‘Think creative’ techniques: The Latte-ral Coffee Cup

Categories: Exercises, InsightsTags: , , Published On: 10/02/2021
A photograph of a hand holding a takeaway coffee cup with a blue, solid coloured background for a NEO insights article

Exercise for thinking outside the box, or should that be cup?

We have loads of creative techniques to help you unlock your creativity and to ‘think creative’ about the branding or positioning challenge you face.

The biggest barrier to creativity is, quite naturally, inhibition. You need to almost forget what you have learned and what you consider possible or feasible if you want to get truly creative. And getting properly creative is the only way you’ll be able to bend your mind around the problem at hand to find the best solution.

Imagination versus self-awareness

It is no coincidence that children tend to have the richest imaginations. They are unconstrained by self-awareness, past experiences, perspective and practical considerations. They haven’t learned or made as many recognised connections or associations, which is something we do to manage information and make sense of the world. As a result, they are far more open to new ideas, ways of thinking and doing things.


When you ‘think creative’ there are no wrong or bad ideas. In the beginning, there are only ever ideas.

By contrast, adults are in the main more constrained by all of these things. It’s little surprise then that most of us find it more difficult to free our minds and explore new possibilities, particularly around already conceived and accepted ideas, behaviours and processes.

But freeing our minds is exactly what we need to do to open ourselves up to new and exciting prospects. We need to suspend our objections and cynicism for a moment and unleash our inner child. And just remember this, when you ‘think creative’ there are no wrong or bad ideas. In the beginning, there are only ever ideas.

The exercise

So, here’s the exercise. For our purposes, let’s call it the ‘Latte-ral Coffee Cup’.

Firstly, here are some pointers about the physical object itself. This takeaway coffee cup:

  1. is a three-dimensional shape
  2. has a circular base
  3. has two parts including the lid
  4. has a lid with a hole in it
  5. is about 10-20cm high
  6. is a container
  7. is made of recyclable material
  8. is made of paper
  9. might be a plain colour or have a design on it
  10. can contain hot or cold liquid

Now, how many uses for this cup can you think of beyond the obvious?

Let us tell you that clients often come up with 20+ uses in our workshops. So, no pressure!

The important point of all this is that you can apply the same unrestrained thinking to practically any branding, campaign or business problem.

If you have a B2B brand or creative challenge we can help you ‘think creative’ about, get in touch for a free 20-minute Zoom consultation. Email thinkcreative@neoposition.com to get in touch.

The magicʼs in what we do together

We will be your partner for inspiring content, data visualisations and brand design. Add our independent thinking to your capabilities for alchemy that delivers creative gold – from concept creation and ideation through to execution and delivery.

We’ll work closely with you to create the kind of chemistry that makes you shine.

Let’s start the alchemy


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