When I was a VP of Marketing for shopping centers (over 50 major shopping malls around the country – probably a big one near you) one of the things we always did was go to other places for inspiration and ideas. I’d go to Vegas to check out the creative retail concepts where they always featured leading edge retail ideas. New York City, Mall of America in Minneapolis and even neighboring malls in a local small towns. You could always find at least one thing someone was doing differently and it always inspired a new thought or idea.
We were always looking at how did they fit the lastest Limited store (big in the 90’s ) into this size space or this type of mall or community.
We didn’t stop there – we would go to museums, shows (like Cirque du Soleil), new stadiums, everywhere is a new idea or an old idea being done differently. Lighting, fixtures, merchandising, automatition, new types of signage, new retail concepts, new kiosks structures for seasonal retailers, and of course, there were marketing materials/concepts/campaigns galore!
We couldn’t just stare at our own shopping centers and hope a creative idea would come. We needed stimulation, conversation, ideas, inspiration and it would lead us to think differently about one of our centers or marketing campaigns.
This thirst and curiously for new ideas works for any type of business – even yours – even a service oriented business.
How can you bust out of your business box?
Read new things: new websites, new ezines, new magazine..
Go to Barnes & Noble and look through different magazines. I love looking at magazines on design, travel, scrapbooking, women, news, entertainment and seeing the different conversations….the values, the “movements” happening within each publication. Thinking about how I can apply it to my clients, my business or my clients businesses.
Spend some time just surfing the net (do we still say surfing? It’s such a way of life that I don’t think we surf anymore)…anyway, just get curious. Look at different websites – in your industry, out of your industry or in totally different industries.
One of my favorite ezines is Springwise – they showcase daily trends in small businsses. Today I read about “renting vegetable gardens”, “birthing suites in NYC for those who want to birth babies on US soil” and “toy rentals for toys in waiting rooms in Dr’s offices”.
It’s fresh, fun and stimulates new thinking.
This day and age we need that.
It may just provide a relief from looking at the same old types of websites in your industry. It may just give you a new thought, a new solution, a new product idea, article idea or just a break…just reading something new can shift a perspective. I know from today…I felt like I lifted my head up and realized that there’s a whole big world out there of possibilities and I SO love that energy!
A breathe of fresh air…and inspired this blog posting!
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