7. Best Ideas


To find the great ideas, throw away the good ideas…

Good ideas are forgotten; great ideas are talked about. The best ideas in marketing are creative, often unexpected, and always remarkable. To find these ideas, you need to “let go” and move past the merely good ideas, think “outside the box,” and iterate.

However, you should also never aim to find the one “best” idea. Studies have shown that for creative tasks, the end results are far better when you instead aim to find three good ideas.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but with a little thought, it makes sense. Imagine I ask you for one “perfect” paragraph describing your product. If you start by writing down a single draft and then iterate and refine that one draft, you’ve spent all your time thinking in one corner of all the possible designs. With just one “best” idea, you may be far more resistant to feedback, since you have worked so hard and invested so much time in this one draft.

If, instead, you start by writing down three drafts, the first will likely be the same as you had before. The second will be a bit different. And now, given two drafts, you should feel free to make the third vastly different. Something wild and creative. After all, you have two good drafts already. Now you have three lines of thought to work with, integrate, and iterate, and the end result is generally vastly better than if you’d spent all your time on the first draft.

So…, with this in mind and with the idea of practicing on other brands, whenever this book asks you to answer a question or work on an exercise, don’t do it just once. Instead, do it over and over again, with as many different answers as you can find each time.


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