page, it’s green and it doesn’t try to solve the problem (for more on our briefs read this).

We then assemble the perfect team.

While we’re composing the brief we begin recruiting the perfect team of four Ideasicle Experts. We try to find one “anchor” expert who really understands the category. A couple that have the skills we need. And then a wild card who just brings a very different perspective to the project. Because the magic of Ideasicle is what comes from the experts bringing their different perspectives to the problem.

Round 1: The team posts, builds and riffs.

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The team may come up with 50, 60 or 70 ideas within the one-week time frame. The experts are encouraged to not only post their own ideas but to read each other's ideas and build on them. It’s truly a team effort every time. And, given the different perspectives described above, you never know where an idea will end up. It’s a beautiful thing to see all of these ideas organized in virtual threads, history recorded, evolution intact. Oh, and we never ask for more than one week for one round.

Presentation & Feedback

We don’t get all precious and present 2-3 ideas and try to shove one down your throat as a recommendation. No, we present at least 10-12 ideas and don’t try to sell them at all. Because you know what you can’t get into the creative brief no matter how hard you try? Your likes and dislikes. So this first round serves as a way to tease out what you like and do not like. We present a wide range of ideas and when we’re done, sit back and listen.

To get the many ideas down to 10-12 I will send my favorites list back out to the team prior to preparing the presentation. There will be some back and forth until we agree to the final list of ideas (though the final decision is mine). I then prepare the presentation and present to you over the web. I’ve had clients with 7 people on the other end all seeing the ideas as a group. I’ve had just one client on the other end. Totally up to you.

I always ask clients to sleep on it before providing formal feedback. But then I do ask for a list of their favorite ideas (and why) and least favorite ideas (and why). Now armed with the feedback, we do another round.

Round 2: The team posts, builds and riffs again.

Exactly like above, only now we’ve got the benefit of your feedback to round one. Same team, no learning curve, just a bunch more ideas.

Presentation.

I’ll present this next round of 10-12 completely new ideas the same way I presented the first round. We’ll discuss the feedback, I’ll present the ideas and will have a summary with ALL of the ideas from both rounds at the end.

Post-development.

For some projects like video concepts, TV spots, campaign ideas or brand ideas, the client would benefit from a more developed script or treatment or manifesto that brings an approved idea to life. This is important sometimes for the executing partner so it’s clear what the vision is for the idea.

DELIVERABLES:

2 PDF presentations with a total of at least 20-25 ideas

TIMING:

  • Brief: 2 days

  • Round 1 ideas: 1 week

  • Round 2 ideas: 1 week

TOTAL TIMING: 2-3 weeks (less if you’re in a pinch)

We’ve been called a lot of things…

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Lauren Rivers, President, Rivers Agency

“You saved our lives. You and your team are [bleeping] rock stars! Mega ideas at a time when needed them most and fastest. Thank you so much!”

 
 
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Scott Sundheim, VP Marketing, RetailMeNot

“We want to THANK YOU and your experts for all their work. We loved the experience and definitely do it again. The benefits were what you promised - breadth, quality and great ideas. And you were awesome to work with.”

 
 
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Amie Turrill Owens, Brand Strategy & Insights

“Ideasicle’s approach to briefing and creative concepting is fresh and fast! In record time, their virtual creative teams delivered multiple creative ideas brought to life via written and visual inspiration. It was like haveing our own custom creative team by our side.”

 

So there you have it.

The Ideasicle process all in one place. Now email me—Will Burns—to set up a time to talk. We’ll see if that nagging problem your brand has is right for the Ideasicle machine, weird or not.


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WILL BURNS IS FOUNDER & CEO OF IDEASICLE, AND A FORBES CONTRIBUTOR.

Email Will or sign up for our monthly Ideasicle Newsletter, and whatever you do don’t go without a flurry of ideas when solving your next marketing problem.

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