Monthly Archives: July 2014

5 Tips to Turn Your Brainstorms into Brain-hurricanes

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“If you expected rain, you would bring an umbrella, right? The same preparedness applies to a brainstorm… and if you want a hurricane of ideas, you’ll need the right variables. It all begins with a rain dance, you have to inspire others to channel the right energy. As soon as it starts to storm, break out that paper and soak up the flood of ideas. Most importantly, allow the storm cloud to travel beyond the office…often times, that is when the most powerful lightning will strike.”

Brainstorming sessions, when done correctly, can be one of the most powerful tools in your business. Often times, however, a meeting held with the intention of generating groundbreaking ideas turns into an hour of wasted time and you’re left scratching your head over what went wrong. Here at Brandberry, we make it rain cats and dogs, so we thought we’d share what it is that makes our sessions so successful.

1. Switch Things Up

The most productive brainstorm sessions occur when there is a vibrant and palpable energy permeating the room. Creative juices rarely flow on command, especially after a day filled with emails and packed to-do lists. This is why transforming your workplace is vital. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit. Go off site for your session, incorporate props, magazines and other inspiring visuals … and turn off those cell phones, you want your team to be 100% present.

2. Warm Up The Room

Do you remember when your favorite elementary school teacher would begin the day with a hands-on activity? We may not be kids anymore, but that same concept still applies. Every now and then, we could use an interruption from the routine. Start your sessions off with a warm up exercise. Get creative… have your team compile a list of the five worst things to discover in the trunk your car, or play a wild round of Mad Libs. Make them laugh, get their blood flowing and you’re guaranteed to see those mental gears begin to churn.

3. Write Everything Down

Everyone should be taking notes. The faster the ideas begin to flow, the more difficult it can become for each opinion to be heard, so encourage your team to write down any and all thoughts they have for future reference. Make it fun by incorporating unconventional ways to jot down ideas… go ahead and cover the table with a roll of paper or plaster giant sticky notes on the wall to be inscribed upon with oversize markers. Remember, imagination breeds ingenuity…so don’t discourage doodling. Some of Brandberry’s best ideas have derived from the random scribblings drawn during team meetings.

4.  Set The Tone

While it is important to arrange certain parameters in order to ensure productive meetings… avoid making too many rules, this can be restrictive to innovation. Urge participation from all levels of the company… if you limit your contributors to a room full of senior executives you will likely miss out on a multitude of valuable opinions and diverse perspectives. Set the tone from the beginning to be that of a relaxed, think-tank assembly, don’t make it competitive but rather create a safe space for any and all ideas to be shared… sometimes the best ideas are the craziest ones.

5.  Allow It To Continue

The ideas don’t have to stop flowing the second the meeting is over. Some of the best ideas originate in the shower, before you go to bed, or while driving… basically any time you’re not working. This is why digital platforms that allow the conversation to continue past the original brainstorm session are so valuable.

 

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Meet Faith – Chief Barketing Officer of Brandberry

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Faith Mady is a go-getting pooch who has been called the “backbone of the Brandberry brand.” It is nearly impossible to land an interview with her but she was kind enough to spare a few moments to sit down with us today. Check out this exclusive interview below and get to know the elusive CBO of Brandberry.

So Faith, tell us about Brandberry

Well, darling what is it you want to know? Do try and be specific, I have a very big day ahead of me. Time is kibbles you know.

How about you describe to us an average day for you in the BB office?

Well for starters, I absolutely must begin the day with snuggles and kisses from Ashley. When you are a powerful working dame like myself, it is essential that family time not be neglected. You know, work-life balance and all that. Afterword, I get straight to work on providing the Brandberry Bunch with a break from the desk to walk me and I often act as a stimulating muse as well…. Not to brag darling, but it’s rumored that the inspiration behind the Poopeez brand had much to do with me.

Interesting. So how would you describe the workplace dynamic at BB?

Oh just splendid of course! Everyone gets along swimmingly. Quite the creative bunch…except they can be a bit strange at times. For instance, on Wednesdays they insist on dressing in bizarre costumes and it is just dreadfully embarrassing to have to witness the other humans’ reactions to whoever walks me that day.

You have been called by the press, “bitingly witty” and “not one to take the tail end of a deal.” Do have any reaction to that?

I suppose they thought they were being quite punny. But they’re not wrong, you don’t become the Chief Barketing Officer of a company like Brandberry without a bit of wag to your tail.

Do you have any quirks or rituals that help stimulate your creative process?

Hmmm… I do love spinning around in circles… Oh! I know! When I get really excited about an idea I tend to sneeze uncontrollably! Although, Lori always interprets that as a cue to take me outside. Let me tell you, they have missed out on a number of groundbreaking innovations because of that. *Sighs* Oh well, humans, what can you do really?

Would you mind summing up your job description?

I supervise. I make sure everyone arrives on time and hits their deadlines, or else they are forced to listen to me yip quite loudly for an insufferable amount of time as punishment. But I am not all bite of course, I make it a priority to ensure that these hard working humans remember to take a break. I also act as the “gatekeeper” for Brandberry, if someone wishes to work with us, I review the potential client/brand meticulously before giving the paws up.

So Faith, what kinds of brands/clients are you looking for?

Firstly, they have to be fun! I am bit of a puppy at heart, really. Also, I keep an eye out for brands that have a solid foundation and are not afraid to think outside of the box in order to reach their full potential. I may be small but I need something I can sink my teeth into. Most importantly, the people have to be amazing, I simply adore creative humans who make pleasant company.

It sounds like you truly are the backbone of BB.

Milk bones? Where?!… Oh my mistake, you said backbone… and yes that’s right, I am. Good for you dear, you catch on quick. Now, really I must be going, it’s almost time for my appointment with Ashley’s lap.

One last question. Any advice for the pups trying to make it in this Dog-Eat-Dog World?

The best advice I can give you is this: don’t ever allow anyone to tell you can’t do something. You can do whatever you put your mind to. Why, just yesterday Eddie told me I can’t chase the geckos…A few minutes later I strolled in with a nice juicy one between my teeth.

Errr… Great! Thank you so much for your time Faith.

My pleasure darling. Cheers!

A Ripe Idea

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 Brandberry is an enterprise that tears down barriers, adheres to no stereotype and consistently pushes the boundaries of creativity. We are cultivators of imagination and aim to not just build brands but inspire and nourish relationships until they bear fruit. Vibrant and delicious fruit – like a berry – hence the name.

 

 

The Start

Our founder and president, Ashley Mady, got her start as a graphic designer in the lively and competitive toy industry. When the recession hit and 2009 surfaced, the company she worked for was acquired and relocated to California. This left Ashley with a difficult choice.

As a respected professional in the industry, the opportunity to follow a customary career path with little financial or personal risk lay at her feet. Yet, when faced with that securely painted picture of her future, she was left uninspired. Her roots were in Florida, where she knew family ties would always keep her grounded but the toy and entertainment field she so adored held little prospect in the Sunshine State. Nevertheless, that twenty-five year old with an enormous vision and entrepreneurial spirit interpreted what most would perceive as a disadvantageous risk to be a wide open opportunity – and thus blossomed Brandberry.

The Culture

Brandberry is home to a diverse team of out of the box thinkers who have a knack for fusing the most seemingly unrelated ideas into impressively branded masterpieces, all with the intent of spreading a bit more joy into the world. With lively brainstorming sessions, dress-to-theme Wild Wednesdays, and exciting brands on the rise, there is never a dull moment here at Brandberry HQ. A constant buzz of contagious energy flows through the office on a daily basis, though that could be attributed to the shameful amount of coffee we consume in order to keep up with Ashley. Unbridled passion and fierce work ethic make up the fundamental blocks that Brandberry rests upon, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Mission

Brandberry’s mission to to be a leader in creating brands and branded content. We seek to encourage innovative thinking, smart design and progressive collaboration. Utilizing every available platform, Brandberry aims to make the world a more imaginative and playful place.

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