When a Brick Isn’t a Brick


Customer give you a problem you can’t solve? Having a hard time to be creative to develop a new marketing piece? Psychologist Ellen Langer said to get the creative juices flowing, add the simple phrase “could be” to look at a problem.

Her experiments showed that if one group of subjects were given a brick and were told “it’s a brick”, they couldn’t see any other creative uses for it. Their mindset was frozen as “it’s a brick”. The next test group was given the same brick and told, “This could be a brick.”

When the last group was asked how many other ways a brick could be used, they said it could serve as a foot warmer, weapon, paperweight, step, bookend, fulcrum, or as a source for red powder.

Solve this problem: Price could be a factor. (That’s right – price is no longer just a brick.)