Brainstorming for New Product Development

Have you ever analyzed where your company’s new product ideas come from?  Is it all one person?  Is it an informal process open to lots of sources?  Is it a formalized process integrated with your overall new product development program?  We find that it varies by company with some naturally generating lots of new ideas and some struggling to find what’s next. 

We are able to help our clients by providing formalized brainstorming sessions.  Such sessions are usually one day affairs and best held off-campus if possible to get everyone’s head cleared from the daily and hourly minutiae that consumes our days.  We like to inform the process with a customized presentation that highlights what’s new in the general arena of the product categories to be targeted.  This will likely be a slide show of new products, design trends, colors, features, etc.  From there we loosen things up with some fun thought exercises the purpose of which is to relax people and to get them to practice thinking outside the box.  From there we go to structured brainstorming problems intended to develop new ideas.  We work with our clients to segment the targeted product areas in order to approach problems from multiple angles.  If we are working with multiple groups, we will divide them up and work in separate spaces on the same problems.  Next we’ll take the results of blue-sky sessions and work with the group(s) to reconfigure them…. to combine and then recombine ideas to arrive at new concepts.  Finally, we’ll end the day with a rudimentary narrowing down to identify some of the best new ideas.  We make sure that clients derive maximum benefit from the sessions by recording and presenting all ideas no matter how wild, imaginative or inappropriate and then we’ll track through how the group worked its way to the top ideas.  We are happy to report the results of our sessions typically provide clients with a few years worth of ideas to work with!