Idea workshop game. New product ideas for the humble bin-liner

binlinerHere’s a brilliant idea workshop game. The ideas below came from a group of staff in a Bank in London – one of our new clients.

I asked them to imagine they worked for a business that made plastic bin-liners (something so far away from banking) and set them a Challenge to come up with ideas for new products or product extensions to increase margin.

To help them out, I then gave them the following hints as to where to find ideas;
– Think of the purpose rather than the product (what’s the purpose of the bin liner and has that purposed changed since the introduction of wheely bins)
– What problems might we, as consumers have that can be solved?
–  Can we add value by changing the customer experience?
– Whether we differentiate by challenging convention (the materials used / colour / shape and size)

They were in groups of 5 per table and had 20 minutes to choose one of the approaches above and come up with some ideas. Then one person took their ideas to a different group and ‘pitched’ the ideas and sought feedback, comments and questions in order to build on some of the ideas. After another 10 minutes a different person took those ideas to the next group who were asked to rate the ideas in order that we had a ‘sifted’ and ‘shaped’ list of ideas. The last step was for them to pitch the highest rated, most complete idea to the rest of the groups. It’s essentially the process that idea management software tools support, but in real-time.

The range and diversity of ideas we got was brilliant. Here are some of the highlights. You can click on these to see more about them.

Brilliant Idea #69. Coloured / themed waste paper bin liners. This is a variation of the small bin liners that you might use to line a waste paper bin in a home, bathroom, office or bedroom that break the normal convention of being plain white. More

Brilliant Idea #70. Bin liners that have a insect repellant coating to deter flies from your bin in the summer months. More

Brilliant Idea #71. An insert wrapped into the roll of bin liners saying there is only 5 more bags left so you know to buy some more. More

Brilliant Idea #72. A bag that bio-degrades quicker than normal bin liners. More

Brilliant Idea #73. To address the problem of loading bags into the bin, 25 bags come in a pack, but loaded into each other so when you first load the bin with a bag you are actually putting 25 bags into the bin. When one is full you pull it out but the other 24 bags are still in there. More

Brilliant Idea #74. Organic re-usable bin liner so you take it out and empty into the wheely bin. This reduces the mount of plastic in the landfill because you only need to replace it every ten or so times. More
Brilliant Idea #75. A bin material that absorbs methane so as to reduce the smell from the bin. More
These were the winners. There were probably 10 times as many captured. The whole event took no more than 30 minutes. Brilliant.