Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Find A Great Marketing Idea Outside the Office

In his latest post, Seth Godin says, “Big marketing breakthroughs always come from doing something that everyone else says is off the table.” So where does a crazy idea come from?

Businesses try hard to create an atmosphere where ideas can percolate. This week, Craig’s List/ Washington DC features an ad that headlines “Wear flip-flops to work/creative atmosphere.” When Goldstein Group Communications in Cleveland moved its offices in December, they opted for “rooms with graphics and high ceilings, designed for a creative atmosphere.” Still, the best ideas probably aren't happening at the office because the office is ... well, the place the idea .. er ... hasn't happened yet.

Cognitive scientists at Drexel and Northwestern Universities tried to figure out where ideas do come from. John Kounios, a professor of psychology at Drexel, says “…a person's brain state or frame of mind determines which strategy he or she is going to use to solve a problem when it finally appears.” So, if you're looking for an idea that’s never been on the table before, doesn't it stand to reason that you need to get the heck away from the table?

In, Sweden, the government has a whole system to get people out of the office. The Swiss commissioned TILLT, a program designed to immerse workers in art and culture. TIILT serves as a meeting spot outside the workplace for 65,000 employees in 49 municipalities and focuses on “ ..birthing new subjects of discussion during coffee breaks; and as a general means of stimulating the mind.”

Some of us find creative solutions in the palm of our hand. In mid-February, Zachary Rodgers at ClickZ blogged “The Profile of A Top Creative.” In the article Rodgers noted some lifestyle tidbits about Atmosphere BBDO’s Senior Creative Director Arturo Aranda. During his 1.5 hour commute to the city, Arturo plays games and “messes around with” iPhone apps.

Hugh MacLeod, cartoonist, copywriter, and brilliant curmudgeon who blogs at The Gaping Void has published his book, Ignore Everybody. Devised from "How To Be Creative," his wildly popular manifesto downloaded a million times, Ignore Everybody is surely a roadmap for getting out of the office. For one thing, MacLeoad says, "Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether. There’s no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one."

I'm ordering this today. No, wait. I'm going to the bookstore to buy it. Gotta get out of the office...

- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

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