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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A close look at the creative process responsible for good ideas

In a fascinating book extract published in Mint yesterday, we get to take a close look at the creative process responsible for good ideas.

The extract, from Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life And Work, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, deals with the work of a small company based in California that coins names for billion-dollar brands, such as "BlackBerry" and "Pentium".

In 2006, the company, Lexicon, was hired by Colgate to come up with a name for a soon-to-be-launched disposable mini-toothbrush. The centre of the brush held a dab of special toothpaste, which was designed to make rinsing unnecessary. So you could carry the toothbrush with you, use it in a cab or an airplane lavatory, and then toss it out.

The extract continues:

When Lexicon founder and CEO David Placek first saw the toothbrush, he said what stood out was its small size. So, if you were on the Lexicon team, with your mental spotlight pointed at the tiny toothbrush, you’d be tempted to start tossing out names that highlight its small size: Petite Brush, Mini-Brush, Brushlet, etc. Notice that, in brainstorming that way, you would have already locked yourself into a tight frame with two assumptions: (1) The name should connote smallness; and (2) “Brush” should be part of the name.  

What name did Lexicon ultimately come up with? Is "brush" part of the name? And what was the creative process involved? Read all about it here: "Don't lock yourself in".

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