Performance Element 3.01

Marketing 3.01
Generate product ideas to contribute
to ongoing business success.
Performance Indicator:
Identify methods/techniques to generate
a product idea.
Attribute listing
Lateral thinking
Sketching and doodling
Forced questioning
Morphological analysis
Six thinking hats
Definitions on next slides
• Attribute Listing: is breaking the problem down into smaller and
smaller bits and seeing what you discover when you do.
• Lateral Thinking: involves approaching the issue from new illogical
directions and using illogical methods to develop new ideas.
• Analogies: comparisons between things which have similar
features, often used to help explain a principle or idea
• Associations: a thought, idea, or feeling that is linked with an event
• Brainstorming: identifying as many different ideas as possible
during a certain time frame.
• Synectics: making connections through the use of forced relations
• Sketching and Doodling: techniques for putting ideas on paper very
– Sketching is freehand drawing which follows the rules for technical drawings. It
includes techniques for orthographic and pictorial drawing, including isometrics.
– Doodling tends to be more freeform, but it can include sketching techniques.
• Forced Questioning: uses basic question starters to develop original
questions to ask and answer about the product opportunity.
• Morphological Analysis: uses the same basic technique, but is used to
create a new product by mixing components in a new way
• Six Thinking Hats: is a creative-thinking technique that stimulates idea
generation by categorizing information.
Explain the role of criticism in idea
• Due to criticism, many business professionals
hold back when generating new product
• They do not want to be ridiculed from their
co-workers and supervisors.
• As a result, there are many missed
opportunities for ideas as every idea not
spoken or shared is a potential product not
Types of Brainstorming Techniques
• Relay Brainstorming
– As its name implies, it is similar to a relay race.
– Multiple individuals from opposing teams respond in a certain
order with no assistance from his/her team.
• Round Robin Brainstorming
– Does not involve teams
– Participants respond quickly when it is their turn.
• Starbursting
– Participants draw a 6 point star with the product written in the
– On each tip of the star, write: Who? What? Why? Where?
When? How?
– These questions help to develop ideas
Distinguish among free association techniques,
forced relations techniques, and analytical
techniques used to generate business/product
– Lateral Thinking
• Approaching the issue from new illogical directions and
using illogical methods to develop new ideas.
• Ex. Free association and forced relation techniques
– Programmed Thinking
• Techniques are logical and analytical
• Structured, organized ways to develop new ideas and
Sources of Business/Product Ideas
• Trends
– Fashion, television shows, music
– Health and fitness
• Video games
• Fitness apps for smart phones
• Dance workout classes
– Age of Population
• Baby boomers – largest segment of the population
Sources of Business/Product Ideas
• Customers
– Who better to tell you ideas than the customers
who buy your products?
– Marketers must be observant; watch their
customers; notice problems
– Marketers should use formal/informal methods
such as focus groups, surveys, comment cards.
– Marketers should talk with other professionals
who interact with customers regularly.
Sources of Business/Product Ideas
• Existing Products
– Existing complaints about products
– Look for ways to improve your goods/services
even when there are no problems.
• Complementary Products
– Those that go along with something else that
already exists.
• Substitute
– A product that takes the place of another product.
Importance of evaluating a business owner’s
strengths when generating business/product
• A business owner knows his/her own company’s strengths.
• When generating business/product ideas, think about what
the company does best.
• How can you turn those strengths into successful products?
Pitfalls to idea identification
The fear of the unknown
Risks associated with a new product
Criticism or ridicule from co-workers/supervisor
Not being able to “think outside the box”
Importance of generating
business/product ideas
• Helps determine the long term survival,
profitability, and success of a business.
• Change in the market is constant; therefore,
businesses must respond to or even anticipate
those changes. If not, customers look to the
• To stay ahead of the competition.
• Product life cycles are shorter.
Methods/techniques used to identify
business/product ideas
Mind Mapping
– A visual creative thinking technique.
– Generate ideas by making associations.
– Expands thinking and generates many ideas in a short amount of time.
– Taking turns sketching or doodling
– Builds on the other’s drawings
– Study the doodles
– Determine how the shapes can be related to their product opportunity.
Free Association
– Allow the mind to wander
– Identify the first thing that comes to mind
– Record the flow of ideas
– Continue the process until a connection
Forced Questioning
– Similar to starbursting
– Basic questions develop into product opportunity questions
– Includes more than the 5 W’s
– More situational wording such as might, would, could
Methods/techniques used to identify
business/product ideas
• Synectics
Derived from a Greek word meaning “bringing forth together”
Making connections through forced relations.
Time consuming but rewarding
Excellent tool when other methods fail
• Forced Relations
– Connecting two items or ideas that seem unrelated
• Forced associations
– Forcing random words into associations about your issue.
– Similar to free association; however, makes connection between the random
word and the product opportunity
– No mind drifting
• Forced Analogies
– Uses metaphors and similes to create connections.
– These connections may seem very different than your situation.
Marketing 3.01
Generate product ideas to contribute to ongoing
business success.
Performance Indicator:
Generate product ideas
Purposes of idea-generating
• Ideation process is how many great product
ideas originate.
• Ideation is the process of generating and
developing new ideas.
• New ideas help determine a business’ long
term success and profitability.
• Customers’ needs/wants are constantly
Advantages/disadvantages of ideagenerating methods/techniques
• Benefits
– Many ideas can be generated in a short time.
– Requires few material resources.
– The results can be used immediately or "preserved" for possible use in other
• Advantages
– Is a "democratic" way of generating ideas (assuming a good facilitator).
– Is a useful way to get over "design" blocks that are slowing development.
– The concept of brainstorming is easy to understand.
• Disadvantages
– Requires an experienced and sensitive facilitator who understands the social
psychology of small groups.
– Requires a dedication to quantity rather than quality.
– Can be chaotic and intimidating to introverts.
– May not be appropriate for some business or international cultures.
Role of a facilitator in generating
product/business ideas
• Who Can Facilitate
• The basic brainstorming procedure seems simple enough that anyone
could facilitate a session, but the social dynamics of product groups are
both complex and subtle so facilitators should have some training on how
• Motivate participants.
• Keep the focus on the topic.
• Understand the issues that affect small group interaction.
• A facilitator also needs to understand how to organize and analyze the
data from brainstorming sessions.
• Facilitators must not let participants belabor their points or start telling
war stories. This can reduce the quantity of items and act as an inhibitor
since the stories often include some subtle guidance or implied criticism.
• Facilitators should avoid inviting someone that is generally feared by the
group since this is likely to reduce the quantity of ideas.
Questions to ask to facilitate idea generation
• A great question should be well-timed and
carefully formed to test and pinpoint problem
• A great question will start the exploration process
and facilitate further investigation and study of
the problem.
• Great questions will uncover facts.
• Use questioning words such as "What, What if,
Where, Why, When, and How", to develop quality
• Ask BOTH open-ended and closed-ended
Questions to ask to facilitate idea generation
• Clarifying questions – those that help ensure a
full understanding of topics; essential for all team
members to be working with common knowledge
for planning problem solving.
• Exploratory questions – emphasize possibilities
that have not yet been discussed; enhance teams
ability to find creative solutions.
• Why questions – these examine the underlying
rationale for actions, processes, or circumstances;
useful for problem solving, planning and several
other purposes.
Implement methods/techniques to
generate product/business ideas
Focus Groups
Problem inventory analysis
For implementing, reference the article listed in
the following web address.