Creative thinking is all about thinking outside the box and putting existing ideas together in a new combination. I don’t have one single method of coming up with great ideas for marketing and advertising campaigns, except this one:

I listen to my clients talk.

Seriously. I know this sounds so simple but it is a wonderful way to get the creative juices flowing. Everyone likes to talk about themselves and most business owners are more than willing to share their passion for their business. I like to meet with clients at their office and tour their facility. I can get a good feel for the company personality this way.

Once I have met with and listened to my client, I research the competition. Then I will begin the creative brainstorming process. Ideas come from experience and matching those experiences with the project you are brainstorming. There are no rules to this process and often times the silly crazy ideas are the ones that turn into the best ones.

Brainstorming is about being creative and imaginative while generating many ideas quickly. Sometimes the ideas become a picture or series of doodles and sometimes headlines and words come to mind first. Sometimes I will use a thesaurus and other times I will play word games to get the juices flowing.

Sometimes I set everything aside for a few days and narrow my thoughts down. When I come back to the job, I will tweak the ideas matching headlines and concepts with images.

After I have finished brainstorming, I put on my analytical hat and evaluate the ideas and how they meet my clients needs and objectives. No rules except listening to my client.