Over the years, I’ve been part of more brainstorming meetings than I can count. And in that time, I’ve seen many different kinds of techniques and strategies used to get to a solution. I’ve come to believe that the most critical moment in the brainstorm is the launch of the meeting.

There are many ways to conduct a brainstorm, but all of it hinges on the way you choose to set expectations and sources of inspiration for the ideas. Many times, the launching is done without establishing a source of inspiration. The focal point only being the result. This is backward, in my opinion.

The creative process, by nature, will always move you forward toward the best solution. You aren’t supposed to know what it looks like until after you’ve begun the process. The process will reveal the best solution.

It’s best to establish a launching point. Why are we here? What is our goal? What are the key elements that will consistently feed the intended outcome?

When brainstorming a marketing campaign for a business, it’s always best to travel back in time as far as possible. What made the business owner decide to create the company? What is the story of its evolution? That moment is crucial in the understanding of what is unique and exceptional about the organization. It’s also a great way to re-inspire the client.

When we take them back, we find them rediscovering what it is they love most about what they do. Once that is established, it sets a healthy tone for the team to begin building.

We all need useful data when developing the best strategy. Honest data can be found in the nostalgia of a business’ history. It’s to be treated as the legend and legacy that you can use to build a more current story.

Those of us who have started a business know how difficult it is. And, as time progresses, it’s easy to forget what inspired all that passion. Rekindling that flame and using its light to guide our journey is an excellent way to find the best resolution.

Partner Alex Raffi also serves as Imagine’s creative director.

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