In the search for fresh ideas, many of us tend to over complicate things. The most creative ideas are those that are radically simple. The ones that are rooted in common sense. They make you smack yourself on the forehead and say “Why didn’t I think of that?”
There is a traditional Japanese soda called Ramune. They use a different way to seal the bottle. A glass marble is wedged in the neck so liquid can’t escape. You press the marble inside when you want to drink. Then you shake the bottle and the expanding gas held the marble back in place again. A beautiful one piece recyclable unit.
I have a confession to make. I don’t get cologne. Seriously. The whole fragrance category astounds me. Their marketing is total fluff that I don’t understand. Fragrance industry, let me lay some consumer insight on you:
I have never bought cologne for myself. I’ve always received it as gifts.
I don’t wear it everyday. I wear it when I want to impress.
I don’t wear it for myself. I wear it for the people that I’m going to interact with.
I can’t tell which scents smell better than others
I always defer judgment to a woman.
So what’s the key insight here? Women are the target market. Why? Because men wear it to get a reaction from them. They appreciate it. They make it sexy to wear. They make it desirable to purchase. But most of all, they substantiate (or put down) your choice. Trust me, there is nothing more validating than when a women nuzzles next to you and whispers, “You smell nice.” There’s also nothing more embarrassing than this.
I have more thinking to do on this topic. Thoughts?
I apologize for the lack of frequent posting. Life is full of stuff to do. The shorter half of the creative powerhouse ChowPau forwarded me this video on Monday. Very cool stunt done by T-mobile.
Pretty basic insight. People share stuff over their mobile phones. You see something cool happen and you take a picture/video with your phone’s camera. Then you send it to people. T-mobile’s strategy was to give you something worth sending.
I was watching the Toronto Raptors on TV and noticed the swash of empty seats. The arena was half full. Why? The Raptors suck. That’s why. But after further thought, I concluded that this wasn’t the case. The reason why there were empty seats was because two reasons: (1) people weren’t buying tickets, and (2) people with tickets weren’t showing up to games.
Why People Aren’t Buying Tickets
I’ve been curious as to why price of individual games remains constant. Surely people would pay more to see the Lakers than the Grizzlies. People aren’t buying Raptors tickets because the value of the ticket doesn’t match the price. The Raptors are currently sucking, making is less engaging for fans to go to the games. The value of the product is decreasing, so shouldn’t the price match? At $15 a pop, I would rather go see “Yes Man” than suffer through seeing the Raptors tank from the nosebleeds. Decrease the price until the Raptors give me better value for my money than Jim Carrey. Give people good value and they’ll buy your product.
Why People Are Wasting Their Tickets
People are busy. Things come up at the last minute. A snow storm comes in. It all makes sense. Normally, if you can’t get to a game, you’ll try to sell your tickets or give them to someone else. But then you get lazy. You only call one friend who can’t go to the game and then you give up. Basically, there’s effort required to get rid of your tickets. And that cost of the effort is greater than the value that selling the tickets would bring. And people don’t decide not to go to the game until the last minute, when it’s too late to resell the tickets.
The Raptors set up an official online auction site to resell tickets. If you are season ticket holder who can’t make a game, they make it easy for you to log-in and sell your tickets. The Raptors take a processing fee for each transaction (like eBay). If you’re a winner, all you do is take a winning bid code to a ticket window at the arena and pick up your tickets. Voila.
The team could also leverage the auction system to release tickets for their empty seats on game day. It allows them to price the seats low and allow the fans to decide the value of the tickets. If you really want to go to the game, you simply bid more. This way the Raptors would be to sell out the ACC every time. An empty seat is a sunk cost, so they could sell for as little as $1 and the team would gain revenue.
For every professional sports team, each empty seat represents an enormous opportunity cost. Especially when there are a limited amount of seats and a limited amount of games in a season. Why not maximize revenues by making it easy for people to access these seats at prices that fit the value?
Music has always been an excellent source of inspiration. Particularly if you are stuck with some problem you can’t find a workaround for, a beautiful song can give you a new perspective, let you see the problem from a different angle. And sometimes it’s just useful to make a break for instance, watching some music videos.
DJ Earworm has put together this mashup of the top 25 Billboard Chart tracks of 2008. Hopefully, it’ll flood you with memories, ideas and inspiration.
After a vacation to warm parts of the world, I have returned to areas with consistent internet access. So what does an Idea Drunk do on vacation? If you guessed get drunk, you are correct. But I also did some reading. One of the books that I read was a graphic novel called the “Pride of Baghdad”. It’s based on a true story, but told from the perspective of the lions. In 2003, when US forces bombed Baghdad, a pride of four lions escaped the Baghdad zoo. The roamed the war-torn city looking for food, contemplating freedom and wilderness. The were starving when they were eventually shot to death by invading US Troops.
The story may be read as an allegory. The destruction of the zoo and the short lived freedom of the lions can be seen to represent the decline of Iraqi society after being freed from Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party by the American invasion. This is illustrated by a comment made by one of the lions shortly after being freed: “There’s an old saying, Zill. Freedom can’t be given, only earned”.
Obviously, that’s a lot of heavy thinking for a graphic novel. But time and time again, graphic novels seem to be the genre that can successfully tackle and address sensitive social and political issues. They are able to act as parables that serve up the core of an idea in a simple form. But how can this be applied to ideation?
The next time you are trying to define a problem, draw it. Sketch a picture, construct a diagram …. whatever! The key is to create a visual expression of your problem. Use this as a starting point. Then try to weave the story of the problem and your solutions into a simplified story. Instead of explaining and pitching your ideas, just tell the story.