Imagine: The Second Step in The Pathway to Launch Sequence

After understanding the needs of your customers or audience, you might be asking yourself, “What now?”

This is where the true fun begins, friends. After recognizing the challenges and opportunities your customers face, the next step in this process is the imagine phase.

This is, perhaps, everyone’s favorite stage in the launch sequence because you have permission to allow your imagination to run wildly, entertaining those, “What if I…?” questions you've kept tucked in the back of your mind or scribbled in one of your idea notebooks.

So here are some ways you can maximize your imagine phase:

If you're brainstorming with a team, friends and family or a mentor...

One great way to generate ideas is to build on the ideas of your team members in real time. During our brainstorming sessions, one person from our team will share an idea and the next person has to say what they like about the idea and then share what they'd like to add to the idea. This keeps going until everyone, including our quiet team members, has a chance to contribute. This method is great for collective engagement and produces quality ideas.

If you're brainstorming alone…

A life coach once introduced me to the 21 Ideas Method. How it works: Ask yourself, what are 21 ways that can solve this problem? Setting a goal of 21 ideas forces you to entertain obvious solutions and hunt for new ones.

If you're looking to add onto an idea that already exists…

Use the Beg, Borrow and Steal Method to generate new ideas. With this method, you and your team write down three to 10 companies you admire (they don't have to be in the same industry). Then, write down two to three reasons why you love them. This can be anything from the way the company serves its customers to how it launches its products. Then, take those ideas and apply them to your idea.

Remember, the imagine phase only works if you've done the first step, the understand stage, thoroughly. If you find yourself stuck and lacking ideas, take a step back and tackle the first phase again. Once you've got a collection of great ideas, you're ready to move on to the prototype stage.

Ready, set, imagine!