Ideasicle is still a weird little idea company even though we have been coming up with ideas for our clients for nine years. 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 (we are), but wanted to provide some demystification of Ideasicle, if you will. Here’s how we do it.
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This morning I read an insightful article in The Wall Street Journal about Fender Musical Instruments. I was utterly inspired by the insight that Andy Mooney, the CEO of Fender, posited in the interview. So much so that I immediately sat down and wrote a creative brief for the assignment and sent it to Mr. Mooney’s email. Hey, nothing is unthinkable, right?
A client recently told me she was exploring several companies to help name a new product coming out soon. All of them estimated between $100,000-150,000 to do so. All of them except Ideasicle. We charge only $25,000 for two rounds of at least 25 names. A more robust process in many ways that cuts out the expensive fluff. Let me explain.
We recently had a terrific creative presentation to a new client. The process of reviewing 10 ideas (or 13 in this case) uncovered truths that our client didn’t even realize were there. I love it when our ideas solve a marketing problem, sure. That’s the whole point. But I also love it when our ideas help our clients learn more about themselves, who they are and who they are not.
Up to this year, Ideasicle has been deployed primarily for one-off projects. A client needs a burst of ideas for a promotion or for video concepts or go-to-market ideas for a local effort. But lately a new trend has emerged that I’d like to share: cascading projects where the results of one feeds the next.
Creativity is so intangible, so fleeting, so elusive, so delicate, so precious that it can't ever be guaranteed. All we can do is increase the odds of it happening. That's it. Here’s are three ways Ideasicle does just that.
We have an powerful idea for advertising agencies experiencing the horror of a new CMO on a client's business. I don't need to tell you how terrifying it can be for an agency when a new CMO comes to town. But with this idea you may be able to pre-empt the pitch with a few silver bullets.
What if we could focus on a problem we are trying to solve and then "allow" ourselves to find ideas anywhere, even in the most seemingly irrelevant (i.e. "wrong") places? Like fish nets in this memorable Ted Talk by Janet Echelman.
I need great work to write about. Instead of blindly looking for great work, I thought I'd take this problem into my own hands. You know, use my blog to inspire you to create a great idea so that I can then write about your great idea on my Forbes.com blog. Here's exactly what I'm looking for. Or should I say, what I "want."
I recently watched a Ted Talk entitled, "The Power Of Introverts," given by Susan Cain. The talk fascinated me because her central theme was that introverts are some of the world's great thinkers, but do not fit in an otherwise extroverted world. We risk, therefore, missing out on their thinking for superficial reasons. It got me thinking about Ideasicle and our virtual model.
Ever since I started Ideasicle in 2010 I have been fascinated by the power of virtual ideation. My theory going in was that if I could give clients access to incredibly brilliant creative Experts then we’d pile on the value. I was right, to the testament of countless past clients. But what I have come to understand is that the virtual model itself has its own power independent of the Experts plugged into it.
When it comes to creative outcomes, "diversity" when defined only by the color of one's skin or by one's gender is a superficial concept. The only "diversity" that matters to creativity is diversity of thought. And that kind of diversity can come from our outlook on life, our experience, and our talent.
Agencies love to blame stupid clients for bad creative presentations. The client just doesn't get it, they'll say. Or, this client wouldn't know a good idea if it hit them in the head. Or the ever-popular, the client doesn't know what they want until they see it. These defensive reactions are really just an agency's way of retaining its pride, but we have found after six years of Ideasicle ideation projects that there's an easy way to avoid these issues. And it involves numbers...
I post a lot about Ideasicle and the benefits of virtual ideation here on this blog. But I do so from my perspective. But what about the Experts? They're the ones doing all the intellectual heavy lifting here. I wanted to know what they think of this virtual ideation process. So I asked them. I'm turning the tables with this post and disclosing their answers to that question below. What follows are captured verbatim from their emails back to me. We'll call it...expert testimony.
This week I wrote a piece on Forbes.com entitled, "How To Overcome Organizational 'Working Memory' And Liberate Your Creativity." In it, I describe the parallel of our own working memory and how gets in the way of our creativity to a company's collective inertia and inability to get out of its own "ways" when it comes to creativity. What I could not say - only allude to - is that Ideasicle serves this role with our clients all the time.
We wrote recently about our intention to develop vertical Ideasicle "panels" for brands to tap into in our, "Ideasicle As Ingredient," blog post. Today we launch our first such panel: Ideasicle Sport.
As the name indicates, this division of Ideasicle will be solely focused on sports-related marketing ideas. We have recruited a team of Experts who are not just genius creative people and strategists, but have an added superpower: deep expertise in sports marketing.
At Ideasicle, we come up with lots of different kinds of ideas - names, tag lines, promotions, app functionality, you name it. But our favorite kind of idea isn't a "kind" at all. It's so blue sky that's what we call it - "Blue Sky Ideas" - and it's when a client asks "How are we going to launch this?"
With Blue Sky projects, the client does not dictate what kind of idea, just illustrates the problem. Sure, we ask for any parameters around the project like budget and timing, but that's really it. Anything goes.
Currently, Ideasicle’s Experts, though they each have their own specialties, talents, and expertise, are considered “generalists” when it comes to Ideasicle work. I have said many times that you could choose any four of the twenty four Experts out of a hat and they would rock any assignment.
But I was approached recently by an entrepreneur who is starting an advertising agency and wants to include Ideasicle as an “ingredient” to the agency’s offering....
We believe in the power of our ideas to the point where we are open to revenue-sharing arrangements. If we can isolate the variables and are convinced we can measure the real impact of our idea then we’re happy to put our money where our mouth is and come up with a revenue-sharing agreement that keeps your upfront costs down.
The beauty of this kind of arrangement is that our motivations are 100% aligned. If our ideas don’t work, then we don’t make as much money and you don’t pay us as much...
Back in the 1930s, such creative giants as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield (all pictured), among others, gathered in their dormitories at Oxford or in the local pub to share their writings with each other. Picture them with scotches, pipes, and transcripts and you’ve got the scene.
The idea was for each to share his ideas with the other brilliant minds to help shape the work. And Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet, and Williams's