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Examples of Brainstorming Ideas

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In 1985, we began collecting examples of innovations in several hundred industries. Over the last several years, we have selected the better examples and used these to create brainstorming tools. These brainstorming tools include action-oriented outlines of innovations in segmentation, products and services, pricing and cost management, as well as extensive sets of examples of each action.

Here are just a few of StrategyStreet's several thousand brainstorming thought starters:

Product and Service Innovation

  • For a Final customer who is considering acquiring your product, add value to your product by adding information about how to use the product:

INDUSTRY SIC

YEAR

EXAMPLE

4731

1992

If you plan on building an industrial site, CSX has an operating territory of 20 states and can give you in-depth, impartial facts on more than 5,000 sites, including current construction costs, leasing data, plus info on labor, taxes, utilities.

  • For a Final customer who is using an Intermediary supplier (i.e. a channel of distribution), add value to your product by speeding the payment process:

INDUSTRY SIC

YEAR

EXAMPLE

5411

1986

CheckRobot has designed a do-it-yourself checkout system, in which customers operate a computer-controlled scanning system to check out their purchases and bypass the usual counter congestion.

Pricing Innovation

  • In a deteriorating pricing environment, improve the net revenues you receive by adding a bonus for the buyer:

INDUSTRY SIC

YEAR

EXAMPLE

5331

1989

With competition from Sears, Kmart is repositioning itself as a low-price store. It even tried doubling the value of manufacturers' coupons in a one-day test to see if it could attract more customers.

  • As prices decline, reduce prices more selectively in the product line. Reduce the prices of some product price points more than others.

INDUSTRY SIC

YEAR

EXAMPLE

3571

1991

IBM says it will cut prices as much as 60% on its workstations today. Price cuts for the low-end and middle of the IBM line were much smaller than they were for the high-end.

Cost Management Innovation

  • Reduce the effective rate you pay for the employees you use by separating tasks that could be done by lower cost people from the tasks performed by higher cost people. Then assign the easier tasks to lower cost people.

INDUSTRY SIC

YEAR

EXAMPLE

8051

1993

For years, nurses have been taking on more tasks as procedures became more complicated or as they were handed off by physicians to save money and time. One nurse now gives patients special narcotics; 15 years ago, that was something only anesthesiologists did.

  • Reduce per unit cost by reducing the number of steps a process requires. For example, gather less-detailed information where the potential for error is minimal.

INDUSTRY SIC

YEAR

EXAMPLE

3861

1991

One camera manufacturer scrapped the checking of spare parts invoices entirely because there were so few problems. It was grossly uneconomical to keep an invoice checking department.

 

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