Is There Such a Thing as a New Idea?

Maybe, but the jury is still out. Perhaps a twist on an old idea, although even great minds would agree that new, original, unique is fairly hard to nail down.

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.”   ― Abraham Lincoln

“I invent nothing, I rediscover.”  ― Auguste Rodin

Even King Solomon said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

Ideas, whether they are yours, mine or ours are everywhere. In our media-centric world, we’re bombarded by information, opinion, concepts, all in a continuous state of flux and remix. It’s a recipe that gives us continual access to a marathon of ideas and thought-provoking dialog running in and out of our brains.

So when you need an idea, what’s the first step? Consider this: You and your team are tasked to create a campaign that will engage, endorse, empower and most of all help sell a client’s product or service.

Where do you start?

You already know that the seeds for ideas are everywhere. From your crossword puzzle to a new song to the chance encounter of an old friend on the subway, ideas infuse the very air you breathe. And all you need in order to recognize them is a clear, open (relaxed) mind. Avoid over-thinking or trying too hard to birth that next creative step and instead relax, observe and let it happen.

So, let’s get back to your campaign. First, schedule a face-to-face sit-down with your client. Put on your listening ears and let the client talk about what they know. Listen. Take notes, lots of notes. And listen some more. If your client knows the product and has the enthusiasm behind the words, you’ll probably get at least 75% of what you need for your brilliant campaign in this one meeting.

If you listen fervently so that you ‘hear between the lines’ and talk less you’ll come away with what you need. The ‘new’ or ‘original’ will reveal itself and come to fruition in your own voice and style. It will happen organically and it will be your version of new.

No matter who you are or where you go, idea repositories are everywhere so just keep your ears and eyes open and stay on the lookout. Do that and ideas (whether newish, older, mildly-worn, exotic or somewhere in-between) will be there when you need them.