What’s The Big Idea?

Charley Costa
Charley Costa

After a week of prep work and understanding the background behind the project, the team has gotten to the point where it is time to start strategizing what our plan of attack will be for the RFP presentation. This is often the most difficult part of any project: everyone has looked at the same research, yet everyone has different thoughts and opinions on what the best solution will be moving forward. In situations like this, I like to stop and ask one very simple question: what’s The Big Idea?

The Big Idea:

To many people, The Big Idea is referred to as the strategy or even the objective of the work that is to be done. For me though, I have often seen the word strategy or objective drain the creativity from the people involved on a project. When working with others, I like to ask “what is our Big Idea for this project” because it seems to get people to think more creatively than asking for a strategy or an objective. To take this concept a step further, I believe the big idea for a project should be able to be communicated to someone in under a minute. Forcing yourself and a team to be that focused with an idea challenges people to really think through their thought processes and to fully comprehend the big picture of the project.

Why the Big Idea is vital for success:

This concept of the Big Idea is especially important when designing a pitch for a potential client. When working on a B2B project, the people you present to often have to report to other people in the organization. If the client cannot summarize the key points a pitch in under a minute, there is little chance your idea will be communicated effectively to others. This greatly reduces the likelihood that the proposal will be adopted by the potential client. Much of my work this week was spent coming up with a couple of Big Ideas that can demonstrate that our agency understands the brand and how it is trying to position itself in the future..

One area where I am still struggling is finding a metric that will allow us to measure the effectiveness of the work we are doing. We are focusing on increasing a University’s reputation, which is much more ambiguous than trying to increase applications or alumni donations. If anyone has any Big Ideas for this, I would love to hear them.