The simplest way to create good ideas, the Untapped ‘DBD’ Model

Girls in STEM Mentor jan Choudhury

by | 8 Feb, 2022 | Untapped Thinking

How do you come up with a good idea? It’s the number one question that we are asked most often.
The simplest way is to remember …

DBD: A good idea = Desirable + Believable + Distinctive

Desirable Ideas come from deep Human Insight


In a recent Asset Mining session, we observed the innovation team. Significant user data was discussed in the meeting, but the data lacked emotional depth. Our suggestion was to bring qualitative, projective research into the project to complement existing user data and get to the ‘why’. To the team’s surprise, the qualitative human insight unlocked unobvious, emotional and functional needs that took new idea development down completely new paths. These new paths led to best-ever concept results for the brand.

In his book ‘Small Data’, Martin Lindstrom credits the need for this type of observational, deeper contextual research and states ‘No matter how insignificant it may first appear, everything in life tells a story’.

Desirability tip
Complement user data, with deeper qualitative research to seek unobvious insights to drive appeal.

Believable ideas come from deep Technical Understanding


We frequently see technical and commercial teams silo’d in large organisations, and they often appear to speak different languages. Plus, recent research proves that remote working has added to our woes suggesting that remote work caused the share of collaboration time employees spent with cross-group connections to drop further, by about 25% of the pre-pandemic level (Microsoft, 2021).

Yet in our experience, and with our encouragement, we find that when multi-functional teams deliberately spend time together (online or face-face) to unpack the assets in their technology (e.g. packaging attributes, ingredient strategies, sustainability qualities) they discover elements that are frequently over-looked or under-played.

We’ve seen that technical teams generally bring ‘what’s possible’ and commercial teams tend to know ‘what’s needed’. When these capabilities are combined, and well-understood products are presented to users, they are frequently more believable and meaningful than concepts that are perceived as ‘marketing speak’ only.

Believability tip
Dedicate specific time and space for technical + commercial teams to unpack technical assets together.

Distinctive ideas come from Future Foresight


A typical brief for Untapped requires the development of new products that are 3+ years away. As a result, we need to ensure that we have one eye on user needs today, and another on predictive trends. We collaborate with a range of semioticians such as @DavidPanos and @LauraBoerboom who acutely observe consumer culture and map new trajectories of change. We seek social listening insight from @RosieBlake and @SiobhánRooney to map ‘new buzz’ conversations amongst lead users in a category or sector. And we collaborate with AI Trend Scanning experts like @PreriitSouda to quantitatively diagnose trajectories of change. By combining diverse selections of predictive data and insight, we can feel confident that ideas will not only be appealing, but also new and different.

Distinctivity Tip
Curate a selection of trend forecasting methods to develop future-proofed, eye-catching, new ideas.

So what is the simplest way to create a good idea? Try @Untapped Innovation’s ‘DBD’ …

A good idea = Desirable + Believable + Distinctive.

Innovation Gym Training Sessions by Untapped

If you want to learn more about developing good ideas with Untapped, please get in touch We have our Innovation Gym program with a menu of training options for good idea development. And we have the next installment of our webinar series coming soon, where we uncover how to create A Product Of The Year with some of the @Andrex 3-D Wave R&D team, @NualaDonnelly and @FedericoPasquini

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