The Metaphor is the most commonly used tool in marketing communications because it is a great way to attach meaning to a newly-launched product or brand. The Metaphor Tool takes a well-recognized and accepted cultural symbol and manipulates it to connect to the product, brand, or message.
The tool is one of eight patterns embedded in most innovative commercials. Jacob Goldenberg and his colleagues describe these simple, well-defined design structures in their book, "Cracking the Ad Code," and provide a step-by-step approach to using them. The tools are:
One very effective—but nonintuitive—way to use Multiplication is to multiply the most offending component in a problem and then change it so that it solves the problem. Yes, you actually make more of the very thing you are trying to discard. The key is to duplicate the nastiest component and imagine a scenario in which that copy could offer useful characteristics. Two researchers used this very technique and revolutionized the way we cope with dangerous insect species today.
You can frequently make groundbreaking innovations simply by dividing a product into “chunks” to create many smaller versions of it. These smaller versions still function like the original product, but their reduced size delivers benefits that users wouldn’t get with the larger, “parent” product. This is one of three approaches of the Division Technique called “Preserving Division.”
Innovation is anything that is new, useful, and surprising. "Surprising" means that the idea makes you slap your forehead and say, "Gee, why didn't I think of that?"
Here's a great example. Researchers at the MIT Media Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have developed a new display technology that automatically corrects for vision defects — no glasses (or contact lenses) required. It is a classic and clever example of the Divison Technique, one of the five techniques in Systematic Inventive Thinking.
Daylight savings time is a great example of the Division Technique, one of five in the innovation method called SIT, short for Systematic Inventive Thinking. Division works by taking a component of a product or the product itself, then dividing it physically or functionally and rearranging back into the system.
Daylight savings time is the result of taking the standard day, dividing it and shifting it to "appear" an hour off from standard time. It's a great idea except for one problem - the benefit of this innovation is no longer realized. Daylight savings served a purpose early in its history, but is obsolete today.
Imagine you’re driving down the highway, and you notice a flag waving in the distance. But something’s not right. The flag is upside down. You’d notice it right away because it’s not in its usual position that you have seen hundreds of times before.
The division technique works by dividing a product or its components functionally or physically and then rearranging them back into the product. Division is a powerful technique because it forces you to break fixedness, especially structural fixedness. Division forces you to create configurations by rearranging components in ways you were not likely to have done on with on your own.