4.2.5 Example of a Brainstorming Session

Situation: The number of customers to a shop has reduced in recent months; the owner is looking for new ways to attract new customers and to increase the
frequency of existing customers
Problem: How can we get more customers?

The Brainstorming Sess

  • Plan the session – fix the place and time
  • The shop employees are invited to participate. However the supervisor and owner are not involved in the session
  • The session is held away from the shop in a relaxing environment
  • The facilitator is a good communicator and uses a word association game to break the ice and warm-up the group
  • The facilitator raises the question: How can we get more customers? She/he writes down the problem on a flipchart
  • She/he set out the rules of the session; 20 minutes, anyone can produce an idea, every participant has to respect the ideas of his/her colleague and NOT CRITICISE!
  • The facilitator calls for ideas
  • The scribe, using a mind map, writes down the ideas generated
    Please have a look at Figure 2: Mind Map – Summary of ideas generated during brainstorming session


Figure 2: Summary of ideas generated during brainstorming session

  • A scoring criteria is agreed and each idea is then scored: Negative 1 5 Positive.

Please have a look at Figure 3: Results of evaluation of ideas generated during brainstorming session


Figure 3: Results of evaluation of ideas generated during brainstorming session

Explanation as to how they were scored:

Each idea was scored on a range from 1 negative to 5 positive. For example, with the introduction of new products; it would be much easier to introduce a new range of sports products rather than garden products as an existing supplier has a range of sports products which are not currently sold in the shop. The cost and ease of introducing these new products would be relatively small as the shop has sufficient space and storage. However, it was felt that neither of these new products would have a particularly high impact on attracting new customers as other shops in the area carried similar products.

From the session the following recommendations are made to the shop owne

  • Look at introducing new product lines into the shop
  • Allow customers to pay by credit card
  • Hold a sale and introduce buy 1 get 1 half price into selected product ranges
  • Advertise in local papers and evaluate the impact after a number of weeks
  • Erect posters in areas with high volume of people
  • Develop a customer database by collect customer contact details for future mailshots
  • Investigate feasibility of home deliveries and website / online shop.