Monday, December 3, 2007

Creative Challenge for the Day

Ok, I got up and have to admit felt a little "blah". Yesterday did a bit of sewing for quilted book cover but I just haven't been feeling that creative. So this morning I got up and read one of the exercises in the "caffeine for the Creative mind" book. The challenge was to come up with a new marketing scheme for the "tents" that you see on restaurant tables. You know, the ones with pretty pictures and food items that are definetely not on the "healthy side". So I went to the gym thinking about this, hum what would be a better scheme? One thing that I could think of that would be cool is to actually allow a customer to swipe their credit card to receive email newsletter updates. Maybe actually send them e-coupons for purchase of future meals, GC, etc.

This actually started me thinking about what would be effective at a printer kiosk. What could we do to actually generate more sales? Right now we have these push buttons at retail centers where a customer can print out a page to check out the PQ. This has lots of trouble as more retail outlets don't stock their printers with paper. Or in Asia and some of the brick countries they don't actually have enough shelf space to have even our smallest products sitting on the shelf. What would happen if we were able to put a swipe card in retail outlets, where we could ship the customer information.

To take this idea even further, I started thinking about the recent advertising campaign that Apple and Starbucks just hosted. Bascially you go into a Starbucks, order a coffee, and during the month of October you got a printed coupon for a free iTunes download. I thought, this is probably going to be a huge hassle, so I collected my cards for the month and did the downloads all at once. It was SIMPLE. Not only that but I downloaded full albums from iTunes from a variety of the artists that I like yet had never even heard of. Now that is effectively co-ops dollars at work. Starbucks sells more because people want to know what the song of the day is so they order coffee, iTunes cashes in because the music downloads are just teasers for album purchases. Extremely clever. Hats off and kudos to Starbucks and iTunes!!

In terms of being creative today on the Art Quilt side. The challenge this month is what lies beyond your creative door. In the current issue of Art Quilt magazine they had some great images. My favorite of a hand going through a door with a needle and thread feeding through. So I've been thinking about what lies beyond my creative door. It feel like a rainbow of color and I really trying to think about how to extend my thinking beyond the hand, needle, and thread. Doing some sketching right now in an attempt to really open up my mind to the possibilities here. The hardest problems often require the most creative can extend that thought to every faucet of life. From engineering, to business models, to art.