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What If?

The classic creative question – “What if …” – is also a classic way to brainstorm ideas.  It’s a technique with multiple names:

I Wish

I Want

Wishing for Diamonds are a few I know.

Regardless of the title, the technique is based on the principles of framing (or ‘re-framing’) which means to change the angle of your perspective. In other words, you’re able to look at the same situation or problem from a different point of view, allowing you to (re-)stimulate your creativity.

How To Use “I Wish”

1. State the desire, issue or opportunity as it relates to the prospect.

2. Each person writes 3-5 different “wishes” about the prospect.

3. Everyone passes their wishes to the person beside them; keep adding until each page has 15-20 wishes.

4. Call out the most provocative wishes:  How would you make that wish come true?


Practical Examples of How To Use “I Wish …” 

Original Objective: To stimulate purchase of the new Sprocket headphones.

I wish … the target audience would love the product so much they wouldn’t ever take them off.

I wish … the campaign was so successful that Justin Beiber would retweet the news to his fans.

I wish … our idea was so dazzling it would win an Academy Award.

I wish … people would want our product so badly they’d camp overnight outside the store so they’d be the first to own it.

You can read about other brainstorm techniques by visiting the category of Games and Exercises.


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What If?