In the ever-evolving world of business, stagnation is the enemy of progress. To stand out, brands must break free from the shackles of convention and explore uncharted territory. Enter Assumption Reversal, a powerful technique that challenges the very core of what we think we know. In this Frostbite, we’ll touch on how business teams can wield Assumption Reversal as their secret weapon to conceive innovative new services and/or radical new brands or sub-brands that captivate audiences and disrupt.
What is Assumption Reversal?
Assumption reversal is a critical thinking and problem-solving technique that involves challenging or reversing the underlying assumptions of a particular idea, argument, or problem to gain new insights or perspectives. It’s a method often used to uncover hidden biases, explore alternative solutions, or question the validity of a given concept. Here’s how it works:
List Your Assumptions: Start by compiling a comprehensive list of assumptions surrounding your industry or category. These assumptions could encompass best practices, typical features, customer expectations, and more.
Reverse with Purpose: Take each assumption and, with purposeful intent, flip it on its head to create a “wrong” idea. This new perspective challenges the established norms and paves the way for fresh thinking.
Multi-Angle Exploration: Now, take that “wrong” idea and examine it from various angles. Explore its nuances, potential, and implications. This thorough examination often reveals unexpected insights.
Twist for a New Benefit: The final step is to twist this unconventional idea into a fresh approach that could yield a new and valuable benefit. This is where innovation starts to take shape.
Unearthing the Extraordinary in Service
Let’s consider how Assumption Reversal can breathe new life into the world of services. Suppose you run a consulting firm, and the conventional wisdom in your industry is that clients value lengthy reports filled with data and jargon. An assumption reversal might lead you to the “wrong” idea that simplicity is the key.
From there, you can explore this idea from different angles. What if simplicity led to more clarity for clients? What if concise, visual reports empowered faster decision-making? By twisting this “wrong” idea, you could develop a radically different service approach—one that prioritises clear communication and actionable insights over data overload.
Transforming Sub-Brands into Icons
Now, let’s apply Assumption Reversal to the concept of sub-brands. Imagine you’re a leading tech company branching into the world of wearable devices. The assumption reversal exercise might reveal the “wrong” idea that wearables should be fashion-first and tech-second.
As you delve deeper, you realise that this approach could appeal to a broader audience, including fashion-forward individuals who may not typically embrace tech gadgets. By twisting this “wrong” idea, you can create a sub-brand that merges cutting-edge technology with high-end fashion, opening up new markets and establishing your brand as a pioneer in the industry.
In the hands of astute business teams, Assumption Reversal is a tool that points to innovative opportunities. It’s not about blindly defying conventions; it’s about challenging assumptions to uncover untapped potential. Whether you’re shaping game-changing services or crafting radical sub-brands, this technique can set you on a path toward disruption and distinction.
So, the next time your team embarks on a journey to innovate, remember to flip assumptions, examine them from every angle, and twist them into fresh new approaches. The results might just redefine your industry and elevate your brand to iconic status. Embrace Assumption Reversal, and break with tradition.