Twenty Ways to Generate Ideas To Increase Business
The light bulb. Bubble Wrap. Post-it Notes. The iPod. the Snuggie. Facebook. Twitter. They all started with an idea, an idea that to anyone other than its creator may have seemed an insane thing in which to invest the time, money and effort to bring to fruition.
But for the people behind those great ideas, the risks paid off. They might pay off for anyone's next great idea, too, so it's important for companies to give new ideas a shot, whether they're small, like a new logo, or big, like rolling out a new brand.
A new book offers ideas on how to generate and market those great ideas.
"Great ideas are like gold," says Jim Kukral, "Everybody hopes to find them buried under the floorboards in their house. But just like finding gold, you often need a treasure map. In fiscally constrained times such as these, ideas are what matter most. Businesses live and die from the ideas they come up with. Great ideas get attention and bring people through the doors. The tricky part is figuring out how to find them." He is the author of a book on moving ideas to reality.
The book is designed to be an educational and motivational guide to using social media to market a brand or business online. In three parts, it teaches readers how to get off the ground and thrive in the social mediasphere. Whether they're just starting a business, just moving it online, or are already established and looking to take their business to the next level, getting attention is the key to success, and it often starts with that first great idea.
As for what a great idea look like in practice, Kukral highlights Peter van Stolk, founder of Jones Soda Co., as a business owner who wasn't afraid to take his great idea and run with it.
Van Stolk took his $20 million business to $42 million in four years with an idea that generated $25 million in free publicity. Jones Soda was a small Seattle-based beverage company competing against Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola. Combined, those two brands spend a billion dollars a year on advertising.
How did van Stolk and Jones Soda compete? In 2003 van Stolk had the idea to create a "Turkey & Gravy"-flavored soda to be released around Thanksgiving. Soon his brand began to get mentioned in the national media, and his product began to sell out.
"Peter had the idea in his car one day, and he acted on it," says Kukral. "Ever notice how you get your best ideas when your mind is not trying to come up with them? Think about it. How many ideas have you thrown away on the treadmill or in the shower that you should have tried that could have earned you millions?
"Everyone has great ideas," he says. "The problem for most people is realizing that even the most silly or outrageous idea they come up with could in fact work. Generating ideas — useful ideas — is a skill, and, like any other skill, it can be learned. The more you practice, the easier it will be to come up with ideas whenever you need them."
Kukral says there are ways to unlock tsmall business leaders' brains to tart generating amazing ideas that will skyrocket sales, generate leads and create a powder keg of publicity.
Here are a few of Kukral's suggestions on how to generate killer ideas to jump-start a venture:
"I keep up with my great ideas on a Word document that I've uploaded to Google Docs," Kukral says. "This document holds some of the most creative thoughts I've ever had. I've never shown it to anyone, nor will I, as it contains ideas that might seem silly to other people, but I value it greatly as a place where I can think freely and creatively without criticism.
"That's truly the key to coming up with great ideas," he concludes. "You need to free yourself from worry about what other people might say. If you have a place where you can brainstorm and record some of your most outrageous thoughts for getting attention without having to worry about someone else laughing at you, then you'll find that it's much easier to be creative, and, well, outrageous. And before you know it, your great ideas will be boosting your business."
For more information about Kukral's book, Attention! This Book Will Make You Money: How to Use Attention-Getting Online Marketing to Increase Your Revenue (Wiley, 2010).visit http://www.attentionthebook.com.
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