The best way to get a good idea for your problem is to generate multiple ideas as much as you can
SCAMPER technique is an Idea Manipulation Tool to guide us in generating diverse ideas. Rather than thinking original ideas, this tool provokes us to gather ideas from divergent fields, manipulate and fuse them into our requirements.
SCAMPER is an acronym for Seven Techniques –
S-Substitute, C- Combine, A-Adapt, M-Modify/Magnify, P-Put it to some other use, E-Eliminate, R-Reverse or Rearrange
We have to divide our Problem into different tasks/stages, ask SCAMPER questions at each step of the problem and generate ideas.
Consider the problem that one of our friends is manufacturing and selling Orange Juice.
He is facing difficulties in selling the product owing to stiff competition, apprehensive of his product position in the market and he understands that he needs to create a new marketplace or extend the market boundary to grow sales. Let’s generate ideas using SCAMPER technique.
Bear in mind that this is an exercise to show how to use this creativity tool so it will not have deeper analysis or Judging Criteria for selection of ideas. Some of the ideas shown below may not be practical/relevant due to my limited knowledge. Professional knowledge would lend a hand to come out with better ideas. Knowledge is the foundation of creativity. Without vigorous research, idea generation tool will not contribute any profitable outcomes.
Note: Few images are sourced from the INTERNET.
Substitute is a technique of replacing something with another thing.
We can substitute things, places, people, materials, processes, and emotions.
What shape can be substituted?
What form can be substituted? The form of the principal medium from Liquid to Concentrate?
What process can be substituted – Example – Putting cubes in the water to dissolve – Can we substitute this by squeezing
So, the external packaging and internal form after substitution – Can the external circle shape look exactly like an Orange? The proposed packaging concept is as follows –
Open the lid, take the slices out of the container and mix up with water to form juice.
What Place can be substituted? Can we substitute place of selling the juice?
Consider the manufacturer was selling in Supermarkets and the Juices were stocked next to Other Juice Brands.
Can we stock the product next to Breakfast items?
Can we sell the product in a fruit-shop or vegetable mart as an alternative to fruits than Juices?
“COMBINE” is a process of combining unrelated ideas to create something new.
What mediums can be combined?
Can we combine Powder and Cream form – Can the same product be made into a creamy form by adding a mix of a limited amount of water and another ingredient?
What materials can be combined to form a Blend?
Sweet Blend: Orange with apples or pears or grapes or pineapples or kiwis or mangoes or berries
Blend with Sweet roots like Beets, Carrots, Lemons, Greens like Mustard Greens, Lettuce, Spinach, Broccoli, etc..
Few of the slices could be of prescribed Blends, as per the consumer’s requirements.
What units can be combined?
Can we combine with Breakfast Unit?
Can we combine with Cake-Mix Unit?
Adaptation is a widely practiced tool in creativity.
“Make it a habit to keep on the lookout for novel and interesting ideas that others have used successfully. Your idea needs to be original only in its adaptation to the problem you are working on” Thomas Edison
What kind of Marketing or Selling Technique be adopted?
Thinking Small in Large Volumes – Sachet Marketing
- Can we use effective up-sell and cross-sell?
- Can we have “Value Added Suggestions” for the product? Example – Recommendations for Diabetic patients, the Best way and Best time to use the product to optimize the energy consumption, Solutions to elderly patients in the home, Suggestions for healthy gifting, Answers for kid’s health etc…
- Can we have Deluxe(Maybe creamy with peanuts), Premium or any other kind of categories? Best sellers? Customer Favourites?
- Can we adapt any customer reward or Loyalty program? Can we have loyalty ladder or 2-3 tier system? Can the reward points be in terms of calories similar to miles in airlines loyalty? Can the user go nearby coffee outlet and have an Orange Iced Tea? Can we partner with a Mutually Beneficial Company for reward points?
- Can the rewards be non-monetary? Example – Can you help the consumers to make their own Orange sauce, Orange Jam using your ingredients and help them to sell?
- Can we partner with a company/brand who already has many loyal customers?
- Can we provide free samples to selected audience at chosen places?
How about a Vending machine at a public place dispensing shareable product – Similar to Coca-cola share can. Can we dispense Orange Slices, which people can share?
Can you have your customer support language as informal, approachable and friendly as NIKE brand’s twitter language – with phrases like, “give us a shout if you need help.”
“Bigger is better” – What can be magnified?
What can be Extended? Can we build a big Display Sculpture using our proposed packaging concept?
Can the sizes be Enlarged?
What characteristics can be Magnified?
Can we modify Ownership of the product?
Can we modify the purpose of product?
Can the outer cover of packaging be made up of Wafers Material, so people can eat?
How about modifying the outer shape to have emotion like a smile or any other feature?
Can we modify any procedure? Can we modify user attitude?
PUT TO OTHER USES
What else can be done with our sliced orange product? How else can it be used?
Can we supply Orange Slice Tissue Paper along with our product?
Can we provide compact, expandable, good quality mesh bags which can be used for carrying vegetables or fruits?
Can we provide Orange Chewing Paper? Maybe, a mouth freshener?
Can we use the waste oil from Orange as Orange Slice Sanitizer?
What can be Eliminated? Can we eliminate the center portion of proposed packaging? Can we eliminate the spherical shape of the packaging, as it is bulkier in size?
Can we eliminate human faces in TV ads or banners or posters – Can we animate with Donut Shaped Orange in TV ads?
Can we eliminate selling/displaying in Supermarkets? Then where to sell/display our products?
- Display in Hostel Canteens, University Canteens
- In Hotels during Morning Breakfast Buffet
- Food Courts in IT Parks
- In Restaurants during weekends
- Orange Speciality Stores at select Locations
- Orange Shaped Mobile carts at prominent places
How could the Schedule be rearranged?
Instead of selling the product for all the 30 days in a month, Can we sell only for first ten days in a month? Can we limit the stock? Limited quantities per person? Members Only Option for the first 5 days? – Simply put, humans place a higher value on an object that is scarce, and a lower value on those that are abundant. So, Can we create an artificial scarcity, using SCARCITY HEURISTIC principle?
Can you re-arrange the Speed?
How about Slow Soluble orange slice, a Fast-soluble Orange slice recommended for specific applications? How about orange chocolates which dissolve very fast in the mouth?
How could roles be rearranged?
Instead of salespeople gathering suggestions from a consumer, can you encourage consumers to connect through WhatsApp and share their experimentalism with your product and rewarding them suitably? Can you connect them with other talented experimenters?
Can you make it possible for a user to make their own Jam, Orange sauce etc.. on their own using your product as the main ingredient with suitable initial guidance and help them to sell the jam, sauce to their network of friends, relatives, and others. Can you build this as a sustainable network?
We can apply all SCAMPER techniques in every stage of a problem definition. We can divide this stage into further sub-stages and ask SCAMPER questions. Example – Selling Process – Divide the stage into sub-stages like Prospecting, Preparation, Approach, Needs Assesment, Presentation, Feedback and Correction, Closing, Followup. Ask SCAMPER questions at each Sub-Stage, to generate divergent ideas and select relevant ones.
Any creative technique’s success relies on good research data, Knowledge, Concentration, Time to Incubate the idea and Evolve, and Verification.