Try some creative schizophrenia.
No, I’m not making fun of people with schizophrenia. But I do have a good creative exercise that taps into your ability to “try-on” personalities or “get into character”. Similar to an actor improvising a new role, the idea is to try on different frames of thought while answering creative questions (and for marketing, those questions would be about the unique benefit for the target).
For example, I can imagine back 20 years or so (ok, more like 30) and remember how it felt to be the girl-crazy, testosterone filled teenager that just got my license, driving to my first date, and I had to pull over and puke because I was so nervous. I can recall what was going on in my mind when I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror. I can tell you my wishes and dreams. I can understand my decisions. And from that, I can understand most teenage boys and deduct what they might think, say and do in most situations.
For this exercise, you can use many of your own experiences, but it’s not necessary to recall from personal memories. It’s good practice to let your imagination take over and use other peoples experiences or stories you’ve heard to weave an imaginary character that exhibits the personality of your target.
Try playing the part of a persona that you’ve outlined for your target audience. Get into their mind-state and react to questions. Or have a discussion with another person who’s playing the part of a sales clerk, selling the product/service. Discover what concerns arise, what desires come up and what feelings are generated. Then try on another persona.
Another way to use this creative approach is to use family members or friends as your character for question and answers. Be Uncle Roy, or just take a look at it from your Mom’s point of view. That’s always entertaining. Channel a celebrity. Pretend you’re the inventor of the product. There’s lots of angles, or personalities you can try, but make them relevant.
This exercise can really revive your imagination and provide unexpected results. Your mind has wonderful abilities to tap into a collective consciousness of shared experiences and feelings. So remember, for some fresh ideas, you may just need to get a little out of your mind.