Turn the Ketchup Bottle Upside Down: Astonishingly Simple Solutions to Complex Problems
Remember the agony of waiting for the ketchup to inch its way down toward the mouth of the bottle? The awkward small talk with the elevator operator while waiting to reach our floor? How about frantically digging through the car’s center console to produce exact change for an impatient toll booth worker?
These are distant memories, but it’s surprising how long we operated under these daily inconveniences. What’s more surprising is how these annoyances were solved by rather simple solutions (store your ketchup bottle upside down, install an automatic elevator switch, and calculate your monthly toll booth usage with an electronic transmitter.) These advancements share a common thread: by applying a little creativity, someone discovered a simple solution to a complex problem.
But if these answers were so simple, why were they so hard to come by? Why did it take us all so long to turn that ketchup bottle upside down?
Every day we talk with Chief Marketing Officers, Brand Managers and Senior VPs of Global Insights who share their desire to get to know their brands more intimately. But the challenge of working within a brand for many years leads to the proverbial “can’t see the forest for the trees” conundrum. Those with the power to make the biggest difference in the trajectory of a brand are often too close to the issue to examine it creatively.
We help companies take a different approach. Through deep conversations, unique ethnographic tools and deliberate methodologies, Big Squirrel collaborates with brands to uncover core truths directly from consumers. We surface individual customer insights that sometimes reveal unexpected–and sometimes astonishingly simple–results. These insights lead to radical solutions to even the most complex problems.
So how do you apply creative thinking to your own brand? How do you break through to reveal new insights to long-established business challenges?
Check out our Field Guide to Innovative Thinking
to help your team think outside the nut!
Get On the Other Side of Your Problem
You may have experienced this phenomenon in your personal or professional life: after days of racking your brain, you’ve finally given up on solving a problem–only to have a stranger point out a brilliant solution within seconds. Sure, you know your brand inside and out. Yet innovation in branding thrives on un-knowing. The willingness to change your perception. The skill of suspending your deeply held beliefs to gain unexpected results.
When you promote a company culture of innovation and open-mindedness, you gain the ability to discover creative solutions that propel your brand forward. From this foundation, Big Squirrel can help you launch micro studies and ethnographic studies that create space for consumers to talk about your brand freely, connect with your products organically, and open up about the truths of their feelings and experiences.
If you think innovation is hard, remember that although their ketchup hit shelves around 1870, Heinz didn’t create the upside-down bottle until 2002 – 132 years later. The answer was staring them in the face; it just took a while to get there. Why did it take so long? Heinz didn’t have Big Squirrel.
We’re kidding – kind of.
Learn more about how Big Squirrel has helped other big brands turn their thinking upside down.