How Brands are Like High-School Seniors

Imagine if your Super Bowl spot ran during the same commercial break as 35,000 other ads from competing brands. That’s about how many essays admission counselors at my son’s first-choice college will be reading. Here’s a brainstorm hack that helped him write a more original response to a typical essay prompt. For those […]


waiting in line

What Marketers Think While Waiting in Line

What might make this experience worse for three different people behind you?  Maybe video loop of country’s top water falls for those waiting to go? What brands are not usually associated with the awaited experience, but relevant to those in queue? What brands are easily associated with the experience enhancers […]

Long Way to Go for a Burger… and Your Idea?

My southern roots are likely to blame, but needed Jersey-boy spouse to translate yesterday’s “Pearls Before Swine” comic strip.   How long does it take you to laugh or roll eyes? Either way, consider the seven wordy frames it takes for anyone to get to the pun-line as reminder to audience-proof complexity of […]

Pearls Before Swine - pb160207comb_ts.tif


How to Reset Default Thinking

I never changed my new phone from its default ringtone.  It works and I’m digitally lazy. Of course in crowds I can’t be sure if it’s my phone ringing.  My bad for stopping at default.  Default solutions aren’t technically wrong, just indistinguishable.  Pre-sets get you going – better results require […]

Warning Signs of Brainstorm Disaster

Not every brainstorm will rain big ideas. Here are three early warning signs and tips to preempt potential disaster: Sign: Ignored Snacks I believe unexpected treats feeds workplace creativity and sets table for co-creation. When brainstormers refuse my snacks, I notice idea sharing is less generous and collaborative. I think […]

Early Warning Signs of Brainstorm Disaster


The Color Cleanse: Afternoon Energizer

       No facilitator likes afternoon brainstorms. 87% chance that participant brains arrive clogged from earlier meetings.  Try a Color Cleanse to help brainstormers clear space for creative play. Tools You’ll need an assortment of free color chips from home improvement store – ones with multiple color variations on […]

Why Bad Ideas are Good for Brainstorms

Eye-roll please… for dreaded “no bad ideas” rule. Of course there are bad ideas. Off-strategy, operationally-impossible or just plain silly ideas. To which we’re instructed to politely “yes” in the name of unbridled creativity and team-building.  All smiles on the outside – while internally, brains are distracted with reasons why the no-bad […]

No Bad Ideas, Just Bad Brainstorms