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Finding Ideas That Spread

You have ideas every day. Some are great, others are truly awful. So how do you work out which ideas deserve to be executed or which ones have a chance to succeed?

It begins by understanding that the people you are trying to reach have an established ‘worldview‘, their own unique framework of ideas and beliefs through which they interpret and interact with the world.

That means there are some people you can’t and never will reach. They have already made up their minds long before you get there. You won’t convince the guy who buys a box of 200 own brand tea bags to spend $10 a pop on your calming herbal tisanes.

Spreading an idea doesn’t simply depend on finding a new and different “worldview’ either. What it does depend on is how the idea is framed and your ability to tell the story with your packaging, website, book, Facebook page and so on. Most ideas that spread tell a true story, from a different angle that not everyone will pay attention to. I know that feels counter intuitive in a world where we measure everything by volume. Our logic tells us to cast the net as wide as possible. Companies like Apple don’t market using logic and neither should you.

Let’s say you want to enter the bottled drinks market. You understand that you’re probably not going to capture the hearts and minds of avid Red Bull fans, that slot is taken. Maybe you start noticing how a lot of your friends are anti-energy drinks and would never touch one. You’ve worked out the importance of looking at the edges and identify a ‘worldview’. Now you’re ready to design the story from a different angle. So you become The Relaxing Company. You tell the people who are ready to hear it a true story that they can believe, buy into and share. Your aim is not to capture the whole of the drinks market. It’s possible to be successful by just honing in on a tiny portion of it.

Here’s part of how Mary Jane’s Relaxing Soda tells their story:

Mary Jane’s Relaxing Soda is perfect for stressful situations, when you need to relax, but still need the ability to function.
Long Day. First Date. Road Rage. Job Interview. Deadbeat Boyfriends. Lousy Girlfriends. Long Trips. Public Speaking.
It’s the all-natural soft drink that delivers euphoric relaxation and focus to a stress-filled life.
Within minutes of drinking, a “calming” sensation can be felt throughout the body and mind.
Mary Jane’s Relaxing Soda is perfect for stressful, nerve-wracking situations or when you just feel like sitting back and enjoying life.
Made from herbal extracts, carbonated water, and all-natural cane sugar, it’s good for your body and mind.

The Relaxing Company are successfully spreading their idea because they discovered an ‘unfulfilled worldview’ and built something around it. You could spread your idea this way too by:

1. Identifying a worldview.
2. Designing the story from a different angle
3. Fulfilling the emotional wants not simple needs of your audience.

Before Little Miss Matched socks were sold in pairs. And before Twitter the news broke on TV. There are almost 7 billion people on the planet. All of the worldviews are not taken.

You just need a great idea!

Image by Andrew Hudson-Smith.