Jan 11, 2016 · 2 min read

For young creatives, it can be tough staring at the blank white screen or page. Here’s a helpful guide to start generating ideas.

Brand or product: What is it, what does it do?

Its truth: What is the single truest thing you can say about the product? Be honest. (Examples: See this.)

Features: What distinguishes it, defines it, makes it special? (Example: Lasts long.)

Benefits: What are the benefits of those features? (Example: Get there quick.)

Benefit of the benefit: What does that enable or make possible for a user? (Example: Re-connect with family. See the inside.)

One word: If you had to convey your brand in a single word, what would it be? (Example: think of visuals that say it.)

Purpose: Does this brand have a bigger purpose or reason for being?

Beliefs: Does it share beliefs (social, values, other) with its community?

Enemy: Does it have an enemy or take sides in a conflict?

Community/users: Is there an existing community that is a source of content and creative ideas?

User interests: What is happening right now — in the news, in entertainment, on the Internet, in real life — that the brand’s community is paying attention to or cares about? How can it be leveraged?

What stories can you tell: What are the brand’s stories — real or created for inspiration — that can be told? Consider history, product, users, ways of informing, entertaining, inspiring, educating, helping.

Media: Where do your users spend time? What platforms? What screens? How does that affect what you make?

Influencers: Who are the influencers? Can you collaborate with them? Use them as a media channel?

Utility: What could you make or do FOR them? Digital or other.

Also, online, a quick guide version of the above.

Thoughts and lessons for my students

Answers to questions I get from students along with some unsolicited advice.


    Written by

    Creative Director, Writer, Professor of Advertising, Co-author new Hey Whipple, Advisor to Brands, Ad Agencies and The Next Generation. BU, Mullen and Beyond.

    Thoughts and lessons for my students

    Answers to questions I get from students along with some unsolicited advice.

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