📦 Thinking Outside the Box
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Monday, April 25, 2022

The horror, the nightmares, the 3am check of the laptop just to be sure. You’re not alone, we’ve all been there 😰

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Using ideation workshops to develop brand concepts

📦 Making your visual asset library open and accessible with Air

📦 Spice up your creative with insinuating images

📦 The ultimate weekly planning and productivity ritual for entrepreneurs with Commit Action

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

👉 If a pal forwarded this to you, subscribe , so you never miss out.


This tool is saving marketers 13 hours a week

You should not be spending hours organizing, finding, approving, and sharing images and videos every day.

⏰ Your time is valuable!

Air automates these tasks and saves you from wasting your day in DropBox/Drive and sending your teammates that “Where’s that video? You know the one...” message.

Breathe life back into your brand engine — by making your visual asset library open and accessible with Air’s convenient features:

  • Intuitive search: Visual assets are scanned and tagged with content keywords, so you never need to remember locations or filenames.
  • Visual browsing: No need to click into folders. Everything is clean and visible; a powerful filter builder gives you total clarity.
  • Secure sharing: Share links to single assets or entire boards, internally or externally. Set passwords or expiration dates for peace of mind.

What could your team do with 13 extra hours each week?

🚨Stop searching and start scaling with Air.


Ideation is the process of creating a space that fosters and generates a very broad set of ideas on any given topic without judgment or evaluation.

It's a great way to entertain ideas that wouldn't necessarily be considered and a way to think outside the box.

You know how much we love boxes at DTC… 😉

A friend of DTC Newsletter, Elliot Roazen from Unilever, recently shared insights on how his team came up with over 200+ brand concepts in the past 18 months.

Elliot's role and experience make him uniquely qualified to talk about ideation as he brings new ideas to life in short time frames. 💡

🤗 How to optimize your team for ideation

When starting an ideation workshop, it's important to strike a balance between having the right people and having the right number of people.

📏 Size: Amazon has the two-pizza rule, where they limit their teams to a size that two pizzas can feed.

A smaller team can permit frictionless collaboration, self-accountability, and a tighter relationship with team members. A larger group may be intimidating to some and limit the flow of free-form conversation.

🎸The WHO: No, we are not talking about the English Rock band from the early 70s. We are talking about those that should be IN your Ideation workshops.

It's essential to diversify your contributors – hanging with your marketing squad doesn't give you fresh perspectives.

Bringing folks with different disciplines and those representing product creation stages like R&D and supply chain can offer critical counterweight perspectives that will offer insights on design processes and packaging.

🧐 How to run an ideation workshop

Sorry, cancel the corporate retreat to Mexico…

A quality ideation workshop can be organized quickly and usually takes less than a day.

When it comes to the organization process of an ideation workshop, it's like any other meeting – you need an agenda. The agenda should be organized by items of concern in allocated time blocks.

Make the agenda accessible to your designated attendees. It helps to display the agenda during the workshop for every participant to see.

It's a collaborative and open space, but providing a basic structure and keeping people focused on the ultimate goal will make it smooth sailing.

👊 The 2x2 system

Once you have your ideas brainstormed and out in the open for everyone to see, you need a way to vote on and prioritize the best ones.

The 2x2 matrix is a great way to do this.

It's an efficient way for your team to take a step back and see what's most likely valuable to your customers vs. what effort is involved in delivering.

Draw a square with four quadrants on your whiteboard and categorize the ideas into categories of effort and impact.

  • Low effort/high impact = No brainers.
  • High effort/high impact = A more expensive project worth the investment.
  • High effort/low impact = Money pit/not worth it.
  • Low effort/low impact = Blah.

Once organized and visualized by the group, find a consensus and take action!

Ideation workshops are a great way to allow your team to share ideas, think outside the box, and reach new levels.

Do you do ideation workshops with your team? Reply to this email and let us know! 🔥


How to execute on every good marketing idea you have

Admittedly, sometimes we all get a little bit distracted 👉👈

It's time to take action on your high leverage opportunities and follow through with your best ideas with Commit Action !

Commit Action is the ultimate weekly planning and productivity ritual for entrepreneurs.

They pair you with a highly trained accountability coach who calls you every week to guide you through a unique productivity ritual, based on cutting-edge cognitive science.

You come away from the call with...

  • Total clarity on your highest leverage opportunities for the week.
  • Time blocks carved out on your calendar for your most important work.
  • Shared goals with your coach who will check in on your to keep you focused.

It's like a personal trainer, but for productivity (and it's tax-deductible 😉).

DTC readers get $50 off their first month - click the link below!



This ad strat is absolutely nuts…

If you’ve hit creative fatigue and your brand doesn’t have a ton of assets to pull from for your campaigns, this strategy is the perfect way to spice up your catalog. 👇

This ad is the perfect example of using an object to insinuate the product you're selling.

When paired with cheeky copy, this is an excellent tactic to peak scroller curiosity.

You avoid overly sales-y messaging and get the opportunity to increase your CTR while educating your audience on your product entertainingly.

The Pilothouse creative team was tasked with creating an ad that:

  • Has a high CTR ✅
  • Isn’t clickbait ✅
  • Isn't too scrappy ✅
  • Communicates an overall message ✅

Obviously, in this product's case, you can't be too literal with your imaging. If an audience is shown a boring picture of undies (like every other underwear ad out there), users may not bite.

But if your audience sees two random items they didn't expect to see and can make the correlation, there’s a higher chance they'll be curious enough to click through and hand that traffic over to the post-click experience.

The Pilothouse creative team also suggests using pastel colors: they’re in season (hello, spring!), and using pastels that aren’t normally in your creatives is a fantastic way to get your audience to slow their scroll.

Don't be afraid to get crazy with your creatives! If you're looking for more creative insights, check out Pilothouse! 🚀


👋 Grubhub owner Just Eat considers sale after orders fall.

📉 Netflix shares crater 25% after company reports it lost subscribers for the first time in more than 10 years.

🤑 Target is selling used clothing in partnership with ThredUp.

💰 How news publishers made $12M selling NFTs.


🍑 Building a 7-Figure Business in Sub-Two Years with Peachy Shapewear's Corey Nicholson.

💬 Dreamday and The Quality Edit’s Lauren Kleinman Pioneers a New Model for Performance PR and Publishing.

🍭 100 Million TikTok Views Slapping the Marshmallow with TheMarshmallow.co's Joel Twyman.

👀 If You Shelve It, Will They Come? With Fractional CMO Bryan Holladay.

Don’t forget to rate the DTC Podcast  on Apple (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight and Jordan Gillis. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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📥 Work for The DTC Newsletter: Send an email to Rebecca, rebecca@directtoconsumer.co, if you’re interested in writing for us!

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