Brainwriting Technique: What is it?

A french writer, named Victor Hugo, some time ago stated: it is not the locomotives, but ideas, which carry and drag the world. And his phrase can be applied perfectly today, because thanks to ideas we live in a time of constant evolution and growth.

But how to develop a creative idea? In an environment as competitive and fast-paced as the current one it may seem difficult to create new solutions to everyday problems, but thanks to different dynamics it is possible to do so.

A business that wants to have a high competitive advantage thanks to innovative products and services or effective ways of working, constantly needs innovative ideas that allow it to grow and obtain good results.

One of the best-known creative methods today, at least in the digital marketing world and advertising, is brainwriting. This group technique allows you to generate many ideas in a short time to solve a specific problem, whether it is the development of a new business or the creation of a digital marketing strategy.

What is brainwriting?

Brainwriting or idea writing, is a creative method whose objective is to find the solution to a problem, through a group dynamic in which the participants write their ideas anonymously, to later share and discuss them among all.

Thanks to this method, people’s participation is increased since the fear of being judged is eliminated; also, effectiveness is improved by allowing people to share and debate the ideas to develop them in a better way.

This technique is carried out in silence, with all participants focused on developing ideas and writing them down, to later as a group, decide which ones are viable and can be successful according to the objectives of the company and the problem to be solved.

Difference between brainwriting and brainstorming 

Brainstorming is a fairly traditional creative method and consists in bringing a group to discuss solutions to a problem, just like brainwriting ideas are developed in a group. 

The main difference between brainwriting and brainstorming is the medium: while in the former ideas are written anonymously, in the latter they are discussed orally; and this presents some challenges.

The first challenge is the personality differences in a team; not all people participate actively when they have to speak in public, some may have great ideas but do not share them out of shyness.

The second challenge of brainstorming is the competitiveness of the corporate world; while some members stand-out and monopolize the majority of the participation, others tend to be more reserved and “stay back” in the debate.

Brainwriting is the perfect solution for these challenges, and it was born for this very reason: to improve the brainstorming method and create a more equitable alternative. It could be said that with brainwriting work is focused on what is more important: quality creative ideas.

Brainwriting applications in digital marketing

Brainwriting can be used to solve different problems in business environments, but in digital marketing it is a very helpful tool for a wide range of processes, some of the applications of this creative method are:

  • Advertising campaigns: Do you need to develop a campaign and you are not sure how to start? With the help of brainwriting, you can bring your marketing team together to create concepts, messages, visual approaches and an impactful and effective communication strategy.
  • Products and services: You know the needs of your target audience but how are you going to solve it? Through a group brainwriting session you can explore features, functionalities, benefits, challenges and value propositions that will boost the commercialization of your product or service in the market.
  • Content creation: Sometimes finding the content hubs that you want to drive can be complicated, but thanks to brainwriting you can identify interesting subjects and creative approaches to create blog and social media content that appeals to your audience.
  • Problem solving: Your content is not having enough engagement? Are you not generating the conversations needed? You will always find challenges in the development of a digital marketing strategy, but thanks to brainwriting, you can make decisions that improve each process to reach your objectives.
  • Marketing strategy: Through brainwriting you and your team will have the ability to develop an effective strategy to consolidate all the ideas in one place to identify audience aspects, market opportunities or positioning targets.

Brainwriting techniques

Brainwriting is a simple method: meet with your team to debate written ideas, eliminating the barrier that oral participation creates. And thanks to this simplicity there are different ways and techniques to approach it; each one represents the same “game” and different “rules”, I explain some of the best-known techniques:

  • Brainwriting 3-6-5

This technique is the most popular and developed, since it allows to obtain 108 creative ideas in 20 minutes with the participation of 6 persons. The first step to develop it is to give a clear and deep context to the participants; later they will take a template to write down three ideas in 5 minutes. Then, they will rotate the template with their partner on their side so that they add three more ideas, and so on until each participant has written in all the templates.

Finally, the ideas are discussed in the same group to reach a solution for the initially presented problem.

  • Brainwriting debate:

Through this technique healthy competitiveness is promoted, as it consists in distributing the cards on which ideas are written, they are filled with this in a certain time and the best two are selected.

Afterwards, two groups are made and the winning ideas are distributed, a couple of minutes are given to argue their defense; finally, the two groups debate which idea is the best.

  • Restricted brainwriting:

This technique is ideal for when you have limitations such as budget, ideals, principles or subjects to avoid. It consists of giving the group a series of cards with ideas written on them, the idea is that the participants add more ideas based on the ones previously proposed. As in the previous methods, these are discussed at the end of the activity.

Brainwriting is an ideal tool to increase collaborations and synergy among the team, as it permits that each member develops their individual way of thinking and takes it to the group so that, among all of them, a perfect solution is found and a much more structured strategic plan is developed.

We are in a time of innovation, which is why trying out new work methods is essential for businesses to find their ideal way to achieve their objectives. The most important thing is that you should always keep in mind that good ideas, executed in a coherent way, are the best path to success.

Manuela Villegas CEO Yes Sir Agency
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