3 Steps to Developing Your Big Business Idea

A big business idea is the creative concept that will serve as the foundation of all advertising placement – from print and TV to below the line marketing tactics. In a general sense, this idea will carry the offer, concept, and product USP of your advertisement, as well as engage your target market your platform of choice.

To further understand what a big idea is, advertising guru George Lois breaks it down into three points as drawn from his book What’s the Big Idea:

  • It is an idea that explains and illuminates through powerful and succinct images and concepts.
  • It is an unexpected solution to a communication problem using graphic imagery.
  • It is a seemingly outrageous, unthinkable, out-of-the-box concept that defeats tradition.

Coming up with a big business idea is a journey of discovery. Below is a three-step guide that should help you discover your very own big idea:

Step 1: Determine problem

A problem exists in every business no matter how big a brand may be. Normally, a problem arises when it runs in conflict with your business goals and brand identity. Since not all businesses possess the same priorities, it is your duty to pinpoint the problem, single it out, and generate a solution.

To help you determine the problems that prevent you from achieving your goals, read “Creating a Brand Identity for Small Businesses”  to refresh your memory and recall what you have set out to accomplish through your business.

Step 2: Find solutions by asking why

Find reasons why people prefer the brand of your competitors over yours until you have exhausted all possible answers.

This question-asking technique is called the 5 whys and is developed by Sakichi Toyoda. The idea here is to repeat the line of questioning in order to understand the cause-and-effect relationship between the different parts of your business until the solution manifests itself to you.

Let’s assume that your objective for your hypothetical soda company is to produce the most sought-after sodas in the market. However, your problem is that you are currently ranked third. Given these, here are hypothetical answers to the 5 whys:

  1. Why? Price per soda is much more expensive compared to the top two.
  2. Why? Cost of producing the sodas is high.
  3. Why? Failure to procure more affordable resources to be used for production.
  4. Why? Lack of manpower to perform business intelligence tasks.
  5. Why? Failure by Human Resources to create a job opening for said position.

Solution: Open business intelligence unit position in your company and search for qualified candidates to fill out position.

Step 3: Turning your solution into a big business idea

The big idea is neither a media strategy nor a tactical solution, but a creative essence big enough to adapt to all communication channels, if not transcend all media.

Given the solution to our hypothetical business, posting job opportunities on ad sites, although effective, is neither powerful, unexpected, and unthinkable enough to become a big business idea. However, you can play around with unique suggestions below to help you come up with an out-of-the-box idea:

  • Crowdsourcing – Encourage a group of highly-targeted people qualified for the job to create a quote on how to minimize cost of soda production. The person who can come up with the best quote is offered the position to your company. To ensure that only qualified people will receive your invitation, send each one custom postcards to their mailing addresses.
  • Viral videos – Instead of using job posting sites to fill out a vacancy in your company, you can create a concept video that would encourage business analysts in your area to apply for you and upload it on video hosting sites. Aside from generating buzz in the market, you will also receive free press if your viral campaign becomes a success.
  • Sticker Marketing – Use stickers to spread your job posting to people by affixing them at locations with high foot traffic. For best effect, attach stickers on hard-to-reach places that everybody can see. Keep in mind that placing stickers on public properties may be illegal in some parts, so pick your spots and promote wisely.

These are just things to help you come up with a big business idea for your own business. Once the big idea hits you, it’ll be a “eureka” moment in your life. It is usually so outrageous and at the same time so simple you’ll ask yourself, “why didn’t I think about that much earlier?!”

Additional reading:

Have you experienced that “eureka” moment? Should you have any suggestion, insight, or additional information, please tell us by writing a comment below.

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