Then I wrote back: It involves a lot of questions.
I often start off with:
What if it were blue? What if moms used it? What if people didn't have it anymore? What if, what if, what if...
Then when I get a few ideas, I ask:
Why would anyone care?
Can any other brand say this?
And has it been said/done before?
Then I ask myself:
Is that true?
Would normal people care?
How can I make that better?
And sometimes (most times):
How can I make this award-show worthy?
Or at least something that everyday people will love/do/use?
And when things get really serious, I start thinking:
What's the insight? (What's the human truth in the way people relate to the brand/product?)
What's the idea? (What's the overarching concept for what I'm trying to say?)
What's the execution? (How will I make it happen?)
And then I go back through everything and pick out the ones that passed my initial tests to share with my partner. And it starts all over again.
There's no prescribed path to come up with good ideas. The more you do it, the better you'll get.
The more you ask questions, the better you get at filtering out the BS.
Always ask questions. Always ask what if. Always go big or go home.
Oh, and "I don't know" is never an answer.