One of the hardest parts of working at bloomfield knoble is coming up with new ideas. Sure, there is the occasional “flash of inspiration” that strikes out of nowhere, but more often than not, coming up with ideas is derived from a team brainstorming process. Yet, the term “process” would seem to hinder the nature of brainstorming. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to.
At bloomfield knoble, we’ve adopted SCAMPER as originated by Alex Osborn and advanced by Bob Eberle. SCAMPER is a brainstorming strategy to get your team to think of creative strategies and ideas in an easy to follow format. SCAMPER stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Magnify or Minify, Put to other uses, Eliminate and Reverse or Rearrange. If you apply each of these verbs to a procedure or situation that you would like to change, you may be surprised at the innovative ideas that come about. Let’s take a look at each part of the process:
What part of the product or process can be substituted for something else? What can you substitute to make an improvement? If you swap this for that, what happens? How can you substitute place, time, materials or people? Can you use this product somewhere else, or as a substitute for something else?
Think about combining two or more parts of your product or process to enhance efficiency. How could you combine talent and resources to create a new approach to your product or process? What would happen if you combined this product with another to create something new?
How could you adapt or change your product to serve another purpose or use? In exchange for what? Who or what could you emulate to adapt your product? What other context could you put your product into? What if you changed the characteristics of one component?
Magnify or Minify
How can you change or distort part or all of your current situation? What happens if you exaggerate a feature or component of your product/process? What element of your product could you strengthen to create something new?
Put to other uses
How can you use your product or process somewhere else? What other markets could you use it in? Who or what would be able to use it? How would your product behave differently in another setting?
What if you eliminated various parts of your product or process? How would removing a specific component affect the overall product? How else could you achieve the solution without the normal way of doing it?
Reverse or Rearrange
What would you do if part of your product or process worked in reverse or was done in a different order? What if you try to do the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do now? What components could you substitute to change the order of this product?
Some ideas that you generate using SCAMPER may be impractical or may not suit your circumstances. Don’t worry about this – the aim is to generate as many ideas as you can.
A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.