Sometimes the hardest part of creating or revamping your marketing materials is the inability to come up with the initial idea or concept. For many people, the scenario plays out like this: we stare at our monitors waiting for inspiration to hit us. We type a few words, decide we hate them and then delete them. As frustration begins to set in, we find our attention drifting to other important matters, and the task at hand is put on the shelf. By the time we revisit the project, we’re usually right back to where we were initially – staring at a blank screen.
So, how do we get those creative juices flowing?
Keep your eyes and ears open
You never know when you will stumble across the inspiration for your next great marketing idea. Pay attention to the world around you. When you read, watch TV or if you’re out and about, take notice of what you see and hear. In addition to advertising trends or campaigns you can emulate (or choose to avoid!) the actual form and function of life can also generate new ideas. The way people interact with one another, their actions and reactions—some of the greatest concepts have come from the most mundane of observations.
Keep an Idea Folder
Start a collection of interesting concepts that you can incorporate into your next campaign. When you see something you like, keep it. Whether it’s the overall design, shape, color—even the way something opens or folds—these are all ideas you can pull together for your own initiatives. Obviously, you’re not looking to steal someone’s logo or copy, but maybe you liked the type treatment, the colors they used, or the way they presented a coupon offer. Don’t be afraid to take brochures from doctor’s offices, hotels, or department stores. Even direct mail sent to your home can provide valuable resources for your next project.
Find what works for you
Many people need their writing or “creative” environment to be comfortable and fairly quiet. For others, background music helps motivate and create an atmosphere ripe for ideas to flow. But brilliant concepts can occur while taking a shower, driving or even while sleeping. Have notepads where you live, work and drive so that you can jot down your thoughts.
Printrunner.com’s free interactive design tool is also a wonderful way to inspire you creatively. The free templates help you formulate structure to your thoughts, and find the perfect way to illustrate your idea. Give it a try; you may be surprised at how creative you really are.