Here are some examples of suggested creative criteria to use when selecting the best ideas as you begin wrapping up a brainstorm. By no means a definitive list, use the points below as thought starters to create a specific list for your organisation, industry, environment or situation. If you have other examples, please share them with me, and I’ll publish additional notes later on.
Examples of Creative Criteria: The idea must …
- Help to achieve the business result or (marketing/PR/communciations) objective
- Address / impact / defuse / combat the (communications) issue
- Demonstrate a return on investment (which also means you need to have evaluation measures agreed-upon in advance of the campaign’s launch)
- Educate the target audience(s) by effectively delivering your messages
- Stimulate trial or loyalty, to ask for a product by name
- Gather demographic information from the target audience (e.g., sign-up booths, kiosks, write-in offers)
- Be moveable (e.g., the idea can be moved from market to market, between shopping centers, can be set up at town meetings, the lobby of Parliament)
- Have an internet or web presence
- Be a one-off event – in other words, you spend your money in ‘one big bang’
- Be compelling – literally, it engages the target audience by asking them to participate
- Physically demonstrate your brand’s attributes
- Attract media attention (be ‘media-genic’) – or NOT attract media attention
- Occur during a specific time period (e.g., a window immediately after product launch; 10 weeks prior to a vote)
- Complement other activities of the organisation – e.g., recruitment, advertising, operations, sales initiatives
- Cause your competition to sit up and take notice – but again, be specific
A word of advice
The more specific and measurable your criteria, the greater your chances of selecting the best idea. At the same time, don’t use too many criteria to make brainstorming impossible. You need some “breathing room” to allow your creative thinking to run wild. Generally, 4-6 criteria is best.
And finally, do not start a brainstorm by sharing the criteria with participants. Keep them aside, revealing them at the end of the meeting. If you present them earlier, you can paralyse your participant’s creativity.
What creative criteria have you used for your brainstorms?