Brainstorm With A Teenager For New Insights

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My apartment is filled with images captured by husband, Dominic R. Sondy. A lifetime of creativity on film, slides, transparencies, 4x5s, prints and digital files; all stored in archival quality sleeves, bins, DVDs and USB devices.  And he continues to create more everyday.

We began curating collections and publishing books, beginning with “Saigon Shuffle” his Vietnam experience covering his assignment at the front and then as a military correspondent covering Asia.

Since then, I’ve always tried to look for opportunities to extend the products available for each collection.

For The Trees #19 Poster

One of his most recent, “Can’t See The Forest For The Trees” is pure imagery. An esoteric look at the oddities on trees in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. Think inkblot meets horticulture. Naturally, individual prints are available, over 100!. But I was looking for opportunities to extend the product line not only for “Can’t See The Forest For The Trees” (“FTT”) but also for other collections.
Publication of the FTT book took several iterations to get the quality just right. Working with image rich content requires higher standards than just “ink on paper”. Everything from size of book, image wrap vs soft/hard cover, paper selection and print quality were examined carefully.  

While reviewing one of the early editions, my youngest daughter started flipping through the pages and free-styling ideas for products.

 Posters! iPhone/iPad cases! Calendars! Oh, my!

For The Treest #093

Productions of calendars was already on my list, but I hadn’t thought about posters and skins for devices. I started to listen intently to my fourteen year old who was selecting images for these products. “Mom, this one would be great for a poster. I’d put this up on my wall.”  “Imagine this one on my iPhone staring at you.”  
I went to work creating the products and building the landing page for the “Can’t See The Forest Through The Trees” product offering.

We were doing the victory dance last night when I blurted out to my daughter that we sold one of the posters!  

My New ‘Youth-Oriented’ Focus Group
Sometimes I get so stuck in my own, old, conventional methods that I fail to realize that my audience may be much different.  It took the off-the-cuff suggestions of a daughter reviewing her father’s work to add new thinking to marketing and product creation. In addition to the product suggestions, she went further, hinting at a pricing structure for each product and poster size. In other words, what she would be willing to pay to hang a poster in her room.

Since my daughters are part of Dominic’s and my social streams and their friends tap into their streams, that presents an opportunity to connect with new markets that I hadn’t seriously considered. I’ll be looking forward to another serendipitous focus group session with my (smart and insightful) teenage daughter.