For those of you who liked the SCAMPER brainstorm technique, here are more details, questions and synonyms for you to try. As always, please let me know how you go with the exercises, or if you need any help trying the exercise in your brainstorm. Good luck!
- Can you add an unusual element? One from a best-selling category unrelated to yours?
- Can you change people’s roles, locations, responsibilities, positions?
- Can you change the target audience’s feelings or emotions about it?
- Can you substitute a new flavor, packaging, smell, ingredient?
- Can you change the environment or situation?
- Can you mask one element, and highlight another?
- Can you sweeten the offer?
- Can you change the characters?
- Can one fill-in or stand-in for another?
- Can you allow one part to substitute for another?
- Can you alter the steps or rules?
Here are synonyms and similar verbs to Substitute. Use them to create new questions to suit your problem, situation, culture or industry.
alter, alternate, compensate, cover for, fill in, mask, patch, proxy, reconstitute, recover, redeem, refund, replace, restore, shift, stand in for/stand in lieu of, supplant, swap, switch, or take over
- Can you pool resources? Merge two products together as one?
- Can you blend two positions together into a single point of contact?
- Can you integrate steps, thereby simplifying the overall system?
- Can you encourage audiences to mingle, to network and share experiences?
- Can you associate traits, brand attributes, ingredients with a like-minded product?
- Can you couple equipment together into one package?
- Can you merge schedules, contacts, logistics?
- Can you visually smash-up the colors, logos, video testimonials or experiences? Or re-mix the music, voices or sounds into one composition?
- Can you integrate the rewards?
- Can you join teams, sales forces, instructors, workshops?
Here are synonyms and similar verbs to Combine. Use them to create new questions to suit your problem, situation, culture or industry.
associate, blend, connect, cooperate, couple, fuse, incorporate, join, integrate, interface, link, merge, mingle, mix, network, pool, synthesize, team, unite, or wed
- Can one element be isolated and made its own idea?
- Can you make the basic product a luxury item?
- Can you renovate the physical space, perhaps make it mobile or virtual?
- Can you add a new feature, indication, viral campaign or menu?
- Can you adapt the recipe to simplify it? Or change from appetizer to dessert?
- Can you give it a new exterior, leaving the inside “as is”? Can you make it “new and improved”?
- Can you make it useful for the weekend, instead of the week?
- Can you make it out of a different material?
- Can you change the location?
- Can you add a “‘green” (or environmentally friendly) component or service?
Here are synonyms and similar verbs to Adapt. Use them to create new questions to suit your problem, situation, culture or industry.
accommodate, adjust, convert, diversify, evolve, modify, re-condition, reform, re-make, re-model, renovate, re-organize, replace, revolutionize, shift, transform, translate, turn, or vary
- Can you slow down the experience, beyond a few minutes to a full-day, a month or quarter?
- Can you warp or exaggerate a unique feature?
- Can you make a trial size?
- Can you condense one part?
- Can you expand a character’s or employee’s role?
- Can you change the perspective, angle or focus?
- Can you discount one element to encourage purchase of the others?
- Can you chop out the most expensive, most elaborate, most time-consuming parts?
- Can you sweeten the deal?
- Can you make lighter, to stick in a briefcase, send by email, pass around the office?
Here are synonyms and similar verbs to Modify. Use them to create new questions to suit your problem, situation, culture or industry.
abbreviate, amplify, boost, build up, chop, clip, curtail, cut, decrease, deflate, dilute, diminish, enhance, enlarge, heighten, increase, inflate, intensify, lessen, lower, magnify, multiply, prune, recede, reduce, roll back, shave, shorten, shrink, slash, sweeten, taper, or trim
- Can you show how it solves another problem?
- Can you make it work in tandem with something else?
- Can you translate it for a foreign market?
- Can you change the description, lyrics or advertising or P.R.?
- Can you make it portable? Can you create an app?
- Can you entice a different type of audience – from meat lovers to vegetarians, from regional to local, from male to female?
- Can you play with it at home, instead of the office?
- Can you encourage children’s parents to use it?
Here are synonyms and similar verbs to Put to other uses. Use them to create new questions to suit your problem, situation, culture or industry.
adopt, assimilate, bend, convert, deepen, make over, moderate, move, persuade, proselytize, reclaim, recover, recycle, redeem, reform, re-indicate, re-new, re-use, salvage, save, sway, or turn
- Can you streamline the path from plant to shelf? What part can be removed?
- Can you take out the most essential element and still make it relevant?
- Can you eliminate the pockets, a lengthy chapter, or the news conference?
- Can you slice off the last step?
- Can you remove its legs, color, roof, insides or background?
- Can you take away every characteristic but one?
- Can you dilute its strength?
- Can you take away the photographs? How would you sell it only with words? Or with music?
- Can you divide it in half? Or by length, or width?
- Can you retract all earlier versions?
Here are synonyms and similar verbs to Eliminate. Use them to create new questions to suit your problem, situation, culture or industry.
cancel, discard, dismiss, drop, eject, erase, evict, exclude, exterminate, ignore, invalidate, liquidate, omit, oust, phase out, reject, set aside, terminate, waive, or wipe out
- Can you switch elements, by day-part, by month, by season?
- Can you make it vertical instead of horizontal, or vice versa?
- Can you experience it from inside, instead of from the outside?
- Can you re-arrange the purchase or buying process?
- Can you ask a child to re-build it without the instructions?
- Can you stand it on its head?
- Can you spell it backwards?
- Can you make it an anagram?
- Can you make it fly? Or move on its own?
- Can you make the serious humorous?
- Or the humorous ironic? Or the ironic conservative?
- Can you make it take-out instead of eat-in?
Here are synonyms and similar verbs to Rearrange. Use them to create new questions to suit your problem, situation, culture or industry.
amend, change, invert, readjust, reassemble, recalibrate, reconstruct, redistribute, reorganize, rephrase, reposition, reset, revamp, revise, shift, shuffle, switch, transpose, up-end, upset
You can read about other brainstorm techniques by visiting the category of Brainstorm Techniques, Games and Icebreakers.