Technique N°9 - SCAMPER
A 7-letter acronym as the basis of elaborating on ideas!
At eÿeka we believe that everyone is creative as soon as one opens his mind and lets ideas flow freely. To help creators from everywhere tackle brand issues, we are providing you with Creative Techniques. Browse them, play with them and add them to your daily creative process to generate your best ideas!
The SCAMPER checklist has been created by Alex Osborn (and Bob Eberle rearranged it) as 9 creative thinking principles to generate ideas. The main concept is to challenge your problem as much as possible.
The question behind the SCAMPER checklist is simple: “Why does it have to be this way?” SCAMPER stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Magnify (Modify), Put to other uses, Eliminate and Rearrange (Reverse).
Those 7 letters will help you generate ideas! How does it work?
- Start with your problem statement
- Apply each concept listed with SCAMPER to identify new ideas:
- Substitute: Could it be substituted with something? Another ingredient, material, place, or approach? What can be used instead?
- Combine: Could it be combined with something else? What can could it be merged with? Could it be an assortment, a blend, an alloy, etc.? What would happen if the purposes, materials, or units were combined?
- Adapt: Could some part be adapted? What else is like it? What could be copied, emulated, incorporated or adapted?
- Magnify (or Modify): Could some part be modified or magnified? What can be extended, exaggerated, or added? What if you made it stronger, higher, faster or put it into an extreme environment?
- Put to other uses: Could it be put to some other use? What happens if you change the name, color, purpose, form, odor, shape, motion, process, marketing, packaging, etc.?
- Eliminate: Could some part be eliminated from it? What are the other ways to use it as it is, or modified? What can be made from it?
- Rearrange (or Reverse): Could it be rearranged in a new format? What would happen if they were reversed, if the components are interchanged or if you applied a new pattern, a new sequence, a new order? What are the opposites or the negatives?
You can apply the SCAMPER technique to a whole or divide your problem in small parts and apply SCAMPER to each of them. And of course all of the questions may not fit in with every scenario but the principle behind the questions should still help you.
Did you find new ideas to solve the problem? If yes, congrats! If not move on to the next technique!