Brainstorming with SCAMMPERR

By Katharyne Shelton

SCAMMPERR is a super simple tool developed by creativity expert Michael Michalko for brainstorming product ideas, but it can also be used for brainstorming marketing campaigns or finding lateral solutions to problems.

This is what you do:

Take a product or a situation (a candle, a magazine, an advert, a company) and then alter it. Try each of the following ways to alter it:

  • Substitute: Switch something out. With the candle, switch wax for pebbles or ice. Or switch out the wick or the holder.
  • Combine: Combine the item with another one. Bundle it.
  • Adapt: Adapt it for another purpose or situation. What if candles became popular at discos or in retail shops?
  • Magnify: Make it big. Giant candles! Room size candles!
  • Modify: Change something about the design. Multiple wicks, double ended candles, spherical candles
  • Put it to anther use: Cook with the candle, write secret messages with it
  • Eliminate: Remove something. What if you take out the wick? Wickless candles! (Hello Scentsy bars) or what if you take out the wax? Hanging wicks?
  • Rearrange: What if the wick goes on the outside of the candle? What if the holder is at the top?
  • Reverse: Turn it upside down or inside out. Reverse the purpose. What if the candle creates darkness instead of light (flickering shadow puppets!)

I'd LOVE to see some of you give this a try with your products and share your thoughts. You'll be surprised how many ideas you can come up with.