In one of my college art history classes, the professor lectured the class on Middle Ages art and stopped on The Garden of Earthly Delights, by the inventor of surrealism, Hieronymus Bosch.
The professor said he used to keep a print of the incredibly detailed, large painting in his house, but eventually had to remove it and gifted it to a student. He cited insanity as the reason to take it down. Bosch was so detailed in his work that every time you look at the painting, there is another half bird half human character you’ve never seen before. Something interesting pops out every time you take another look at The Garden of Earthly Delights.
Just as an onlooker can find new gems in Bosch’s masterpiece, so too can marketers and brand managers find new ideas within personal and professional networks.
Take brand naming for example. Even the most uncreative people you know can spark brilliant thinking. Send your criteria and some starter thoughts / names to friends, family and colleagues. You never know who will send you that one “it” idea or the one that sparks the “it” idea.
Internally, when ideating, bring a cross section of the company in your brainstorming session. That means account executives, creatives (upper and lower level) and any one else available. And ensure they’re in a comfortable environment. Nothing is more counter-productive than intimidating egoism and elitist attitudes. Bring in some props, role play, do whatever you have to do develop a creative environment.
The most incredible ideas come from the most unexpected places. Just as every viewing of Garden of Earthly Delights shows another gem, so too can friends, family and colleagues give you brilliant ideas.