Want to unearth some awesome ideas? I recommend inviting some fire ants to your next creative meeting.
No, not literally of course. But my yoga instructor told us a very cool thing about the everyday fire ant. It’s easy—really easy—for a single fire ant to drown if they find their way into water. But if there’s a bunch of them, they band together in a sort of raft and air pockets form between their bodies that keep them afloat. It turns out that just a single fire ant has these air pockets, but they can’t fill up unless they have another ant to connect to.
So the next time you’re stuck trying to come up with a fundraising appeal, take a cue from the fire ants. Don’t go it alone.
One of our clients does an annual, all-day pow wow. Everybody who’s involved in their direct mail program is there—their agency, the list broker, the designer, the writers, their staff. We spend the morning hearing from their program folks about what’s on the horizon for their work. And then we spend the afternoon throwing out ideas for every aspect of their mail program.
It was during this meeting last year that the group came up with the concept for an appeal that ultimately raised 200% more than projections. That idea didn’t belong to any single person around the table. It really was the product of pure brainstorming.
Chances are your designer and your list broker and other pros you surround yourself with see a lot of packages come across their desk and have some pretty creative ideas. Or if you’re a small shop, I’m sure you have volunteers and colleagues with great ideas to share. You should be tapping in to all of that creativity and brainpower.
So make like a fire ant and get a creativity boost from those around you.