Giving Birth to New Ideas: Some tips for creative conception.

Laura Pryor 01/31/18 - 10:12 pm

Giving Birth to New Ideas: Some tips for creative conception

Pretty much everyone who works in a creative field has gotten the question, “How do you come up with your ideas?” And a lot of times, our only answer is a shrug: “Beats me!”

It’s true that the creative process varies from person to person, but it’s not as big of a mystery as some people think. Creating new ideas is a lot like giving birth (though somewhat less painful). And everybody knows how THAT works.

Step 1: Foreplay (Information Gathering)

Like foreplay, research is a step that many are tempted to skip. Why not go straight to the fun part, right? But taking the time to explore can pay off. In the case of advertising, getting all the information you need about the product or service you’re marketing is critical. Who is the target audience of your product? What do they want? Who is the competition? How are we different and better? What is the history/climate of the industry? And most important of all: What do we want the target audience to do, and what do we want them to feel?

Step 2: Conception (The Working Stage)

Now it’s time to get down to it. Look at the information you’ve gathered from different angles and attitudes. What has to happen for you to need this product? What happens after you have it or use it? If you’re a visual person, sketch it out. If you’re a word person, make lists of words associated with the product, the emotions associated with it, etc. Some loose concepts might begin to form, but they’re still in the embryonic stage. Write down anything and everything that comes to mind.

Step 3: Gestation (The Waiting Game)

Once you’ve racked your brains for a while, it’s a good idea to step back from the work and let it percolate in your subconscious. Work on something else and come back to it later. Or see if working in a new location provides new inspiration. Leaf through some advertising award books. Watch the commercials during the Super Bowl (instead of getting up for more chips).

Step 4: Labor (Labor)

Get back to work, and if you’ve done your homework, some good ideas should finally start to gel. Brainstorm with a partner using your embryonic ideas and your research.

Just like with real birth, the ideas might come quickly, or they may need to be pulled out, kicking and screaming, with metaphorical forceps. Unlike real labor, you may have to go back to step 2 and try conception all over again. But eventually, the little buggers will squirt out.

Step 5: Birth and Afterbirth (Refinement)

Now you refine the idea. You wordsmith it and design it and fuss over it. You share it with others for feedback, and you refine it some more. Then you wrap it all up in a blanket and show it off to the world.


Now go do it all over again.

Blog Category: Insights & Trends

Why Brogan?

We are true partners. With a proven track record of delivering strategic marketing expertise, award-winning creative and real-time, data-driven media, we go above and beyond for our clients to get results. We even guarantee you’ll be delighted.