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Tools | Matrix Brainstorming

Corny Keanu Reeves jokes aside, Matrix Brainstorming is a way to generate new and novel ideas quickly and collaboratively.  The basic idea is to choose 2 different sets of attributes.  It can be anything.  Whatever is useful to you.  Media / Products. Promotion Type / Holiday. Message / Visual.

For the purposes of this post, we’ll use Brand Personality Attributes and Selling Points.

Download this PDF template for the exercise:

  1. Write down 4 of your Brand Personality Traits for your brand on the top headers of each column.
  2. Write down 4 of your key Selling Points for your company in the left column.
  3. Cut out the numbers on the 2nd page, fold them, and place them into a hat or bowl.
  4. Gather a group of your employees and have them pick out numbers.  Depending on the size of the group, you can have them pick out multiple numbers.
  5. Each number corresponds to a combination of Trait and Selling Point.
  6. Their job is to brainstorm as many ways to communicate the Selling Point with the Brand Personality Trait.

MCA Matrix Brainstorming

So let’s say for example, you’re a clothing store (see PDF Template for the example).  You pick 9.  So you need to communicate “helpful staff” with “daring.”

  • Maybe it’s a print ad showing how your staff goes above and beyond to help their customers.
  • Maybe it’s developing a program for your employees to come up with a new idea for the store every month and the best idea is featured on an online video.
  • Maybe it’s a section on your website with bios of all of your employees highlighting some of the daring things they’ve done.
  • Maybe you ask all of your employees to post images of them doing dares at your store on DareShare.

Now, some are going to be harder than others.  But that’s part of the fun of stretching your imagination to come up with cool unconventional ideas.

Try it.  It will “free your mind.”