Taking a New Perspective

You’re the Marketing Manager of InkyDinks Inc. and the market has decided that your $20 Dinks are $4 too expensive. And let’s face it, your Dinks aren’t the only Dinks on the market. What would you do to move the market in your favor?

Marketing is riddled with challenges. Daily, we’re forced to solve them or succumb to them. And when it’s your own product or brand on the line, you don’t want a short-sited fix — you want a real solution that will raise expectation, shape the market and create momentum.

Reprogramming What’s Familiar

From the time we’re young, we’re taught to think linearly and to solve problems sequentially. We’re trained to go step by step. So, if our costs are too high, then we clearly just need to find a way to lower them and — POOF — problem solved.

Possibly. Probably not.

If, in our example, you simply cut the price of your Dinks, you’re cutting into your profit margin, hurting your bottom line and potentially limiting future growth. You could cut the cost of raw materials but then you’re also changing your product substantially, perhaps in a way that customers dislike more than they dislike the price tag. And because InkyDinks Inc. strives to pay a good wage to retain good workers, cutting wages is off the table. You could consider changing locations to limit overhead, but it’s such a negligible part of the final cost … What else can you do?

It’s like finding a solution that doesn’t go through the maze, but around it.

Innovate Using Lateral Thinking

When it comes to achieving a breakthrough solution, there isn’t always a linear “right” way to go about it. Lateral thinking is a way of approaching problems from an indirect, creative perspective so you can view them from a new angle, generating new ideas. It’s like looking at a complex maze with an infinite number of possible paths and finding a solution that doesn’t involve going through it, but around it.

The tenants of lateral thinking are essential to the way we work, inviting new perspectives and even top-down shakeups at every point in a project. It’s a concept that makes up the very heart of our brand development process. Not because it’s easy but because the best answers, we know, are rarely the most obvious ones.

Putting it all together

So, have you decided what you’d do to help InkyDinks Inc. break through?

Do you consider doing market research to understand your customers perceptions and find a position you can own and build momentum around?

Do you re-evaluate your brand and find out if there are creative solutions that can pivot the discussion away from price and instead forges a new perception?

Do you need to commit resources to market and advertise this gem? And not just creating some jaw-dropping creative solutions, but back it up with a media plan that is solution-oriented and accountable.

Do you take an advertising and marketing approach that positions your Dinks as premium, top-quality Dinks? A move that would justify the price and position your company as a leader in the Dink supply game. Lateral thinking says that just because they’re talking about price doesn’t mean you have to.

There are many ways to solve a problem. But at 1408 Locust, we believe the best way to start is always with a new perspective.

Fresh ways  to discover innovative ideas:

1. Get to know your surroundings with market research.

Gathering the raw, objective ingredients is the best place to start. These ingredients are the keys to finding a new approach.

2. Don’t be afraid to Break your existing patterns.

Ask your media partner if there is a shakeup to the media schedule that can change your reach.


Just because you’ve always done “X” doesn’t mean you always have to. Our client, Home Solutions of Iowa, was facing a competitive and price-sensitive market. Instead of risking their business and cutting into their bottom line, we helped them separate themselves from their competitors by showcasing the true value of their top-quality products – differentiating them as the best solution.

4. Welcome inconvenient intrusions and relish the random.

Embrace the lateral thinking process even when it seems difficult or drawn out. One of our new financial clients was struggling to create brand cohesion through all their distribution channels. Utilizing a what could be seen as a seemingly random mind-mapping creative exercise, we helped solidify a brand mark, voice and hierarchy structure that could distribute cohesion all the way down every channel. Be on the lookout for this creative in the next issue!

5. Be provocative and choose to go down less likely avenues.

Our grocery store client, Fareway, was competing in a market dominated by a “bigger is better” motto. We helped them buck the trend and focus on what they do best: meat and grocery.